Sam and his Dad are reaching the end of their trip of a lifetime when the small plane taking them to the airport crashes in the Amazon rainforest and 13-year-old Sam finds himself alone and struggling to survive in the jungle. The book follows the stages of Sam’s ordeal as he gradually and painfully learns the skills he needs to survive. Sam needs mental as well as physical strength to keep going as he has to conquer his feelings of fear and despair to find levels of determination and resourcefulness. Sam’s intense loneliness is relieved by his encounters with a young otter and its mother and Sam’s close link to the otter cub becomes his key to survival.
This teen survival story will appeal to fans of Bear Grylls and Ray Mears. The style is fast-paced and immediate, told in Sam’s own voice, the chapters are short and the atmosphere of fear and tension is sustained throughout. The relentless harshness of the battle to survive is conveyed realistically and no gruesome physical details are spared. The heart-warming connection between Sam and the otter cub provides some welcome tender moments amidst the struggle. This will be a useful addition to library shelves, a title to recommend to fans of action adventure and survival stories.