When I started reading Megan Webb’s book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The main character, Mekana, works in a pet store in New Mexico and lives in an apartment with her sister, Bird. The sisters are obviously close and love quoting movies, being goofy, and having fun. While Bird is outgoing and easily has fun with people, Mekana is full of doubt and quiet. Her uneasiness around men has made is hard for her to have a boyfriend.
She has a sweet dog called Chili Dog and a mostly aloof cat named Snowbeast. Her life seems pretty ordinary. With the slow beginning to the book, I was wondering how Mekana would get wrapped up in the adventure the title promises.
A chatty friend named Chessie comes for a visit and insists on Mekana flying with her to Alaska for a funeral. Bird and Chessie are both convinced that a trip to Alaska is just what shy Mekana needs–a chance to get out there and explore, maybe even have an adventure.
Things continue to be pretty mundane for Mekana as she and Chessie attend the funeral, but then Mekana meets a strange older lady and a handsome bodyguard-like man at the reception after the funeral. Nothing comes of this, at least the reader thinks.
Mekana and Chessie decide to go on a small plane tour next, but Chessie gets sick from some bad cheese at the funeral. Mekana boards the plane alone, joining a few others. Just as the pilot gets on, two men and the old lady from the funeral suddenly show up–and the men have the old woman at gunpoint! They seemingly hijack the plane, and things start to get interesting.
The heist turns out to be staged–a way for the older lady, Tabitha, to fake her death. She is trying to escape from someone who works for her company. She owns a company that makes cures, but sometimes things go wrong, and a stray ingredient renders a cure into a poison. A man who works for her has died from an accidental poison he created, and another employee wishes to exploit Tabitha and wants to ingredient that make the lethal substance. This is all backstory.
The small plane winds up crashing in a canyon, however–which wasn’t part of the plan. This is where the adventure really starts, albeit a quarter of a way into the book. Mekana is with strangers in a place where they can’t seem to find a way out. The plane sinks to the bottom of a river, and the only way out is too narrow for passage on a raft on the turbulent waters.
The group must learn to cooperate to survive in the wilderness as they wait for a rescue that may not ever come, since it isn’t clear if the black box in the plane sent a signal of their distress. Tabitha turns out to be a grandmotherly type figure for Mekana, and they become friends. Brody, the bodyguard-like man from the funeral, is gruff but gentle. Mekana and he start to develop feelings for each other.
As the days pass and no rescue arrives, tension grows. The real worry of survival increases. Bears surround the small camp.
The author clearly knows a thing or two about surviving in the wilderness by the details she gives. This is not only a nice touch but a vital one to make a story like this realistic and believable.
Also, Megan Webb’s faith plays an important role in her story. Mekana, who admits to herself as not having prayed much lately, begins to talk with God more while they are stranded. Her faith in God to protect them and deliver them through this tough time is what keeps her going when things get rough.
There are many lovely passages in Megan Webb’s writing in regards to faith and being outdoors. Her story is an adventure with elements of Christian literature and romance.
You might be wondering if they are rescued or how this would even happen. Even if there is a rescue, the book delivers a satisfying twist at the end that wasn’t expected. In spite of that excitement, I would have liked to have seen more development after the climax in the resolution, as it felt rushed. So much led up to the climax that there still seemed to be more to wrap up at the end, and I felt like I wanted or needed more.
Overall, this is a good story, and being Christian myself, I appreciate the faith elements.
4 out of 5 stars
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