Title: Escape Through the Wilderness
Author: Gary Rodriguez
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Sixteen-year-old Savannah Evans walks with a slight limp thanks to a gymnastics’ accident that dashed her Olympic dreams, but didn’t stop her from attending an adventure camp in Idaho. At Camp Arrowhead, she quickly befriends Jade Chang and Rico Cruz, but Conner Swift taunts Savi because of her injury.
When the four are teamed together for an overnight white-water river rafting adventure, Savi refuses to get in the same raft with Conner. Unfortunately, the director will not reassign her.
A fun expedition down the river turns into a nightmare when their raft slams into a huge rock and their adult guide disappears down the river.
Without their guide and desperately trying to steer an out-of-control raft, they pass the “last chance” marker and enter the larger rapids. With Jade pinned between the raft and a rock, and Rico clinging to a lifeline, Savi must cut the raft free.
When the four drag themselves out of the river, they’re bruised, beaten, lost, and twenty-five miles from camp. Because of late-night campfire tales of Vexel, a vicious animal that roams the nearby woods, Savi and the others are terrified.
Savi becomes the unlikely leader who tries to guide the group back to Camp Arrowhead. Limited supplies, injuries, and the constant threat of Vexel—who Savi fears is stalking them, complicate the harrowing return trip.
Readers will enjoy dramatic survival scenes and the group working together, solving problems, and learning to overcome adversity.
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Suddenly, they heard a loud rustling of bushes and branches snapping downriver not far from where they had set up their makeshift camp.
“What was that?” Savi whispered anxiously. “It couldn’t be Vexel, could it?”
“Quiet.” Rico rebuked her with a hush. He raised the tip of his nearly finished spear.
Again, they heard more noise in the woods. This time they knew it was getting closer.
Warning: No spoilers ahead.
At first glance, the cover and blurb drew me. I was intrigued and definitely all up for the adventure of reading, Escape Through the Wilderness. However, I have no idea how literal my thoughts would become.
This book is definitely one adventure after another. Although I was a little misguided upon completing the story and realizing the cover incited me to believe the plot would take a completely different path from the paranormal elements I was expecting, rest assured I was very satisfied with the combination of drama and mystery.
While it is against my beliefs to reveal the plot in a review, I will say that throughout the story I was highly anticipating the end. I needed to know what became of Savi, Rico, Jade, and Conner. Their journey is grueling, but I admire how they stuck together through the worst of their ordeal and found ways to persevere in spite of the odds.
With Luke coming into the scene I hoped he would provide more of a help than he did. When he didn’t, I was highly disappointed and trying to figure out why he wouldn’t lead the teens to safety. Then I read on and realized he would play a life saving role toward the end and I understood what he brought to the story.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the fact that Escape through the Wilderness turned out to be much more than I expected.
My name is Gary Rodriguez, and I live in California. I’m the president of LeaderMetrix Inc., a consulting company that specializes in senior-level executive coaching, organizational development, and conflict resolution.
Previously, I worked for eighteen years in the radio business as an executive where I spent several years as one of the original managers of Infinity Broadcasting.
Following a successful radio career I became the president of a non-profit organization for a season.
As a young man, I spent a tour of duty in the U.S. Army where I was recognized as the youngest Drill Instructor in the Army’s history at age 18 years. I was also awarded the Silver Star (the nation’s third highest award for valor) while serving in a combat zone.
Over the past few years, I’ve written three non-fiction books and then I decided to write a novel.
My first book, Purpose-Centered Public Speaking, was published in 2009 and was re-published this summer (2014). Then I wrote a companion workbook designed to help people implement the principles taught in my first book. Next, I wrote Overcoming The Fear Of Public Speaking. And this past year, I wrote my first novel, .
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