Indiana author, Colleen Coble, needs a "heads-up" for the men. She's not just writing romance for the ladies, even though most women will love her books, including "Alaska Twilight" for that aspect. Coble mixes it all together. Kings and Queens, if you like rugged wilderness nature, and/or complicated mystery, then here is a book to read. The setting alone gives the satisfaction of a travel book, with its scenes intricately described. Readers can almost smell the pine needles...
and bear scat.
The mystery involves a family house fire accident and a cave collapse that causes death. When Haley returns to the Alaskan area where all this happened in the lives of her family, new events take place that begin to weave a tapestry of clues. Not all is revealed about the truth. Haley struggles with deciding if she wants to know all the truth.
The adventure takes place during a summer in Alaska with a crew thrown together to document human interaction with bears. A TV nature/animal star seeks a new documentary, a local biologist (Tank who looks the Paul Bunyan type)who studies bears, Haley the still photographer, camera crew, and Grandma Agusta (author) all converge on the Alaskan bear population for each their own reasons. Often their personal purposes clash, but the summer must go on. I learned more about bears than I'll ever use the rest of my life, but it was a pleasant education while reading about the story characters that loved them and thrived due to them.
The family connections and personal relationships of the characters in this small village area in Alaska required me to keep a paper handy as a sort of genealogy chart. Nothing like small town backwoods Alaskan life for intimate interaction.
For the Christian reader, you'll find the morals of several of the main characters either near perfect, or flawed and forgiven. As it should be. However, in the same fashion as slipping in the nature qualities, and the mystery clues, author, Colleen Coble, integrates Christian values as a natural part of certain people. Just like real life. No preaching, just the beliefs of a few, some willing to share openly, others, reservedly; like frosting between cake layers, good but not showy.
I may get comments from this observation, but I see Coble's Christian characters' build and interaction (with life and others) somewhat similar to the many earthy stories by Scottish writer George MacDonald.
Coble has a way of presenting many clues and situations. They must be woven together to see any kind of full picture so guessing the who-dun-it prior to her revealing it comes as a near impossibility. Good for mystery lovers. The action is intense at times (attacks by bear, fire, water, gun, and accidents). Good for suspense fans. A romantic situation develops, but it's an impossible mix. Good for the heart-throbs. Travel and nature fanatics are covered throughout the book.
Sounds a bit like a review of a blockbuster movie--right? Well, that's the way it reads. It could be a movie. In the written form, Colleen Coble has provided the film footage of Alaska. Read, enjoy, and above all, when they arrive in your presence...don't feed the bears.