Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Review: The Starlight Claim by Tim Wynne -Jones

The Starlight ClaimTitle: The Starlight Claim
Author:  Tim Wynne-Jones
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publishing Date:  September 10, 2019
Pages: 240
Genre: YA Survival/ Thriller Suspence
Series:  Stand Alone
Source:  Audio

Four months after his best friend, Dodge, disappeared near their families' camp in a boat accident, Nate is still haunted by nightmares. He'd been planning to make the treacherous trek to the remote campsite with a friend -- his first time in winter without his survival-savvy father, Burt. But when his friend gets grounded, Nate secretly decides to brave the trip solo in a journey that's half pilgrimage, half desperate hope he will find his missing friend when no one else could. What he doesn't expect to find is the door to the cabin flung open and the camp occupied by strangers: three men he's horrified to realize have escaped from a maximum-security prison. Snowed in by a blizzard and with no cell signal, Nate is confronted with troubling memories of Dodge and a stunning family secret, and realizes that his survival now depends on his wits as much as his wilderness skills. As things spiral out of control, Nate finds himself dealing with questions even bigger than who gets to leave the camp alive.

I liked the sound of this one so I grabbed it on NetGalley a while back. My life got in the way and well I didn't get around to it til recently. I wanted a fast paced chase scene, scared to look around the corner, kind of book. I thought by the sound of the premise, I would get this. The book was okay and it had some quite good scenes, but it didn't quite deliver in the way I needed. 

Nate and his best friend Dodge, grew up together, and there was a camp in the woods where both boys' families stayed for vacation. The last time Dodge went up with his family, they didn't come back. Nate is desperate to find him, find out what happened, and get closure on the entire thing. He ends up going to the camp on his own and when he gets there finds there are strangers staying in his cabin. Strangers that are dangerous and don't want to be found. Snowed in, no way out, and in a dangerous situation, Nate must quickly figure out how to survive the weekend.

The book sounded so good when I first grabbed hold of it. It was okay, for the most part I enjoyed it. I had a few issues with it. The story was good and interesting. I enjoyed the survival and the danger. I think my main problem is that I didn't feel it was suspenseful or thrilling enough for what I was promised. It did have a few good scenes, but for the most part the book read as a coming of age for me. Which is fine, just not what I expected. 

The main character, Nate, I liked. He was very resourceful and strong. He is quick thinking. He has some guilt going on that is weighing him down. He goes to his families cabin to get answers about his best friend. He gets answers, just not the answers he was expecting. When his world becomes dangerous and turned upside down, he does what he needs to not only survive, but still do the right thing. 

The book was promised to be fast paced. For me, it was a bit slow. The entire book happens in one weekend and I felt the weekend lasted forever. I wanted more chase, more shadows lurking, more bone chilling and thrilling moments and didn't get that. 

What I did get was an interesting, a little emotional, slow burn through a very broken mind. Which was a good journey for what it was. I think if you go into this read expecting it for what it is, an emotional coming of age journey, you will enjoy this read. Just didn't feel it was a suspenseful thriller at all. 

It was an okay read. I enjoyed it, just not what I was expecting and wanted at the time of the read. 

Tim Wynne-Jones

 Wynne-Jones (born 12 August 1948) is an English–Canadian author of children's literature, including picture books and novels for children and young adults, novels for adults, radio dramas, songs for the CBC/Jim Henson production Fraggle Rock, as well as a children's musical and an opera libretto.

Arthur Ellis Award
◊ Best Juvenile (2001): The Boy in the Burning House
Edgar Award
◊ Best Young Adult (2002): The Boy in the Burning House

1 comment:

  1. sounds like one i would enjoy, but, like you, i love a fast paced, action packed, high fear factor story
    sherry @ fundinmental


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