Friday, June 17, 2016

Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey

Title: Sabotaged (Alaskan Courage Series #5), Author: Dani Pettrey  Sabotaged is the fifth and final book in Dani Pettrey’s Alaskan Courage series. Like the other entries in the series, it is a mixture of romance and suspense with a heavy dose of Christianity. The couple at the center of this entry in the series are Kirra Jacobs and Reef McKenna.

Kirra and Reef have known each other since childhood but were never exactly friends. She was a “goody-two-shoes” and apparently rather bossy while Reef was the resident bad boy. Plus, Reef once dated Kirra’s cousin Meg. Now they’re both working search-and-rescue for the Iditarod race. When Kirra’s uncle Frank, a competitor in the race, goes missing Kirra is determined to go looking for him. Reef is determined not to let her go alone. Reef and Kirra quickly discover why Frank has veered off course. His daughter Meg has been kidnapped and the kidnappers are threatening to hurt her unless Frank does what they want. Kirra and Reef must find Meg in order to convince Frank not to do whatever it is the kidnappers are demanding.

I didn’t enjoy this as much as the other books in the series. As noted earlier, Sabotaged could best be described as Christian fiction with elements of suspense and romance. As to the suspense element, this definitely wasn’t an edge of your seat kind of book. The main twist was evident a mile away. Still it was good enough to keep me reading. And as to the Christian element, it was heavy handed and overly simplistic, but I expected that having read the first four books in the series. This isn’t a book I would give to someone who is questioning their faith as it is not inspiring in that way. That being said, it is refreshing to read about characters who have a faith system.

The romance is where the story really fell apart for me. It happened too quickly and didn’t ring true. Sure Reef and Kirra knew each other as kids but they didn’t have much a relationship then, certainly not a romantic one and it didn’t seem like much of a friendship either. Now this a romance so of course they were going to end up together but the whole novel takes place over the course of a week so for them to be madly in love by the end just didn’t feel real on any level.

What I really wanted from Sabotaged and didn't get was more about the Iditarod. What largely drew me to this series in the first place was the Alaskan setting. Strangely there wasn’t much about the race in the book beyond the fact that it exists. Nor for that matter, was there much Alaska at all here. I just didn’t get a strong sense of place the way I have with some of the earlier books in the series. In contrast, I recall Submerged having a good sense of life in a small Alaskan time. I have never lived in Alaska so I don’t know if was true-to-life but at least it read like a tangible place. Here the Iditarod and Alaska served mostly as a plot devices which is a shame.

In sum, Sabotaged was definitely not my favorite but I enjoyed the Alaskan Courage series overall.

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