Published: Jan 2010
Publisher: Emerald Book Company
Copy: Received for review
When Nate discovers his mother is not moving home and his father cancels their summer kayaking adventure, Nate is devastated. He decides to solo the Canadian wilderness in his kayak. Half drowned after risking his life in a wild storm to avoid getting caught, Nate reaches an uninhabited island paradise. His tranquility is shattered by the arrival of a girl named Kat, but she has something Nate needs, an ample supply of fresh water. As romance blossoms, another threat drifts in: a drug smuggler with a sailboat full of marijuana. Soon Kat and Nate find themselves fighting for their lives.
When I was reading 'Runaway Storm' I kept thinking of old-fashioned adventure stories. Not old-fashioned in a bad way - more the exciting, what's going to happen next, kind of way. The story is set in the islands of Vancouver and Washington State, an area I would now love to visit, and tells about the adventures Nate has during the summer of his 15th birthday.
Nate read as a very believable character. He has been uprooted to New York with his mother when she and his father separate and Nate feels he is being given the run-around by both his parents - neither one willing to really explain to him what is going on. When Nate's father cancels their summer plans, he decides to go on holiday anyway - by himself. I liked the fact that Nate thought things through and didn't just run off without preparation. There is a part in the middle where Nate has to use his credit card and I was sitting saying to myself - "no, no, they'll be able to find you if you use it" - that's when I realised how completely I had fallen into the story.
The characters that Nate meets on his adventure are many and varied, and not one of them struck a false note with me. David and the boys, Joey and Beagle, were fun and I loved the way they were able to teach Nate some skills and he return the favour. Kat was wonderful, her rebellion totally believable. I also enjoyed the friendship that blossomed between her and Nate.
As the tension mounts and the bad guys get really creepy I was having a hard time putting the book down, which can be distracting when you're trying to get ready for work.
'Runaway Storm' is a fairly quick read, but I am certain that you will enjoy the suspense and excitement. Everything ties up nicely and the ending was very satisfactory. Final decision - great adventure story for guys or girls - nothing in it that younger teens can't read at all - I loved it. And the good news, it looks as if there is going to be a sequel!
Ms. Knobbe is a Canadian by birth who now lives in California. I'm sure she's missing our snowy winters here in Canada. Any Canadian readers out there, spread the word - I'd love to see more of Ms Knobbe's books here in Canada.