"It couldn't be Vexel, could it?"
Again, they heard more rustling in the woods ...
they knew it was getting closer.
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 a nd 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
At sixteen years of age, Savi (Savannah) has been through a lot. An injury dashed her dreams of competing in the Olympics and left her with a slight limp. She still plans on having fun at the adventure camp though. After witnessing how a car barely slows down long enough for a girl to scramble out and crumble in the dirt, Savi comforts and befriends Jade. And soon becomes friends with Rico, but it doesn’t look like she’ll get along with Conner. He doesn’t pass up a chance to tease her about her limp. This could complicate things when they have to all ride together for the overnight white-water rafting trip. Savi is determined to enjoy the trip even if she has to share a raft with Conner. What was supposed to be an exciting ride becomes a disaster when the boat overturns and their adult guide is swept away, leaving them alone in the wilderness, on the wrong side of the river. Right after the accident, the group dynamics come into play. Each of the characters have assets and weaknesses. At first you’d expect them to all pull together. Most people do. But when the going gets tough, you could see it starting. The self doubt. The lack of trust in each other. And it’s compounded by the local legend. The locals claim the woods belong to Vexel, a legendary beast who protects his territory. With night approaching they use what they have to make camp and huddle in the dark. And this is where the mysterious hunter finds them. He offers what he has in supplies and warns them to get to the crossing point on the river before the 31st. At that time, the dam opens and they won’t be able to cross, trapping them with Vexel. All of these teens must face their own inner demons, conquer their doubts, and find hidden strengths while learning to work as a team. All of this while attempting to allude a ferocious predator. The author did a wonderful job of putting you in the moment, feeling what the characters felt. My apprehension grew along with the teens as Vexel made its presence known and began to stalk them. There were some very scary scenes. Not gross, but hair raising ones. At the end of the book, I still wasn’t quite sure what the beast was and thought that was very creative of the author. I drew my own conclusions and pictured many things. If I ever got lost in the woods, I’d like these resourceful teens by my side. They come across as genuine to a fault. The author puts his characters in many precarious situations as they struggle to survive. I can only hope I’d do so well. And as for the mysterious hunter. I’d like to know more about him. A book about his history with the beast, Vexel, and why he’s so obsessed with killing it would be exciting. While tagged for middle grade and young adult readers, I got a kick out of it and recommend it to older readers too.