Monday, August 12, 2013

Smokescreen by Nancy Hartry

This is a pretty good book aimed at teenagers, but will be enjoyed by adults as well. It's a unique story line involving a camp that supports forest fire fighters and two girls in the middle of 300 men.

It's an eye-opening look at what goes on behind the scenes in the forest. The girl are supposed to be digging holes to check for possible septic tanks, but being federal employees, they can be reassigned at anytime--and they are--to cook for the fire fighters in the base camp.

There's a horrible boss who makes derogatory comments, tension as the girls try to live without doors that lock and windows in showers, fledgling romances, problems with bears, and meanwhile, someone keeps setting fires...and the lighter left behind at the scene points to Kerry's friend and partner, Yvette.

I learned a lot about the Canadian wilderness and how things are done. There was also some tension over the fact Kerry's love interest is a Canadian Indian. It was a very suspenseful read and I read it a day. It's hard to put down. It's engrossing.

My quibbles are with development. I think some things could have been hashed out a bit more. Kerry's romance with Aubrey...when exactly did that happen? They meet, she thinks about him, and suddenly, he's her boyfriend. Yvette's character was also a bit bi-polar. She goes from the girl taking meticulous records and demanding overtime pay to the girl who doesn't care if a cat is kicked across the room. When did she change and why? She went from kick-a** to "Let's hush up about it."

It was pretty exciting though. While the romance was weak, the action was nonstop, the drama kept building, and there's a dash of education in it too. It did sorta just tie up too nicely and too fast though. Also, the mother/daughter/dance issue...I don't see why it was brought into the story. It wasn't really resolved. I liked the heroine's decision in the end, but how will her evil mother react?

I got this via netgalley.

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