The first in an exciting new series for children from ex-SAS officer and bestselling adult author Chris Ryan. Five kids: Alex, Li, Paulo, Hex and Amber, are marooned on a desert island where they must face the ultimate test - survival! Killer komodo dragons, sharks and modern day pirates are amongst the dangers they face. Can the five bond as a team - and stay alive?
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(198mm x 129mm x 19mm)
Publisher: Random House Children's Publishers UK
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Alex, Li, Paulo, Hex and Amber are five teenagers on board the sail-training ship Phoenix, somewhere in the Indonesian Archipelago. Their constant bickering and horseplay whilst on watch leads to them being sent to their cabins by their exasperated team leader. The five do not take their punishment on the chin but sneak food out of the galley and have a picnic in a little boat tied to the back of the ship. After a post-feast snooze they wake to discover that they are adrift and that the Phoenix is nowhere in sight. They endeavour to find dry land, but when they arrive at a remote island their troubles are only just beginning.... This is a great adventure novel. Never mind that the teenaged characters are a collection of 'types' - the Anglo-Chinese martial arts expert and the Latin smoothie for example - because this story is about teamwork not individuals. The group's difficulties arise because they defy authority and are unable to get along with each other. Their survival at sea and on land depends on their being able to put aside their differences and pool their various skills for the common good. Ryan never lets us imagine that this transformation will be easy; all through their ordeal the team ethic is shown to be fragile, able to be fractured by the whims of any one of the group. The author drops these kids into a world full of harsh realities where hostility, whether that of the natural environment or of men, is never far away. It is a violent book but, refreshingly, that violence is not trivialized. If a character is bitten by a komodo dragon or shot, then painful death is a very real possibility unless help can be obtained quickly. The book is at its best when the battles fought by the youngsters are with themselves, each other and their unforgiving environment. For this reason the encounter with pirates (no romantic, yo-hoing figures these, but cold killers), although undoubtedly exciting, detracts slightly from the rest of the tale. Ryan closes this breathless book with his ten tips for surviving in the tropics. Take note - you never know when you might need them! Ages 10+ (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Chris Ryan
Chris Ryan was born in 1961 in a village near Newcastle. In 1984 he joined the SAS. During his ten years in the Regiment, he was involved in overt and covert operations and was also Sniper team commander of the anti-terrorist team. During the Gulf War, Chris was the only member of an eight-man team to escape from Iraq, of which three colleagues were killed and four captured. It was the longest escape and evasion in the history of the SAS. For this he was awarded the Military Medal. During Ryan's last two years in the Regiment he selected and trained potential SAS recruits, he left the SAS in 1994 and is now the author of many bestselling thrillers for adults, as well as the ALPHA FORCE series for younger readers. His work in security takes him around the world. He has also appeared in a number of TV programmes, including HUNTING CHRIS RYAN, PUSHED TO THE LIMIT (Toughest Families) and TERROR ALERT (Sky TV, 2004).