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Skink no surrender by Carl Hiaasen
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Skink no surrender (2014)

by Carl Hiaasen

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I'm a Carl Hiaasen fan, both his original works and his YA oriented novels. Before reading this, I just couldn't imagine how the character of Skink could fit into a PG or even a YA book. He's a larger than life iconic hero. He fights to preserve and protect nature. His methods may be quirky, but his heart and head are always focused. He's salty, honest, inventive, willing to fight for his beliefs, and seemingly indestructible. And he's in this novel, helping Richard find his cousin Malley, who is missing after running off with a guy she met online. Skink and Richard head off into the backwoods of Florida in pursuit, when it becomes clear that Malley's absence has become an abduction.

The story is filled with classic Hiassen characters in absurd situations, with even more absurd outcomes. I will admit I missed some of the more colorful phraseology that usually emerges from Skink's mouth in books aimed at an older audience, but could understand why those expressions were rephrased by the narrator. At least they were acknowledged though, so Skink-ophiles could imagine what was said. But rest assured there are good guys and bad guys, and you'll know which one to cheer for. I understand this is the start of a YA series featuring Skink (and hopefully Mr Tile, who is a lot like Skink's Alfred Pennyworth, only a retired state trooper.) This is fine, but I do hope there will be another adult book where the colorful euphemisms can emerge again, too. ( )
  bookczuk | Oct 7, 2014 |
Skink No Surrender is a mystery about a boy named Richard whose cousin, Malley, runs away with a guy that calls himself "TC". "TC" is a bad guy. Then Richard meets a man at the beach that calls himself Skink. Skink helps Richard track down and save his cousin, Malley.

I think this was a great book for those who love mystery, action, and adventure. My favorite thing about this book is the characters that Carl Hiaasen creates. My favorite character is Skink, an environmentalist that is a bit outlandish and fearless. He even eats road kill as food despite being rich so as to protect the animals he loves so dearly. I can't wait to see what Hiassen comes up with next! ( )
  KendallCH | Sep 30, 2014 |
Any book that features Hiaasen's character "Skink," is bound to entertain. Unfortunately, Skink doesn't do quite as well in YA fiction. The book is OK, better than many but not up to Hiaasen standards. I'm starting to think that writing to a YA audience restricts Hiaasen's natural, very adult, style. ( )
  madamepince | Sep 28, 2014 |
Skink - No Surrender is Carl Hiaasen's first foray into YALit and he's making his entrance in a big way—employing Skink, the outrageous and outlandish character from his adult novels.

In keeping with his customary practice of setting books in Florida's great outdoors (Hoot, Flush, Scat, Chomp), Skink No Surrender begins on a Florida beach where Richard finds Skink buried in the sand—on the hunt for turtle egg poachers. Though at first taken aback by the one-eyed, cammo-wearing giant of a man with buzzard beaks braided into his beard, Richard soon finds out that he is the ex -Florida governor and a force to be reckoned with - even if he is presumed to be dead.

"All kinds of wild rumors got started, and some of them turned out to be true. According to one Wikipedia entry, the ex-governor became a wandering hermit of the wilderness, and over the years he'd been a prime suspect in several "acts of eco-terrorism." Interestingly, he'd never been arrested or charged with any serious crimes, and it seemed to me that the targets of his anger were total scumbags, anyway.

The web article included interviews with a few witnesses who'd supposedly encountered Clinton Tyree by chance. They said he'd lost an eye, and was going by the name of "Skink." They had differing opinions about whether or not he was nuts. The most recent entry quoted the governor's closest friend, a retired highway patrol trooper named Jim Tile, who said:

"Clint passed away last year int he Big Cypress Swamp after a coral snake bit him on the nose. I dug the grave myself. Now, please let him rest in peace."

Except the man was still alive."

An unlikely pair, Skink and Richard team up to find Richard's cousin, Malley, who has run off with (or been kidnapped by) a young man she met online.

An intense hunt takes the two across the swamps in search of Malley and a dangerous impostor. Suspenseful and very funny at the same time, Skink No Surrender presents a case for Internet safety, bird habitat conservation, and the value of family, but you'll be havimg so much fun that you won't even notice!

more at http://shelf-employed.blogspot.com/2014/09/skink-no-surrender-review.html

(Advance Reader Copy) ( )
1 vote shelf-employed | Sep 14, 2014 |
I've only read a couple of Carl Hiaasen's books for adults, and while I love a good mystery novel, something about his style didn't provoke me to read more of his stuff. So I wasn't quite sure what I'd think of this, his first YA novel.

I loved it! Hiaasen does a great job of translating some of his signature themes (environmentalism, Florida's tourist economy, the honor of thieves) for a younger audience, and keeping his trademark humor. The characters here are both realistic and over-the-top, and the narrator's voice is consistent and believable. The only character who isn't as well drawn is the villain of the piece, but then again, he *is* a villain. And it's fun to see some of HIaasen's recurring characters (Skink and Mr. Tile) in a different context.

It's a little difficult to peg the particular age range that this might be best suited for; the protagonists are 14, and this reads, in some ways, like a middle-grades novel rather than a YA novel. That's not a criticism, BTW--I think middle-grade readers, especially boys (who should love this) need all the well-written, funny, touching writing they can get their hands on. This suits on all levels.

Note: I received this book as a free eARC from NetGallley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
1 vote rvhatha | Sep 10, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375870512, Hardcover)

The #1 New York Times bestselling author Carl Hiaasen debuts his first book for teens with Skink—No Surrender.

Classic Malley—to avoid being shipped off to boarding school, she takes off with some guy she met online. Poor Richard—he knows his cousin’s in trouble before she does. Wild Skink—he’s a ragged, one-eyed ex-governor of Florida, and enough of a renegade to think he can track Malley down. With Richard riding shotgun, the unlikely pair scour the state, undaunted by blinding storms, crazed pigs, flying bullets, and giant gators.

Carl Hiaasen first introduced readers to Skink more than twenty-five years ago in Double Whammy, and he quickly became Hiaasen’s most iconic and beloved character, appearing in six novels to date. Both teens and adults will be thrilled to catch sight of the elusive “captain” as he pursues his own unique brand of swamp justice. With Skink at the wheel, the search for a missing girl is both nail-bitingly tense and laugh-out-loud funny.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 01 Jun 2014 08:03:17 -0400)

With the help of an eccentric ex-governor, a teenaged boy searches for his missing cousin in the Florida wilds.

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