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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

A boy hunter, the president of the United States, and a terrorist plot converge to create an original and thrilling tale of wilderness survival Every boy in Oskari's remote mountain village must face a ritual hunt on his thirteenth birthday--the Trial--to become a man. It's Oskari’s turn, and whatever animal he kills--if he succeeds--will symbolize who he will become. But the idea of spending a…

Big Game

by Dan Smith

Overall Book Review:

What makes a man? What kind of man will I be?  Those two questions solely occupy thirteen year old Oskari’s mind as he sets off into the woods of his Finnish homeland.  Oskari never imagined that when he started his coming of age journey alone that it would be complicated by the arrival of a crash-landed President.

Dan Smith’s new novel is an action-packed page-turner from start of finish.  The book moves quickly and leaves the reader in awe at what they experience with the characters in the single day and night in which the story takes place. The author nicely counterbalances this action with authentic emotion and believable main characters that leave the reader pulling for them at every step.  With his characters, the author gives the reader a wonderful contrast between the old world, through Oskari, and the new, through the President.  Oskari and the President are as unlikely a pair as there ever was, but it is only through working together, blending their worlds, and forming an unusual friendship that they can hope to survive.  Big Game is a story that any adventure-seeking reader will thoroughly enjoy.

Review of an Advance Review Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Chicken House

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:10 religious exclamations; 41mild obscenities; 2 anatomical terms.

Violence/Gore:Many references to hunting/killing animals; many verbal threats and implied violent acts (human and animal directed); character shoots arrow at animal shaped target; reference to child being beat up by other children; ceremonial site full of animal skulls; adult nearly knocks child over; characters almost get into a fist fight; characters fire guns in the air; character crashes ATV; character sustains minor cuts and bruises; character shoots another; plane crashes; adult and child jump off a waterfall; character injures foot kicking rock; several instances of a child pointing a loaded bow at adults; character hits adult with rifle; adults engage in standoff with guns; reference to an character being shot protecting another character; characters murders; mildly graphic description of a severed animal head; character beats another; character stuffed in an ice chest; adults fire guns at child;  adults try and throw child from helicopter; character falls from great height; character sustains minor injuries; character nearly drowns; extended scene of adult and child swimming through crashed plane with mildly graphic descriptions of bodies and destruction; characters caught in explosion; several instances of adult and child being shot at; child shoots adult with arrow; character lights fuel on fire.

Sex/Nudity:Vague references to male anatomy

Mature Subject Matter:

Betrayal, death, hunting, loyalty, friendship, meaning of manhood, conspiracy, bullying.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Reference to adults drinking at lodge.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I always say that I love to read and that books are my passion, but as I have grown a little older, I have come to realize that isn’t entirely true. I do love reading, but my true passion is stories. For as long as I can remember I have been completely enthralled with a good story, no matter the medium: books, theater, movies/TV shows–even a few video games (yes, I am a nerd).