Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Darwin Expedition by Diane Tullson

Ok, I admit it. I totally hate it when a writer comes up with a book that's similar to one that I have been working on. And, I hate it even more when that book is really good; probably a whole lot better than the one I've been writing. So, it's back to the computer for me!

But while I pound the keyboard rewriting (figuratively of course), pick yourself up a copy of The Darwin Expedition by Diane Tullson. It's really really good. Gripping in fact and right from page one where we meet Tej who "white-knuckles the steering wheel." An accident on the highway, a logging road short-cut taken to avoid waiting, driving rain, and teenage bravado contribute to Tej and Liam getting stranded in the bush. Actually stranded is an understatement. After sliding out on the logging road, their truck flips end over end down the mountainside until a three foot tree stump stops them.

Fortunately, neither Liam who narrates the story, nor Tej, his best freind, is seriously hurt. But without cell service, and no one aware that they left the main highway, they are on their own with no choice but to hike out. Tej points out that no one would be looking for them for at least a few days since they were headed to Whistler to go snowboarding. After a long wet, cold night with nothing but a granola bar to eat, they start walking in what they think is the right direction. The day goes by before Tej admits he doesn't really know where they are. Tension between the boys escalates as fatigue, hunger and the ruggedness of the terrain take their toll. That tension is jacked up another notch when a grizzly bear is thrown into the mix.

Another cold wet night, grizzly bear tracks around their makeshift camp, and a double black diamond level scree with rock sharp enough to cut you in two, awaits an exhausted Liam and Tej the next day. But, Tullson knows her stuff, so be prepared for her to crank up the action and the tension even higher. The Darwin Expedition takes readers on a hell of a ride; one so real that you're heart will be pounding just as hard and fast as Liam's. Don't take my word for it. Read it. And if you have a lot of other things like: video games, parties, snow boarding and school cutting into your time, don't worry, this Orca Soundings title is a fast 100 page read.

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