MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Edge by Roland Smith

ISBN: 9780544341227
Publisher's Synopsis:
The International Peace Ascent is the brainchild of billionaire Sebastian Plank: Recruit a global team of young climbers and film an inspiring, world-uniting documentary. The adventure begins when fifteen-year-old Peak Marcello and his mountaineer mother are helicoptered to a remote base camp in the Hindu Kush Mountains on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. When the camp is attacked and his mother taken, Peak has no choice but to track down the perpetrators to try to save her. Fans of the bestselling Peak will be thrilled with this gripping, high-stakes sequel.

MrsK's Review:
The farthest thing from Peak's mind was another "on the edge" climb. He was comfortable with his life. His seven-year-old sisters were a big enough thrill. Even though his journey to the summit of Mt. Everest was only a few months ago, Peak was content with spending time with his family, at home or hanging out in his mom's bookstore. The "itch" to climb would come around soon enough.  For now Peak liked taking the twins to the zoo, museums, plays, concerts, and the movies.

Unprepared for his mom's text from the Summit Bookshop, Peak had no clue that in a few hours he would be on his way to Afghanistan. When Peak arrives at the book store, he is surprised by the Everest film crew, who were not there just to discuss the completion of the documentary nor its airing on ESPN. They were there with a personal request for Peak to join the Peace Climb. The whole "shebang" would be paid for by Sebastian Plank, a very rich high-tech businessman. The Peace Climb had over two hundred, under eighteen, climbers from around the world applying for the climb. Not a climbing scenario that Peak wanted to be a part of, that is until the crew informs him that he will be the only US representative. Plus the crew would not be hired to film the climb... and there was the incentive of the "top of the line" gear. If you know anything about climbers, you know that the newest gear is an obsession (for me it's great books, for cooks it's all about the cooking gadgets). What exactly causes Peak to change his mind? Is it his mom's declaration that she is going? Is it a challenge that is too tempting? Was it for his friends? Would Peak have said yes if he knew that the political unrest and risks would not be minimal?
Either way, Peak is on the plane heading for Hindu Kush. Ok, so Peak wasn't really informed about where he would be climbing. Nor was he told the truth about how many would be climbing with him. Evidently Mr. Plank only informs you what he wants you to know, as you need to know it.
"The Hindu Kush. Killer of Hindus.
Or so I have read. From two thousand feet, it looks dangerous,
stark, beautiful. Desert colors.
Browns, tans, rust, with spots of green where water runs..."
At base camp, Peak meets the "man in charge," Phillip Stockwell and his personal assistant, Cindy. Two Afghans carrying assault rifles, Ebadullah and Elham. One of the climbers Josette Charbonneau, a French Ambassador's daughter. Then there is Rafe Rounder, an Aussie who tells a few tales. Aki, from Japan and Choma from the Ukraine. The only good news for Peak was that Zopa (the cagey monk/sherpa from his Everest climb) was assigned to this climb. Peak soon learns that when Zopa was contacted by Plank, Sun-jo's name was on the list. Sun-jo was a sherpa and friend to Peak during the Everest climb. Why did Zopa cross his name off the list? What was the real reason for Zopa being here... with him... and his mom... on this mysterious climb? Zopa and his feelings are "often a reality," so what is it about this climb that Zopa sensed?

Nothing about climbing can be casual or expected. Nothing about climbing is easy. Everything about survival. What Peak has learned from Zopa is to pay attention... pay attention to patterns... pay attention to things that are not suppose to be! What begins as a video stunt becomes a survival reality. Not everyone will live to tell about it. For Peak that means that his visions of the shen, "ghost" snow leopard, could prove to be his means of survival.
"I'm climbing alone.
The rocks slip and crumble under my boots.
In several places I have to use my hands to catch myself from skidding backward on the scree.
After one of these skids, I pause to catch the view....
I see something move a couple hundred feet above me along the cliff face.
A flash of dusky white..."

From the master of  "cliff-hangers," this climb will be even worst that Peak imagined. So "anchor" and "clip" your locking carabiner and get ready to ascend over the edge...
 "Over the top"

A must add to any Library, classroom shelf, and home collection!

If you want to read about Peak's first climb... Check it out...
Meet the Author:
Back Home   Roland Smith has always been my "go to" author for every "on the edge" reading junkie. No title will disappoint, no character will leave you unchanged. No situation will be insurmountable. And... every plot will leave you wanting more.

I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. When I was five years old my parents gave me an old manual typewriter that weighed more than I did! It was my favorite possession. I spent hours in my room clacking away on that old typewriter. Of course, when I was five I didn’t know how to spell and I barely knew how to read, but I loved the sound and the look of the letters on the crisp white paper. Things haven’t changed much since then. I still spend several hours a day in my room clacking away and I still love the sound of the keyboard and the look of the letters and words that eventually turn into stories. The only difference is that I can read now and I spell a lot better.

 "I received this book for free for this review."

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