THE STARLIGHT CLAIM, by Tim Wynne-Jones, Candlewick Press


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, Burt. 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.

Out September 2019

240 Pages approx.


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

This book does have action and adventure, and yes, there’s a mystery surrounding a missing friend. It also is about survival on two plains: the first being survival against bad men; and the next, survival against the weather and weakness.

What I liked this book more for was the coming of age, growing up portion, and self-discovery that the MC goes through during his trip up to the campsite; and then, when he gets there and goes through a different discovery–of the truth. How he handles himself under stress is written well, and his reactions and emotions are very relatable.

I can see young YA book lovers enjoying this book. The author’s voice gives the story a smooth pace with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end. The book for me was more about choices and their consequences than the action/adventure. The MC’s choices and consequences were spurned on by the action-causing elements such as the convicts and his missing friend.

I gave this story:



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