Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Roland Smith
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
In the third book of the Peak series, Peak Marcello has been invited to Burma to relax and hang out with Alessia, daughter of the French ambassador and a friend from a previous climb. Alessia has more than just hanging out in mind, however, she wants to summit Hkakabo Razi, which could be the tallest summit in Southeast Asia. Peak, Alessia, her bodyguard Ethan, and a new friend, Dr. Freestone, have to survive the jungle of Burma before they can even make it to the base of the mountain. Their journey to the base of the mountain is rife with danger and mishap, but it seems that once on the mountain things will get better. However, Peak's estranged father shows up, and Peak has to wonder if famed climber Joshua Wood wants to actually spend time with his son or use him in a publicity grab once more. Peak manages to summit the mysterious Hkakabo Razi, and also manages to make breakthroughs in his relationship with his father and his understanding of the world of professional climbers and adrenaline junkies.
This is a great follow-up to the previous books starring Peak Marcello. Smith's writing style has a straightforward, no-nonsense way to it, which might not appeal to all readers but is sure to appeal to those who are more interested in the facts and gritty truths about mountain climbing, life in Southeast Asia, and wilderness survival in general. The story progresses differently from typical story arcs, but still has moments of tension, drama, and excitement. There is also a bit of romance for readers who like that, and some feel-good family togetherness for those who appreciate more emotional depth. All in all, this is a good book for anyone who wants to learn more about climbing or Asian jungles, or for anyone who just likes an exciting adventure.
*Contains mild language and moderate violence.