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The Starlight Claim by Tim Wynne-Jones
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The Starlight Claim

by Tim Wynne-Jones

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers but that is in no way influencing my review.
I read this book straight through in one sitting simply because I wanted to know what was going to happen. Here's what I can tell you without ruining the book at all. Nate Crow had a best friend named Dodge Hoebeek and the two families had summer cabins fairly close together. One late fall, Dodge's dad decides, against the advice of almost everyone, that he is going to try to get a fridge up to his camp. Nate is invited along for the adventure, but his father refuses to let him go, claiming that the entire idea is hairbrained and much too dangerous. Turns out his dad was right because the Hoebeek's all died wile attempting to transport the fridge. The trouble is that Dodge's body was never found so when the story starts, Nate is planning a trip back to the camps with his friend Paul... and at some point in their trip, he intends to look for Dodge's dead body.
Paul, it turns out, can't go due to his attendance at a party the previous evening, but Nate lies to his parents and says he is going with Paul when really he is travelling by himself. When he gets to the camp, Nate is very annoyed to discover that his family's camp is occupied. His annoyance turns to concern and then fear when he eventually pieces together that the camp is occupied by two criminals from a recent prison break.
This story flows easily and quickly. There were a few things that I figured out, but there were also enough surprises to keep me interested. ( )
  JRlibrary | Aug 17, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Sixteen year old, Nate Crow is haunted by terrible nightmares of the disappearance of his best friend, Dodge. Last year the bodies of Dodge's father and brother were recovered from the icy waters of a lake near their remote wilderness cabin but Dodge has never been found. Where can he be? What happened on the water that fateful autumn day?

Fast forward nearly one year later and the plan to search again is in place but at the last minute, much to Nate's dismay, his travel buddy backs out. Nate knows that he's got to follow his plan and go on alone if he's ever going to resolve Dodge's mysterious disappearance and put an end to his own terrifying nightmares.

Nate soon discovers that he's in way over his head. Unexpected and unwanted guests have broken into and taken over Nate's family's wilderness cabin and they're less than happy about his sudden arrival. With no cell service, no weapons, and no nearby neighbours, it's solely up to Nate to figure a way out and to get help.

Join Nate as he undertakes the journey of a lifetime into the frigid, wintery wilderness as he tries to discover Dodge's fate. Every survival skill his dad has ever taught him will be put to the test...his life depends upon it! Author, Tim Wynne-Jones offers an engaging YA thriller. Perfect for teens who enjoy a good combination of outdoor adventure, the challenge of survival, and the determination to solve a mystery!

Thank you to LibraryThing for this Early Reviewers ARC edition of The Starlight Claim. ( )
  RavenShoe | Aug 16, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Nate is supposed to be with his friends, Paul and Dodge, for their first (without parents) trek into the wilderness in winter to their family campsites. The problem is Paul isn’t coming and Dodge is dead. Nate is haunted by the tragic death of his friend (near the campsite), whose body has yet to be recovered. A part of Nate feels like he must make this journey to the campsite to find Dodge, but he finds other, more deadly surprises waiting for him! Talk about a survival tale; the terror is real. What slows down this story is the flashbacks of Dodge. I understand it is to build development to the relationship between these two characters, which of course, is needed. But maybe a more consistent way in presenting the flashback would help or a different font so the reader would know when the flashback was occurring. ( )
  Library_Lady_Lisa | Aug 4, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Nate and his best friends have been planning a trip up to the cabin for months, but not one of them is dead and the other cannot come. Nate decides to go it alone, and in the process finds himself in the middle of a prison escape. When he arrives at the cabin, there are men already there and he is now in danger. Nate must fight for his survival in the cold months and try not to be found.

This was a very interesting book. Nate is still tormented by losing his best friend in a horrible boating accident and sees him in nightmares and hallucinations pretty often. He feels somewhat responsible for his friends death and cannot shake that feeling. There was a lot of these hallucinations -come to life in the story and it was a bit weird but it put some things into perspective I guess. I found the survival of Nate through this ordeal with the prison escapees to be a pretty good story but the addition of the PTSD over the friend was a bit much. It feels overly sophisticated for what it needs to be, then again I have not read anything else by this author and that might just be his style.

Final thoughts - I think this was a good adventure, a bit of a coming of age tale, of a boy in the wilderness trying to survive, but done in a way that is a bit more complex. I think Young Adult readers will be the right age group for this one, especially those that like books about the outdoors. ( )
  sszkutak | Aug 2, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Nate and his friends Paul, and Dodge were supposed to go trekking to a remote campsite - his first time in winter without his father. Four months before the trip is supposed to happen, Dodge disappears in a boating accident on Ghost Lake. When the time arrives, Paul gets grounded and can't go, and Nate decides to make the trip by himself.

He is haunted by memories of Dodge, hoping to find him. What he finds is the place occupied by strangers who have escaped from a maximum security prison. Wondering how they knew where to find the cabin, Nate must now find a place to hide until a blizzard passes.

The Starlight Claim is paced well, and is suspenseful and thrilling. A big family secret is revealed, and unexpected things keep popping up, changing the game. Nate is a strong character - smart, and skilled. It's exciting to see how he survives, faces challenges, and tries to keep himself safe, all the while grieving his friend, facing flashbacks, nightmares, and guilt.
It's a quick and satisfying read, and if you're an adult who enjoys YA, you won't be disappointed in this one.
  PaperbackPropensity | Jul 31, 2019 |
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Fast-paced, evocative, and intensely suspenseful, Tim Wynne-Jones's latest psychological thriller finds a teenager setting his wits against the frigid wilderness and a menacing crew of escapees. 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. 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.… (more)

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