Apr 26, 2013

Giveaway of Into the Wild & April Genreflecting: The Devil's Breath by David Gilman review

Genreflecting wordle

The Devil's Breath coverWHEN AN ASSASSIN bursts from the shadows to try to kill him on the dark, windswept grounds of his boarding school in England, Max Gordon realizes his life is about to change forever.

After learning that his explorer father is missing, Max is determined to find him, no matter what dangers may lay in his path. A secret clue his father left behind leads Max to the inhospitable wilderness of Namibia, where he soon discovers a potentially massive ecological disaster masterminded by Shaka Chang, a very powerful and completely ruthless man—a man Max fears may have put his father in mortal danger. Max needs all the help he can get. Because whoever is behind his father’s disappearance is determined to get rid of Max, too. For good.
From Goodreads

Max seems like a pesky protagonist, the kind who couldn't survive without his iPod for 5 minutes; but once you learn about the special school he attends and the adventures his father has taken him on, you'll be more inclined to root for him. In this extremely fast-paced, but detailed, book we find ourselves on a whirlwind journey to rescue a young boy's father in the heart of South Africa. After escaping from a near-assassination, and discovering his father is missing, Max finds himself lacking people to trust, but knowing he must find his father.

Thus begins the harrowing and awesome story that is The Devil's Breath. With a merry cast of characters ranging from a Bushman boy to a plane-flying, farmer's daughter to a refuge-turned-citizen at Max's school, this book delivers a stellar cast that carry the weight of this book quite well. For such a simple premise, this book is quite long at almost 400 pages. Let me assure it flies by as you see the story through multiple people's (both the good guys & the bad guys) views. The writing is engaging & informative, while leaving you enough room to imagine some things yourself. I really don't want to say any more than that because there are just so many little bits & pieces that you have to put together yourself to really appreciate the book, but trust me, it's worth it.

I really loved the thriller aspect of this book. The suspense & tension were (at times) almost unbearable because there really weren't many clues as to who you could completely trust in this story. The adventure part of the story added to the thriller component because in addition to the mystery shrouding Max's father's whereabouts and what he uncovered that got him in so much trouble, this is also a story about a 15 year-old English boy running around the South African desert with nothing more than the clothes on his back and a native teen for help. There is this perfect melding of both these genres in this one book and I think that's why it was so long, because in order to adequately tie up all the loose plots, it took some serious time.

For my giveaway this week, I am giving away one of my favorite adventure-based books. While it is technically a biography, it reads really well for me. Into the Wild by Job Krakauer is the story of Christopher McCandless, a young college graduate who abandoned his affluent life, and almost all his mortal trappings, to wander the American Nothwest and end up in Alaska. It's a compelling story and one that will stay with you. You must be over 13 to enter the giveaway and live in the United States. The giveaway will be open until May 6th!
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