Reminds me of the Hunger Games – 4 stars
Our main character, a boy named Reid, is the victim of a kidnapping in the woods in the middle of the night. After he frees himself from the bindings that hold his legs, he sets about exploring the paths of the forest. It isn’t long until he comes upon a young, dead boy tied to a tree. This really freaks him out, especially when he finds he has stepped in the boy’s blood and entrails spread across the path.
When he hears a howl, he soon realizes that he's not alone in the woods. He thinks it's an animal, remembering the camping trips with his father years earlier, only to discover it's a human dressed in black that is pursuing him. He runs on. Another child steps out onto the path and is killed by this hunter.
Reid runs and tries to survive in the forest throughout the whole book, not knowing why he's there and who's responsible for him being there. Eventually he's weary, starved, and thirsty. He manages to alleviate some of this at times.
During his exploration of the forest, he tries to stay one-step ahead of the “hunters,” discovering there are three of them that he knows about. His travels, looking for a means to escape, also bring him into contact with other kids that are in the same shape he is. At first, no one is willing to trust each other. They all live in terror of falling victim to the hunters that are always pursuing them.
Finally a friendship emerges among some of the group and they set out together to find a way to escape, only to have their hopes dashed every time they get close.
The author does a good job of drawing the characters; a couple I really liked. There's also plenty of action and gore in this book, enough to keep you turning the pages with the element of danger always lurking nearby.
However, there's no real conclusion to this story and we don’t get to find out too much about any of the children stranded in the forest, other than Reid when he thinks back on his life. Perhaps the author intends to address these issues in the next book. I think, if that's the plan, the author ended this one in an appropriate place.
I’m giving this 4 stars because there are a few type-o’s.