Saturday 12 March 2016

REVIEW: North Face by Matt Dickinson

Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Vertebrate Publishing 
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: March 10th 2016
Buy The Book: Amazon UK

The Everest Files story continues in North Face ...

Ryan Hart is an 18-year-old adventurer on a mission. To get himself to Mount Everest and check out the truth about the world's highest peak. Friends have told him dark stories about the mountain, outrageous things that he wants to see for himself.

Just a few hours after Ryan arrives at Everest Base Camp a lethal earthquake strikes. Avalanches pound the glacier, burying Ryan's climbing buddy and killing many others. A desperate rescue saves Ryan's friend, but only after a local Tibetan girl Tashi helps with the search.

Stress levels are running high among the climbing teams. The mountain is shut for the season because it is judged too dangerous.

Then a flashlight reveals a clue. Someone is alive, high on Everest's treacherous north face!
Tashi is convinced it is her 15-year-old brother.

Ryan is prepared to risk everything to help.

Storm clouds gather as they set out on their illegal climb, a do-or-die mission which the local militia will do anything to stop.

My Thoughts:
After loving The Everest Files, the first book in this trilogy, I was highly anticipating North Face. And I wasn’t disappointed. This book picks up with Ryan travelling to Base Camp to get a closer look at Mount Everest for himself. Whilst there, an earthquake causes tragedy on the mountain, and soon enough Ryan finds himself on a rescue mission. 

At Base Camp, Ryan meets Tashi, a Tibetan girl who herds yaks on the mountain with her family. Life for the family has been difficult since Chinese soldiers prevented them from settling at their usual destination. Ryan agrees to help Tashi reach a higher camp that her brother may be trapped at. 

As with the first book in the series, North Face switches from Ryan telling the story in the present, to going back and showing us Tashi’s story. I enjoyed learning how Tashi and her family came to be in their current situation, and the experiences they face are devastating to read. This book manages to shine a light on the difficult and often heart-breaking situations that the Tibetan people face. Whilst the characters in North Face are fictional, their story is all too real for the actual families like theirs out there in Tibet, trying to live the way their people have been for generations.

What I also loved in this book was getting to know more about Ryan. Although a large part of the book is Tashi’s story, we get a lot more scenes from the POV of Ryan. He’s an awesome character with a lot of courage and determination. He and Tashi make an epic team when taking on the problems around them. Tashi was also a wonderfully strong character throughout the story and I warmed to her immediately.

The action scenes during the climb up Everest were fantastically gripping. I loved seeing how Ryan adapted to the challenge after being thrown into it without prior training, but I adored that he was so willing to help. All of the scenes featuring the Chinese soldiers were extremely tense and kept me on edge, particularly those final few chapters! 

North Face makes for such an exciting read. There are heart stopping moments from start to finish, as well as plenty of touching scenes between the characters. There really is a little bit of everything to enjoy, and I love how these books manage to stand out from the other YA series’ out there. I’m very excited to see where Ryan’s journey will take him next!  

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