Born in a family that runs a raptor education center, 13-year-old Karma is determined to become a falconer. But after she gets bitten by her favorite falcon, Stark, her family decides to return Stark to his original owner. On the road to return Stark, they get into a car accident in rural backcountry Montana. Now, Karma and her new survival partner Cooper must try to get help for Karma’s father who is stuck in the van. Lost, they must survive in the harshness of the wild. Along the way, Karma trains Stark to hunt for them. Will the team of three survive? Will Karma’s father be saved?
I liked the twists in the cunning plot and also the strong portrayal of the connections between Karma, Cooper, and Stark. Karma and Cooper who started as antagonists ended up needing each other to survive. Cooper started off calling Karma crazy for talking to birds but ended up getting along with Karma and even accepting Stark. The connection between Karma and Stark is evident when Stark finds Karma down in the crevice and provides comfort. The suspense kept me reading the whole day. The book also teaches the themes of teamwork, survival, and to always have hope.
One very memorable part of this book was the description of how Karma felt when she was starving, hopeless, and despairing. Because of the way the author expressed Karma’s emotions, I could almost feel them in myself. This is one exceptional way the author used her writing to make you feel the story and be wrapped into it.
Reviewed by Lawrence, Grade 6, Twin Hickory Library