YA Contemporary Thriller
Available now (Nov. 2011)
Review copy provided by author for honest review
6 year old Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival.
When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him.
One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father.
Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves.
Positive: The worldbuilding. It’s obvious this author knows her woodcraft and knows her woods well. Grace’s world, filled with the lush splendor of the forest, is so beautifully wrought, I could practically smell the evergreens and hear the birdsong. I enjoyed the wood lore interspersed throughout the story, and Grace’s deep love and connection with the natural world she lives in.
Positive: Grace. She’s such an amazing character–brave, bullheaded and stubborn, knowledgeable, caring, smart, and unflinchingly loyal. Grace is a kick-ass forest chick I’d want by my side in the deep dark of the primordial woods.
Wish: That it was a tad bit less gory. I know, I’m usually all for the blood and gore but this involved animals. Grace runs afoul of several bear poachers who do terrible things to one of my favorite animals. I had a very hard time with the parts of this story that involved animals and the bad men who deserve the same treatment they gave the bears.
Wish: That there wasn’t a love triangle. Unfortunately, it’s rare I find a love triangle I can get fully behind, and, to me, Grace’s entanglement with her ex, Wyn, worked better as a friendship. When he got jealous because she became involved with the mysterious Mo, I wanted to shake him and tell him to be a supportive friend. Still, both guys are cute and adorable, and I can see how it would be hard for a girl to choose between those tasty morsels. To have such a feast!
Overall: An incredibly fast-paced thriller that left me panting for breath as I chased Grace into the dark clutches of a thick, danger-filled forest.
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