Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Shelter by Harlan Coben

Mickey is not having a good year - he is living with his uncle because his father is dead and his mother is in rehab, he made one of his new teachers dislike him on day one, and his girlfriend has gone missing.  Not much phases Mickey, but he is more than a little curious about what happened to Ashley and when strange things keep happening he decides to dig a little deeper and find out what happened to her - especially when the crazy Bat Lady tells him that his father is still alive.

Balancing some normal teenage years with some very abnormal events would be difficult for any teenager, but Mickey is more than just your average teenager.  Living with his uncle is almost like living in a failing relationship with a carefully structured set of rules keeping them on good terms - but the delicate trust they have built up is sorely tested when Mickey starts to unravel the mystery and starts taking risks.  The only thing Mickey can really count on is himself, but if he trusts the people around him he may just make it.

Harlan Coben usually writes novels for adults, and I always have a moment of held breath when I see an adult author has written a book for teens because sometimes it seems that all they do is take a great idea and "dumb it down" for their audience - insulting their teen audience and wasting their time.  That was not the case with Shelter, which gripped me from the first chapter and kept me addicted to Mickey's story from start to finish.  Shelter is set in the same world as one of Coben's other series (Mickey is the nephew of his main character in that series) and I had another moment of hesitation thinking that maybe it would be hard to pick up the story and run with it - another hesitation that was soon dashed to pieces.

Mickey is a likeable character with some character flaws (if you could call being incredibly loyal a flaw) and he doesn't care what other people think. He is not perfect, but he is also not a teenage hot head looking for trouble - though he is quite happy to finish off some trouble if it comes looking for him.  Shelter is a nicely self contained little adventure-thriller, and it easily sets up a series of books about Mickey in the future.  A great escapism novel where you root for the hero and luagh at some of the "dumb" things he does (and that thousands of teenagers do everyday).  A great read for the boys and anyone else who enjoys a really good read.

If you like this book then try:
  • Agent 21 by Chris Ryan
  • Boy soldier by Andy McNab
  • Catch the Zolt by Phillip Gwynne
  • Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
  • Lost worlds by Andrew Lane
  • People's republic by Robert Muchamore
  • Subject Seven by James A. Moore
  • Code Red: Battleground by Chris Ryan
  • I hunt killers by Barry Lyga
  • Acceleration by Graham McNamee
  • Death cloud by Andrew Lane
  • Dead to you by Lisa McMann
  • Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy
  • Forbidden island by Malcolm Rose
  • Girl, missing by Sophie McKenzie

Reviewed by Brilla

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