Sometimes Heaven Is Overrated!
Challenges of the Gods proves a powerful
start to a captivating new series......
Sixteen-year-old Savi Evans came to an adventure camp in Idaho carrying the pain of a recent and tragic loss and a dark family secret. She hopes the wilderness setting, vigorous activities, and some new faces might help take her mind off things back home. At Camp Arrowhead, Savi makes fast friends with Jade Chang and Rico Cruz, but mean and sarcastic Conner Swift is also on their raft. What was supposed to be an exciting expedition turns into a nightmare when their raft slams into a boulder and the adult guide is ejected into the water and disappears downriver. Without their guide and desperately trying to steer an out-of-control raft, the terrified teens pass the “last chance” point of no return and enter the fiercest rapids on the river. The area is rife with wild animals, snakes, and a vicious flesh-eating predator known as Vexel. Nobody is sure what kind of animal Vexel is because no one who has encountered him has ever survived. Now the disoriented teens must find their way to Camp Arrowhead with the clock ticking and Vexel stalking them!
Taking his readers on a harrowing journey that's underpinned by an intriguing plot Stranded In The Wild is much more than your typical YA Adventure yarn. A well-paced and disarmingly engaging tale, Rodriguez develops his setting and characters with a meticulous eye for the nuances of camaraderie with brusque prose and a notable sense of timing, which blunts the edge of predictability. The action comes quick and intrigue is sure to keep the pages turning, with Rodrigeuz artfully rendering a multitude of backdrops which are clearly articulated and imaginatively observed. Close your eyes and you can imagine yourself at Camp Arrowhead or battling the raging waters of whitewater rapids. Rodrigeuz brings them to life but what really makes Stranded In The Wild a standout read is its thematic emphasis on comradeship. His characters are strong but it’s in coming together to overcome the odds against them that they truly resonate with the reader. Most importantly he doesn’t make the mistake of exalting his subjects as extraordinary individuals and on this level Stranded In The Wild makes for a strong fusion of effective pensmanship with focused storytelling.
Refreshingly different, intelligent and compelling it is highly recommended.
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We Must Never Forget
"His baby breath hung milky white.
Soft downy hair within my sight.
But as I bent to kiss his head.
Behind my eyes the horror spread.
The acrid smoke of bullets past.
The stench of blood, gut wrenching blast.
The begging eyes, and smell of fear.
Hands clutching hope on coming near.
His soapy skin, flushed pink and new.
Eyes clear and bright with mother’s hue.
Softest skin and gurgling smile.
Now overspread by all things vile.
With shaking hands and eyes shut tight.
Memories of each haunting sight.
My comrades brave with babes and wives.
Torn to shreds before my eyes.
As tears spill out to soak his head.
I gently lay him down to bed.
Watch softly as he sucks his thumb.
And pray for all the orphaned young."
From The Fallen - Poem by Pixie Woodstock