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The Hike
by Drew Magary
Viking, $26.00, 278pp
Published: August 2016

Have a phobia?  It’s covered here! 

All the scary stuff from axe-murderers to zombies…

Attack dogs?  Check.
Chainsaws?  Check.
Creepy old guys?  Check.
Murderous demons?  Check.
Nasty, chitinous bugs?  Check.
Hungry wolves?  Check.

I have just read the most engrossing, entertaining, and just downright weird story of my reading history.  Drew Magary took me down a path of pure, nail-biting suspense.  I haven’t had this much fun and adventure since I followed Alice down the rabbithole when I was 17!

Ben is an ordinary (maybe a bit boring) guy with comfortable life and a family he loves.  One day, before a business meeting, he goes on a short and easy hike.  Little does he know it will lead him down a path where he has to fight physically and mentally for his life and overcome his real-life fears.

With help from a truly crabby crab and the people and monsters he meets along the way, he learns surprising things about his will to survive and to what lengths he’ll go to return to his family.  He overcomes obstacles by using his strength and his wits and the magical tools he gathers along the way.  He kills a man to keep himself from becoming the main course at a dinner.  He teaches a giant that there are tastier meats than humans.  He learns that America was really discovered by the Spaniards.  He finds that faith will take him a lot farther than he ever believed – and that the Path may eventually lead him home.

The chapters are short, intense reads that enthralled and enticed me to continue to the next and the next and the next.  Drew Magary’s storytelling had power over me; I actually found myself reminding Ben to try his tools, advising him to stay on the path, and cheering him on to victory.  I even held my breath through the scary parts. 

This novel ended exactly as it should have:  unsettling, thought provoking, and oh so perfect! ~~ Marie Davis

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