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The Starlight Claim

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Fast-paced, evocative, and intensely suspenseful, Tim Wynne-Jones's latest psychological thriller finds a teenager setting his wits against the frigid wilderness and a menacing crew of escapees. Four months after his best friend, Dodge, disappeared near their families' camp in a boat accident, Nate is still haunted by nightmares. He'd been planning to make the treacherous t Fast-paced, evocative, and intensely suspenseful, Tim Wynne-Jones's latest psychological thriller finds a teenager setting his wits against the frigid wilderness and a menacing crew of escapees. Four months after his best friend, Dodge, disappeared near their families' camp in a boat accident, Nate is still haunted by nightmares. He'd been planning to make the treacherous trek to the remote campsite with a friend -- his first time in winter without his survival-savvy father, Burt. But when his friend gets grounded, Nate secretly decides to brave the trip solo in a journey that's half pilgrimage, half desperate hope he will find his missing friend when no one else could. What he doesn't expect to find is the door to the cabin flung open and the camp occupied by strangers: three men he's horrified to realize have escaped from a maximum-security prison. Snowed in by a blizzard and with no cell signal, Nate is confronted with troubling memories of Dodge and a stunning family secret, and realizes that his survival now depends on his wits as much as his wilderness skills. As things spiral out of control, Nate finds himself dealing with questions even bigger than who gets to leave the camp alive.


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Fast-paced, evocative, and intensely suspenseful, Tim Wynne-Jones's latest psychological thriller finds a teenager setting his wits against the frigid wilderness and a menacing crew of escapees. Four months after his best friend, Dodge, disappeared near their families' camp in a boat accident, Nate is still haunted by nightmares. He'd been planning to make the treacherous t Fast-paced, evocative, and intensely suspenseful, Tim Wynne-Jones's latest psychological thriller finds a teenager setting his wits against the frigid wilderness and a menacing crew of escapees. Four months after his best friend, Dodge, disappeared near their families' camp in a boat accident, Nate is still haunted by nightmares. He'd been planning to make the treacherous trek to the remote campsite with a friend -- his first time in winter without his survival-savvy father, Burt. But when his friend gets grounded, Nate secretly decides to brave the trip solo in a journey that's half pilgrimage, half desperate hope he will find his missing friend when no one else could. What he doesn't expect to find is the door to the cabin flung open and the camp occupied by strangers: three men he's horrified to realize have escaped from a maximum-security prison. Snowed in by a blizzard and with no cell signal, Nate is confronted with troubling memories of Dodge and a stunning family secret, and realizes that his survival now depends on his wits as much as his wilderness skills. As things spiral out of control, Nate finds himself dealing with questions even bigger than who gets to leave the camp alive.

30 review for The Starlight Claim

  1. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    Nate is still reeling from his best friend's disappearance four months before. Dodge is presumed dead in a boating accident, but the body was never found. Nate has nightmares where Dodge is floating under the ice in the frigid water of Ghost Lake begging him to come save him, find him, help him..... Nate has plans to travel to the remote campsite with a friend. They have proved they can make the journey by themselves. His own father, Burl Crow, made sure Nate has the skills to make the trip. At Nate is still reeling from his best friend's disappearance four months before. Dodge is presumed dead in a boating accident, but the body was never found. Nate has nightmares where Dodge is floating under the ice in the frigid water of Ghost Lake begging him to come save him, find him, help him..... Nate has plans to travel to the remote campsite with a friend. They have proved they can make the journey by themselves. His own father, Burl Crow, made sure Nate has the skills to make the trip. At the last minute, Nate's friend can't go. Nate decides to go alone. He wants to search for Dodge. Maybe he can find him even though others failed. But when he arrives he finds the camp occupied by strange men....violent men....and it becomes a much more dangerous game of survival than Nate ever expected. I think everyone has an experience as a young person that pushes them over the edge towards adulthood. For Nate, this trip up to his family's remote campsite by himself is just that sort of experience. He learns life lessons and truths about his life, his friend, and even strangers on his journey. We are all the sum of our choices....and Nate has a lot to discover about himself, his parents, and his feelings of guilt about his friend's death. The story is well-written and engrossing. There's action, suspense, and emotion in this story. It definitely kept my attention from start to finish. Nate's journey is more than a physical one. This is such an action-filled, complex story about a young boy facing loss and harsh truths for the first time. Loved it! Tim Wynne-Jones has written several books for young adults and children. I definitely want to read more! **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Candlewick Press via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hristina

    I enjoyed this one a lot. I like fast pace YA, and this one was paced just right for me. The story was really intriguing, I loved the premise, but the execution was amazing too. The writing flowed really well, it had both intense and heartfelt moments, and it brought the atmosphere to life really well. The characters were well developed, Nate was a really great lead and he was so well captures that I couldn’t help but connect with him. This book caught my interest early on, and it didn’t le I enjoyed this one a lot. I like fast pace YA, and this one was paced just right for me. The story was really intriguing, I loved the premise, but the execution was amazing too. The writing flowed really well, it had both intense and heartfelt moments, and it brought the atmosphere to life really well. The characters were well developed, Nate was a really great lead and he was so well captures that I couldn’t help but connect with him. This book caught my interest early on, and it didn’t let go. It’s a very interesting read, definitely an entertaining one. *Copy received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review *Rating: 4/5 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Joy (joyous reads)

    I was able to get through Tim Wynne-Jones’ The Ruinous Sweep with great impatience. It was slow, and frankly, so weird. So I approached this book with trepidation. Thankfully, this was far from his 2018 release. Firstly, it wasn’t as verbose, nor as dense. It was a straight forward story telling that The Ruinous Sweep severely lacked. As well, this novel isn’t as ambitious as that Dante retelling. Four months after his best friend disappeared, Nate is suddenly plagued with nightmares. I was able to get through Tim Wynne-Jones’ The Ruinous Sweep with great impatience. It was slow, and frankly, so weird. So I approached this book with trepidation. Thankfully, this was far from his 2018 release. Firstly, it wasn’t as verbose, nor as dense. It was a straight forward story telling that The Ruinous Sweep severely lacked. As well, this novel isn’t as ambitious as that Dante retelling. Four months after his best friend disappeared, Nate is suddenly plagued with nightmares. Dodge, his best friend, was like a ghost or a restless soul that kept appearing in his dreams, pleading for Nate to find him. It is Spring in northern Ontario and winter has barely left, but he was confident enough in his survival skills to trek through the frozen landscape to the cabins both their families owned. It is where Dodge’s entire family perished and where he hoped to find Dodge. The bodies of his father and his brother were found, frozen and drowned. Dodge’s however, wasn’t. He was meant to go with someone else on this pilgrimage, but when his classmate was grounded, he decided to go on his own without the knowledge of his parents. It was a costly decision that would not only threaten his life, he would also come face to face with a family secret he thought was long buried. He was in a race against a brewing blizzard, and the elements that was far from forgiving. With only two days to do what he set out to do, finding the cabins occupied by escaped convicts was not his idea of a good time. Now, not only is he pressed for time and the storm that was coming, he was also fighting for his life. This was a fast pace read; it took me a day to finish it. Wynne-Jones’ writing didn’t let up from beginning to end. And though, I saw the twist from the get-go, it was still fun to see come to fruition. If you’re looking for an honest to goodness thrilling read, The Starlight Claim fits that bill. Bonus: the author perfectly captures the ambiance of frozen Canada and the coziness (if you can feel cozy whilst being hunted) of the cabin life.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mathilde Paulsen

    The E-Arc The Starlight Claim was kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This has not altered my opinion of the book. I could sum this entire review up in one sentence: I expected more. This did not have enough suspense, enough thrill, enough drive to keep me reading. Sure, it was a fast enough read, but sitting down to actually read it took some time. It was simply not all that exciting. For starters, the book is supposedly a psychological thriller. The only thr The E-Arc The Starlight Claim was kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This has not altered my opinion of the book. I could sum this entire review up in one sentence: I expected more. This did not have enough suspense, enough thrill, enough drive to keep me reading. Sure, it was a fast enough read, but sitting down to actually read it took some time. It was simply not all that exciting. For starters, the book is supposedly a psychological thriller. The only thrilling thing was waiting to see how the day would be saved, because there was never a doubt in my mind that it would be. It was inevitable that Nate would be just fine, which made the whole thing a lot less thrilling. I did enjoy the survival aspect of the book, it was intriguing to see how Nate fended off against mother nature herself. The thing I struggled with was this crew of menacing escapees. They were quite tame and boring in my opinion, they all had big mouths but that was about it. I was never even worried about them. The way the author wrote them paired with how he wrote Nate’s response to their actions simply struck them off the list of things to be worried/excited/intrigued about. The thing I loved about this book was the growth. Both Nate’s growth as a character and the progression of some of the other characters. We see Nate arrive at the cabin, all alone, looking for answers about his best friend Dodge and trying to come to terms with what actually happened. The psychological aspect of the novel was also enjoyable. Nate’s continuing memories of Dodge made Dodge a character of the novel, even though he is never really there. It was interesting to see Nate try to find his own, now that his world had been so thoroughly turned on its head. In summary this book sadly did not make it into my list of favorites. It was entertaining enough, but very forgettable. I simply wish it had had more suspense and thrill to it, since that was what I was expecting. If you’d like to read a book about fending for yourself and trying to become independent, while being imprisoned by a snowstorm in a place where both your neighbors (the escapees) and nature is trying to get rid of you, then this would be a perfect read for you! Also, it is worth noting that this is apparently an intergenerational sequel to the book “The Maestro”. I would definitely recommend reading that first, I have a feeling The Starlight Claim would have been a lot more enjoyable if I had some more backstory!

  5. 4 out of 5

    J.L. Slipak

    MY THOUGHTS: I received this book in exchange for my honest review. This book does have action and adventure, and yes, there’s a mystery surrounding a missing friend. It also is about survival on two plains: the first being survival against bad men; and the next, survival against the weather and weakness. What I liked this book more for was the coming of age, growing up portion, and self-discovery that the MC goes through during his trip up to the campsite; and t MY THOUGHTS: I received this book in exchange for my honest review. This book does have action and adventure, and yes, there’s a mystery surrounding a missing friend. It also is about survival on two plains: the first being survival against bad men; and the next, survival against the weather and weakness. What I liked this book more for was the coming of age, growing up portion, and self-discovery that the MC goes through during his trip up to the campsite; and then, when he gets there and goes through a different discovery–of the truth. How he handles himself under stress is written well, and his reactions and emotions are very relatable. I can see young YA book lovers enjoying this book. The author’s voice gives the story a smooth pace with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end. The book for me was more about choices and their consequences than the action/adventure. The MC’s choices and consequences were spurned on by the action-causing elements such as the convicts and his missing friend.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alison Morquecho

    I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was pretty excited when I got approved for this book. The synopsis seemed really interesting and I haven’t really read a book like this one. I don’t want to say that I was disappointed with the book, but it just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t connect with the main character for some reason. The book interested me enough to find out the end, and I thought the writing was well done, but most of the time I just didn’t real I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was pretty excited when I got approved for this book. The synopsis seemed really interesting and I haven’t really read a book like this one. I don’t want to say that I was disappointed with the book, but it just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t connect with the main character for some reason. The book interested me enough to find out the end, and I thought the writing was well done, but most of the time I just didn’t really care what was going on. It always makes me sad when I don’t absolutely love a book, and it makes me even sadder when I have to review it. We follow our MC Nate, who is planning his yearly trip to the family's cabin with his friend. 4 months earlier his best friend Dodge died along with his father up by the camp. Nate wants to go to the camp and find his best friend because he feels he is not dead. He has not taken his friends' death well and still struggles with it pretty badly. Days before they planned to leave, his friend gets grounded and can’t go. Nate knows Dodge is out there somewhere and decided to brave it alone, but doesn’t tell his mother or father. Nate is hoping for some strange reason that Dodge is just holed up in the family cabin and will surprise him when he gets there. He is surprised, but not by Dodge. He finds out that 2 guys are staying in his family cabin that he has no idea who they are. When he looks closer he sees that he does recognize these men, they are the runaway convicts he saw on tv. Nate has no way of contacting the police or his parents because he has no service. Worse is that there is a horrible snowstorm that makes it harder for him to find help. Throughout the book, Nate has to try to defend himself against these men and try to get some kind of help. He meets someone from his past that he actually has never met and becomes an unlikely ally. Luckily, Nate has been taught all kinds of survival skills from his father and can make it on his own until this snowstorm lifts. Again, this book was full of adventure and survival, which I enjoy, but this book didn’t do it for me. I do recommend trying it out to see if you like it. It was a pretty quick read since the book was so short. If you do read it, please let me know your thoughts down in the comments!   Check out my blog for more reviews. www.readrhapsodizerepeat.com

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    The Starlight Claim is the third ARC from Candlewick Press I’ve been lucky to come by recently, and I must say that I’m really enjoying their titles. Here is a fairly clean book (there’s a little bit of language, but much less than its present YA counterparts, if you’re monitoring that sort of thing) that’s full of excitement. It starts with Nathaniel (Nate) Crow, who is still haunted by the disappearance of his friend, Dodge, after a family boating accident. He had been planning to m The Starlight Claim is the third ARC from Candlewick Press I’ve been lucky to come by recently, and I must say that I’m really enjoying their titles. Here is a fairly clean book (there’s a little bit of language, but much less than its present YA counterparts, if you’re monitoring that sort of thing) that’s full of excitement. It starts with Nathaniel (Nate) Crow, who is still haunted by the disappearance of his friend, Dodge, after a family boating accident. He had been planning to make a trip back to the site (also their families’ camps) with third friend Paul, partly for closure, partly hoping (though it’s a long shot) that they’ll find the body. But when Paul gets grounded, Nate secretly makes the trip alone, though a major storm is on the way. When Nate reaches the camp, he finds it occupied by prison-escapees. And though one becomes an unlikely ally, secrets are exposed, and no one is sure who will make it home alive. I thought this book was nicely paced. The action scenes are intense, and they’re broken up by Nate’s nightmares regarding Dodge and his reminiscing about past interactions with him. It gives him a little more emotional depth, rather than the reader only being thrust in the fight for his survival. I found him to be a sympathetic character and an empathetic one as well: what he chooses when dealing with the escapees threatening his life is pretty remarkable. Other characters added to the overall tone. The parents (there were two, they were alive and present. This sounds random, but in some circles, there has been discussion why there is such a bleak parent picture in current YA literature) were likable and the criminal element was sufficiently menacing for this age (though when the worst of the lot spoke, he sounded an awful lot like a stereotypical apologetic Canadian!) I’d definitely recommend this (and I would also check out more books by Wynne-Jones) book, especially for those seeking younger YA or “boy” books. Bonus points: I cannot fault a book for adding mention of Larry Bird. Thank you to NetGalley and author Tim Wynne-Jones for providing me with this copy to review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    The Starlight Claim was an exciting survival adventure. Nate didn't intend to make the trip to the cabin alone, but when his friend is grounded, he decides not to back out. But a blizzard sets in and in subzero temperatures, Nate must not only survive the weather, but must outwit escapees from a maximum security prison who have taken refuge in his family's cabin. Thanks to his father, Nate is not without resources, both physical and mental. from description: Four months after his best The Starlight Claim was an exciting survival adventure. Nate didn't intend to make the trip to the cabin alone, but when his friend is grounded, he decides not to back out. But a blizzard sets in and in subzero temperatures, Nate must not only survive the weather, but must outwit escapees from a maximum security prison who have taken refuge in his family's cabin. Thanks to his father, Nate is not without resources, both physical and mental. from description: Four months after his best friend, Dodge, disappeared near their families’ camp in a boat accident, Nate is still haunted by nightmares. He’d been planning to make the treacherous trek to the remote campsite with a friend — his first time in winter without his survival-savvy father. But when his friend gets grounded, Nate secretly decides to brave the trip solo in a journey that’s half pilgrimage, half desperate hope he will find his missing friend when no one else could. What he doesn’t expect to find is the door to the cabin flung open and the camp occupied by strangers: three men he’s horrified to realize have escaped from a maximum-security prison. Snowed in by a blizzard and with no cell signal, Nate is confronted with troubling memories of Dodge and a stunning family secret, and realizes that his survival now depends on his wits as much as his wilderness skills. As things spiral out of control, Nate finds himself dealing with questions even bigger than who gets to leave the camp alive. Nate discovers an unexpected ally, but not a benevolent or selfless one. Although the main character is a teenager, I didn't realize at first that this was a YA novel; however, as with any good book, The Starlight Claim will grab your interest and hold it throughout. Read in May; blog review scheduled for Aug. 31, 2019 NetGalley/Candlewick Press YA/Suspense. Sept. 10, 2019. Print length: 240 pages

  9. 5 out of 5

    Janice

    I read this book straight through in one sitting. Here's what I can tell you without ruining the book at all. 16 year old Nate Crow had a best friend named Dodge Hoebeek and the two families built summer cabins next to each other. One day late last fall, Dodge's dad decided, against the advice of almost everyone, that he is going to try to get a fridge up to his camp. Nate is invited along for the adventure, but his father refuses to let him go, claiming that the entire idea is harebrained and m I read this book straight through in one sitting. Here's what I can tell you without ruining the book at all. 16 year old Nate Crow had a best friend named Dodge Hoebeek and the two families built summer cabins next to each other. One day late last fall, Dodge's dad decided, against the advice of almost everyone, that he is going to try to get a fridge up to his camp. Nate is invited along for the adventure, but his father refuses to let him go, claiming that the entire idea is harebrained and much too dangerous. Turns out his dad was right because Mr Hoebeek, Dodge and his little brother died wile attempting to transport the fridge. The trouble is that Dodge's body was never found so when the story starts, Nate is planning a trip back to the camps with his friend Paul... and at some point in their trip, he intends to look for Dodge's dead body. Paul, it turns out, can't go due to his excessive alcohol consumption while attending a party the previous evening, but Nate lies to his parents and says he is going with Paul when really he is travelling by himself. When he arrives at the camp, after a train ride and a very tough trek by snowshoe through the bush, Nate is annoyed and surprised to discover that his family's camp is occupied. His annoyance turns to concern and then fear when he eventually pieces together that the camp is occupied by two criminals from a recent prison break. This story flows easily and quickly. There were a few things that I figured out, but there were also enough surprises to keep me interested. It would pair well with I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    I was hesitant to read this after previously reading Wynne-Jones’ bizarre book entitled The Ruinous Sweep.  However, against prior first impressions I chose to pick up his most recent read, The Starlight Claim, and I am certainly glad I did!  After the disappearance of his best friend, Nate is eager to set out on his first unsupervised camping trip into the Canadian wilderness, hoping to gain closure or answers for himself.  But, when his friend bails at the last second, knowing his parents won’ I was hesitant to read this after previously reading Wynne-Jones’ bizarre book entitled The Ruinous Sweep.  However, against prior first impressions I chose to pick up his most recent read, The Starlight Claim, and I am certainly glad I did!  After the disappearance of his best friend, Nate is eager to set out on his first unsupervised camping trip into the Canadian wilderness, hoping to gain closure or answers for himself.  But, when his friend bails at the last second, knowing his parents won’t let him go entirely alone, Nate decides to lie to his trusting parents in an effort to ensure the trip carries on as planned.  However, upon arriving at his father’s cabin in the dead of winter, it is clear nothing about this trip is going to go as planned.    The Starlight Claim is an extraordinary feat of penmanship.  In a story that allows for minimal character conversing, Wynne-Jones gives readers an engaging and fast-paced novel.  Often, authors rely heavily on conversations within the pages to develop characters, however when the story is limited to a teenager relatively alone in the woods there are marginal opportunities for spoken development, instead forcing the author to show their true talent in character creation.  Well done to Tim Wynne-Jones in creating a teenage character we can simultaneously balk at and root for, as well as giving the reader som serious tips on wilderness survival.    *Disclaimer: A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.  All opinions are my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Energy

    Nate and his friends Dodge and Paul had been planning to hike to Nate's family's cabin for almost a year. Dodge and Nate had met up that way as Dodge's family had a cabin nearby. But then Dodge, Dodge's brother, and father die in a horrific accident on the water, Nate starts to spiral, plagued with nightmares. With the help of some amazing parents, he starts to get better and think about the hike they had all been planning. He and Paul plan to do the hike by themselves, only Paul gets grounded a Nate and his friends Dodge and Paul had been planning to hike to Nate's family's cabin for almost a year. Dodge and Nate had met up that way as Dodge's family had a cabin nearby. But then Dodge, Dodge's brother, and father die in a horrific accident on the water, Nate starts to spiral, plagued with nightmares. With the help of some amazing parents, he starts to get better and think about the hike they had all been planning. He and Paul plan to do the hike by themselves, only Paul gets grounded and cancels the night before. Against his better judgment, Nate decides to go alone. He feels that because Dodge's body was never found, he could still be out there. While it is Spring, the brutal weather brought in by winter hang on tight in their part of Canada, still getting deep into the negatives at night. It's a foolish decision for Nate to go alone, especially if his family's camp isn't how they left it when they closed it up in the Fall. This was a really fun read because once the action started, it was non-stop. Nate was great at thinking on the fly and that's due to his parents teaching him essential survival skills. Even Nate says that his father wasn't the type to just answer questions, he would make Nate puzzle it out, and that proves very helpful for him. The Starlight Claim was well-written, and once I started reading, I found it near impossible to put down. Nicely done!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    3.5 Stars The intergenerational sequel to "The Maestro" and proof that Tim Wynne-Jones hasn't lost the ability to write another tremendous survival/mystery story and bring it into the 21st century where both cellphones and drones exist and criminals do escape from jails via unmarked helicopters. The story of Nate Crow and his pilgrimage to excise the memory of his best friend Dodge Holbeek's untimely death at a remote Northern Ontario lake and to perhaps locate Dodge's unfound body is a com 3.5 Stars The intergenerational sequel to "The Maestro" and proof that Tim Wynne-Jones hasn't lost the ability to write another tremendous survival/mystery story and bring it into the 21st century where both cellphones and drones exist and criminals do escape from jails via unmarked helicopters. The story of Nate Crow and his pilgrimage to excise the memory of his best friend Dodge Holbeek's untimely death at a remote Northern Ontario lake and to perhaps locate Dodge's unfound body is a compelling suspenseful page turner. No end of excitement, but it doesn't have the emotional punch of "The Maestro" which gave birth to Nate's father, Burl and his grandfather Calvin Crow. It definitely helps to have read the two books back to back and definitely brings closure to readers who have wanted to know what happened to the horrifying Cal Crow of the first book. But a couple of things hold it back - first the implausibility of the plot (although the same may be said of the concert pianist in the bush in "The Maestro") and that Nate's coming-of-age story lacks the emotional upheaval of his father Burl's story some twenty-five years earlier in the same setting. However, it's a great boy adventure that fills a definite YA need. Thanks to Candlewick Press for a review copy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    River

    (I won an Advance Reader's Copy from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review) Nate and his friends Paul, and Dodge were supposed to go trekking to a remote campsite - his first time in winter without his father. Four months before the trip is supposed to happen, Dodge disappears in a boating accident on Ghost Lake. When the time arrives, Paul gets grounded and can't go, and Nate decides to make the trip by himself. He is haunted by memories of Dodge, hoping to find hi (I won an Advance Reader's Copy from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review) Nate and his friends Paul, and Dodge were supposed to go trekking to a remote campsite - his first time in winter without his father. Four months before the trip is supposed to happen, Dodge disappears in a boating accident on Ghost Lake. When the time arrives, Paul gets grounded and can't go, and Nate decides to make the trip by himself. He is haunted by memories of Dodge, hoping to find him. What he finds is the place occupied by strangers who have escaped from a maximum security prison. Wondering how they knew where to find the cabin, Nate must now find a place to hide until a blizzard passes. The Starlight Claim is paced well, and is suspenseful and thrilling. A big family secret is revealed, and unexpected things keep popping up, changing the game. Nate is a strong character - smart, and skilled. It's exciting to see how he survives, faces challenges, and tries to keep himself safe, all the while grieving his friend, facing flashbacks, nightmares, and guilt. It's a quick and satisfying read, and if you're an adult who enjoys YA, you won't be disappointed in this one.

  14. 4 out of 5

    BookwormishMe

    Braving the outdoors to head up to his family’s camp in Northern Ontario, Nate has a mission. His friend Dodge went missing several months ago when his family decided to deliver a refrigerator to their own camp, down the road from Nate’s. In a terrible accident, the boat capsized. Dodge’s dad and brother were found dead in the lake, but Dodge never was. Nate is determined to find Dodge. Burl, Nate’s dad, made sure that Nate and his friend Paul were trained and ready to handle anything Braving the outdoors to head up to his family’s camp in Northern Ontario, Nate has a mission. His friend Dodge went missing several months ago when his family decided to deliver a refrigerator to their own camp, down the road from Nate’s. In a terrible accident, the boat capsized. Dodge’s dad and brother were found dead in the lake, but Dodge never was. Nate is determined to find Dodge. Burl, Nate’s dad, made sure that Nate and his friend Paul were trained and ready to handle anything being up at camp alone. Paul has pulled out of the trip, which Nate didn’t tell his dad. So Nate heads up to camp anyway. But what Nate comes across when he gets there, even Burl couldn’t have planned for. I was captivated by The Starlight Claim. Wynne-Jones has created a story that will hold you captive until the last page. Nate is your typical teenager. Dodge as well. They are very real characters encountering extraordinary circumstances. It’s an adventure from start to finish. I would highly recommend this suspense novel to anyone looking for a good read. This review will be posted at BookwormishMe.com close to publication date.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    The Starlight Claim follows Nate, a teenage boy who makes the solo trek to his family’s remote cabin in the Canadian wilderness to connect with his missing best friend, Dodge. Upon arriving, Nate encounters the unexpected including two escaped convicts, an estranged family member, and memories of Dodge. The story is weaved with elements of survival and suspense. This one was difficult for me to get in to. I think a huge part has to do with the fact that I couldn’t relate to any of the characters The Starlight Claim follows Nate, a teenage boy who makes the solo trek to his family’s remote cabin in the Canadian wilderness to connect with his missing best friend, Dodge. Upon arriving, Nate encounters the unexpected including two escaped convicts, an estranged family member, and memories of Dodge. The story is weaved with elements of survival and suspense. This one was difficult for me to get in to. I think a huge part has to do with the fact that I couldn’t relate to any of the characters. The setting was also not relatable, as I have never experienced a harsh winter in the wild. Usually, I can see past a setting, but the description of the camp was a bit jumbled for me. I appreciated the main idea of trying to connect and hold on to the positive memories of a good one. Overall, this book fell short for me, but I do think it could make for a good movie. It is described as a psychological thriller but it’s definitely more suspense. I would recommend this book if you like a wilderness survival story!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hayley

    On a solo trip to the wintry and isolated Ghost Lake, 16 year-old straight arrow Nate discovers that his family’s cabin has been taken over by escaped convicts. I have been a fan of Mr Wynne-Jones’s earlier sophisticated, elegantly written, texturally complex books, The Emperor of Any Place and The Ruinous Sweep, so I was somewhat taken aback by the prosaic and straightforward nature of this book. There’s nothing much wrong with it, it’s a reasonably decent adventure novel, but it just seems so much less t On a solo trip to the wintry and isolated Ghost Lake, 16 year-old straight arrow Nate discovers that his family’s cabin has been taken over by escaped convicts. I have been a fan of Mr Wynne-Jones’s earlier sophisticated, elegantly written, texturally complex books, The Emperor of Any Place and The Ruinous Sweep, so I was somewhat taken aback by the prosaic and straightforward nature of this book. There’s nothing much wrong with it, it’s a reasonably decent adventure novel, but it just seems so much less than his previous novels. See my full review here. Thanks to Candlewick for the review copy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    This was a quick read but a very exciting one and should especially appeal to young teens. There are tense moments, which the author builds up to with his descriptive language, and the plotline is believable, even with situations that you might not think are realistic. The author points out at the end of his book that they are based upon truth and we all know that truth is stranger than fiction much of the time. The plot takes place in Canada, during the month of March, and a young man is torn b This was a quick read but a very exciting one and should especially appeal to young teens. There are tense moments, which the author builds up to with his descriptive language, and the plotline is believable, even with situations that you might not think are realistic. The author points out at the end of his book that they are based upon truth and we all know that truth is stranger than fiction much of the time. The plot takes place in Canada, during the month of March, and a young man is torn between his buddy's death, the painful and self-realization of his buddy's true character, and his own survival as he faces an unexpected challenge during his first winter camping trip at the family cabin.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michael Stewart

    A very enjoyable read. I read a lot of YA, and Starlight Claim differentiates itself in a number of ways. It's a multigenerational book, with characters fully developed across these generations. It's a hyper-realistic novel, with a bit of a slow burn to start, very real stakes, very believable escalations and a well-paced climax. Quintessentially Canadian, 'real' is perhaps the best adjective I can summon. I’ve been Nate, alone in the North with nothing but my wits. I’ve known Burls and Cals, an A very enjoyable read. I read a lot of YA, and Starlight Claim differentiates itself in a number of ways. It's a multigenerational book, with characters fully developed across these generations. It's a hyper-realistic novel, with a bit of a slow burn to start, very real stakes, very believable escalations and a well-paced climax. Quintessentially Canadian, 'real' is perhaps the best adjective I can summon. I’ve been Nate, alone in the North with nothing but my wits. I’ve known Burls and Cals, and I’ve disliked a Dodge. I liked Wynne-Jones's spare writing, his ability to tease out specific aspects in the descriptions, and his development of the likeable Nate. A moving coming of age tale, which transported me into the woods with all of its depth of shadows.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jenn (The Book Refuge)

    ***This was provided for me as an eARC from NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.*** I was just so bored… I love survival novels especially in an Alaskan or Canadian situation. It brings me back to reading Hatchet for the first time as a teen. But I just could not connect with the characters in this one. I got 20% in before I even knew what the point of the story was. I didn't like Nate, I didn't really understand the situation he was in. The survivor aspect of the novel was ***This was provided for me as an eARC from NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.*** I was just so bored… I love survival novels especially in an Alaskan or Canadian situation. It brings me back to reading Hatchet for the first time as a teen. But I just could not connect with the characters in this one. I got 20% in before I even knew what the point of the story was. I didn't like Nate, I didn't really understand the situation he was in. The survivor aspect of the novel was just not for me this time. I needed a more intriguing main character so that I can attach myself to them and live through their experiences. It just wasn't there for me. I would normally not rate this, because it was a DNF for me, but I'll give it 3 stars to be fair. It just wasn't for me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    An exciting page-turner that is difficult to put down. Haunted by the disappearance of his best friend Dodge, sixteen year old Nate sets off alone through the frigid Canadian winter to his family's wilderness cabin. Here, he confronts memories of Dodge while fighting for his survival against the elements and a band of escaped convicts. The book is suspenseful and well-plotted with beautiful, spare prose. Flashbacks are a nice counterweight to rising action, and Nate emerges a changed character. An exciting page-turner that is difficult to put down. Haunted by the disappearance of his best friend Dodge, sixteen year old Nate sets off alone through the frigid Canadian winter to his family's wilderness cabin. Here, he confronts memories of Dodge while fighting for his survival against the elements and a band of escaped convicts. The book is suspenseful and well-plotted with beautiful, spare prose. Flashbacks are a nice counterweight to rising action, and Nate emerges a changed character. Well-balanced, riveting, and satisfying. Now I need to read the Maestro!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    4.5 stars Enjoyed the overall story and got sucked in to the point where I was reading it here and there whenever I had a chance. The main character of Nate is very likable, and I’m curious about the other book about his dad. I liked the short chapters and short length of the book itself. I didn’t care for the parts where the Dodge situation was moving into where it was creepy. I think that could’ve been handled better. Otherwise, it’s a good read! FYI there’s profanity and violence in 4.5 stars Enjoyed the overall story and got sucked in to the point where I was reading it here and there whenever I had a chance. The main character of Nate is very likable, and I’m curious about the other book about his dad. I liked the short chapters and short length of the book itself. I didn’t care for the parts where the Dodge situation was moving into where it was creepy. I think that could’ve been handled better. Otherwise, it’s a good read! FYI there’s profanity and violence in here

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lydia Lukidis

    Author Tim Wynne-Jones creates another masterful work of literature in his new YA psychological thriller, The Starlight Claim. Fast-paced and filled with suspense egging the reader to keep turning the page, the protagonist Nate finds himself in an unbelievable situation where he comes face to face with convicts who escaped maximum-security prison. Trust me, you won't be able to put the book down! Also check out his Governor General award-winning novel, The Maestro.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Caity

    This was a captivating book that was hard to put down. The main character was well done as was the setting. There were a few elements that I felt could have been delved into more but the book wrapped up rather quickly. I was left wanting one or two more chapters. That said I enjoyed the writing style and way the story unfolded overall.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    This one was a really hard one to get into, and because of that, I had to DNF it. The dialogue felt a little all over the place, and I couldn't figure out what exactly was going on.  I was hooked with the synopsis and the craziness that he would've came across later on, but there just wasn't a way for me to skip the first chunk of the book to get to that point.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anita Daher

    Devoured this one in two days. I fell in love with Ghost Lake when I read the Maestro years ago. How wonderful to go back with Burl's son Nate...in a terrifying, frigid-Canadian-wilderness-will-he-survive kind of way :-) Thrilling, moving, and thoroughly satisfying.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathie

    It's been a very long time since a story had me so hooked. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next to Nate. Although it's considered a YA read, I think it could be a great upper middle grade book for kids who like fast-paced outdoor adventure survival stories with lots of danger.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    This was a teen book, but actually a good story line with a good main character. So, if you like snow and living by your wits, you'll like this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Cover2CoverBlog

    Coming soon...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lydia

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

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