STARRED REVIEW
January 05, 2016

Surviving a hurricane

By Watt Key
Review by

In this fast-paced thriller set in the swamps of the Gulf Coast, 13-year-old Cort is pitted against venomous snakes, a vicious wild boar and a Category-3 hurricane—all at the same time. After he and his father prep for the oncoming storm, Cort and his two young neighbors, Liza and Francie, are inadvertently left at home alone when the worst hits.

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In this fast-paced thriller set in the swamps of the Gulf Coast, 13-year-old Cort is pitted against venomous snakes, a vicious wild boar and a Category 3 hurricane—all at the same time. After he and his father prep for the oncoming storm, Cort and his two young neighbors, Liza and Francie, are inadvertently left at home alone when the worst hits.

As the ruthless storm rages, Francie disappears with Cort's dog, Catfish, so Cort and Liza venture out into the worst to save them. But along the way, the trio is literally swept away, their survival skills put to the test amid wind, cold, blackout darkness, rising waters, hunger and, perhaps the most imposing threat, wild animals also seeking higher ground.

While angered that his father was tending to Cort’s estranged mother while the kids were home alone, Cort must keep his focus on getting them all to the Bottle Creek Indian Mound, where, disastrously, they are met with angry, hungry, scared and violent animals.

There are dark moments indeed, and the reader’s pulse quickens with every page turn. Watt Key has the pacing and personalities down for this thrilling tale of family, friends and triumph over adversity in the face of literal and metaphoric storms. It’s an epic journey for both the characters and the readers.

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