I picked up this book on audio because of the title and because a few trusted blogger friends convinced me with their reviews. I just want to tell you that I am not a big fan of adventure stories. I hold nothing against them and you are welcome to adore them. They just don’t happen to be the first thing I pick up when I’m looking for my next book but this book which is nothing but one large adventure is the exception. If you like action and adventure or even if you don’t, I think you should read it because it is amazing. Even if you think I have atrocious taste and know nothing, go read the other reviews and then go read this book!
I have to admit that I was a little worried at first because things weren’t 100% clicking with me but I think it was more my fault than anything in the book. When I discovered it was less a post-apocalyptic story and more of a “boy on an adventure tale” I started to tune out just a little bit. I’m sorry, I can be a jerk like that but I usually stick with things and in this case I am so very glad I did.
So, it’s sometime in the future and most of humanity has died out which likely serves them right. Idiot humans did something idiotic to the dogs so they are scarce as well and the love of a good dog isn’t something to be taken for granted. When Griz’s best dog Jess is stolen he doesn’t stop to think. He is angry and upset and he sets off after the thief like his pants are on fire, leaving his life and everything familiar behind except his other little dog Jip. Things naturally go awry. He makes some decisions that he will come to regret but he’s young and hurt and his actions are always believable. I loved Griz. Griz had so much grit and courage and was such a strong young soul. Griz lived on an isolated island before his big adventure and knows little of the world and seeing everything new from his eyes was fascinating. He’s also a big reader so most of you here will appreciate all of the bookish references.
This is how the book starts and once Griz is off after his pup the book barely comes up for air (except for one section that was a wee bit slow). There aren’t many characters in this book but the one’s Griz meets are compelling and interesting characters. Some good, some somewhere in the middle and some quite terrible but through it all Griz never gives up hope. There are turns and twists and all of them caught me off guard. It was an exhilarating read.
I admit that I feared this book with its dogs and children constantly in peril was going to break me by the end and though it came close to doing that a time or two, it did not destroy my heart and crush all of my dreams and I will say no more about that. It’s ultimately about risking it all for the love of your best companion and never giving up despite the odds against you. It was a little slow in that one section but mostly it’s nail-biting and heart-warming and all of those clichéd things people say about the best books. This is one of the best books. Go read it or listen to it. If you’re a dog lover I don’t think you will be disappointed and if you are you can blame one of those other reviewers!