Posted in 5 paws, Giveaway, Review, suspense, Young Adult on May 5, 2015

Escape Through the Wilderness banner

Escape Through the Wilderness 2

Title: Escape Through the Wilderness
Author: Gary Rodriguez
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Pages: 254
Genre: Teens/Children
Format: Paperback/Kindle


Sixteen-year-old Savannah Evans walks with a slight limp thanks to a gymnastics’ accident that dashed her Olympic dreams, but didn’t stop her from attending an adventure camp in Idaho. At Camp Arrowhead, she quickly befriends Jade Chang and Rico Cruz, but Conner Swift taunts Savi because of her injury.

When the four are teamed together for an overnight white-water river rafting adventure, Savi refuses to get in the same raft with Conner. Unfortunately, the director will not reassign her.

A fun expedition down the river turns into a nightmare when their raft slams into a huge rock and their adult guide disappears down the river.

Without their guide and desperately trying to steer an out-of-control raft, they pass the “last chance” marker and enter the larger rapids. With Jade pinned between the raft and a rock, and Rico clinging to a lifeline, Savi must cut the raft free.

When the four drag themselves out of the river, they’re bruised, beaten, lost, and twenty-five miles from camp. Because of late-night campfire tales of Vexel, a vicious animal that roams the nearby woods, Savi and the others are terrified.

Savi becomes the unlikely leader who tries to guide the group back to Camp Arrowhead. Limited supplies, injuries, and the constant threat of Vexel—who Savi fears is stalking them, complicate the harrowing return trip.

Readers will enjoy dramatic survival scenes and the group working together, solving problems, and learning to overcome adversity.


AmazonBarnes & Noble * Book Daily * Tate Publishing

Read this book and want to discuss it?  Join this Goodreads Group


Suddenly, they heard a loud rustling of bushes and branches snapping downriver not far from where they had set up their makeshift camp.

“What was that?” Savi whispered anxiously. “It couldn’t be Vexel, could it?”

“Quiet.” Rico rebuked her with a hush. He raised the tip of his nearly finished spear.

Again, they heard more noise in the woods. This time they knew it was getting closer.


I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book but it sure wasn’t to be kept on the edge of my seat wondering if the 4 kids lost were going to make it back to camp!

I don’t know if you remember going to summer camp as a kid, but some camps liked to tell ghost stories around a campfire.  Camp Arrowhead is no different, except they tell a story of Vexel, a creature that no one has seen or been able to kill.  Now take a bunch of teens on a rafting trip, have the adult guide get knocked out and fall out of the raft and 4 kids are left on their own going down the wrong fork of the river.

On top of them being on their own, there are personality clashes that started earlier at camp.  2 boys that are trying to be tough, and 2 girls that have their own issues.  However, despite everything these 4 manage to get through those differences to work together to try and make it out alive.

I enjoyed all of the characters and I think that this event changed all of them forever for the better.  Each character has strengths and weaknesses but they all balanced each other out as a group.  There is a little bit of religion thrown in with Savi’s beliefs, but that just rounds out the story to show what faith can do for us.

There is a small twist in the story (I don’t want to give away too much) but it made me wonder why this character didn’t do more than he did to help the teens.  It is hard to be elusive and not give away to much of the story!

The story ends and it looks like this will be a series, so I am interested to see what might be a follow up book to this one.  We give this 5 paws up


About the Author

Gary RodriguezMy name is Gary Rodriguez, and I live in California. I’m the president of LeaderMetrix Inc., a consulting company that specializes in senior-level executive coaching, organizational development, and conflict resolution.

Previously, I worked for eighteen years in the radio business as an executive where I spent several years as one of the original managers of Infinity Broadcasting.

Following a successful radio career I became the president of a non-profit organization for a season.

As a young man, I spent a tour of duty in the U.S. Army where I was recognized as the youngest Drill Instructor in the Army’s history at age 18 years. I was also awarded the Silver Star (the nation’s third highest award for valor) while serving in a combat zone.

Over the past few years, I’ve written three non-fiction books and then I decided to write a novel.

My first book, Purpose-Centered Public Speaking, was published in 2009 and was re-published this summer (2014). Then I wrote a companion workbook designed to help people implement the principles taught in my first book. Next, I wrote Overcoming The Fear Of Public Speaking. And this past year, I wrote my first novel, Escape Through The Wilderness.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Blog * Authors Den * Contact


I’m giving away the print copy of the book that was sent to me for review.  Open to US residents only
a Rafflecopter giveaway