The fifth novel in Dani Pettrey’s Alaskan Courage series, Sabotaged, rounds out the story of the McKenna clan with a new mystery to solve and everyone on board for the ride.
As the famous Iditarod begins, Kirra’s beloved uncle, a musher, disappears, her cousin is kidnapped, and the fate of the Alaskan wilderness is held in the balance. Kirra and fellow search-and-rescue team member Reef McKenna race to solve the mystery. With a gunman chasing them across Alaska, extreme environmentalists on the loose, and lives on the line, Reef and Kirra learn more about each other with each step to learning more about her cousin’s kidnapping.
Reef and Kirra are interesting characters, and I’ve enjoyed how they have been interwoven into previous Alaskan Courage books. I identify with Kirra because it could also be said of me that I grew up as the “goody-two-shoes” girl. And, ironically, Reef reminded me a lot of my popular, adventure loving brother who wasn’t always on the straight and narrow.
The plot is packed with mystery and some action, as Reef and Kirra race to save her cousin and their beloved Alaskan wilderness. Sometimes the plot became almost redundant, as the two spent most of their time driving or interviewing potential suspects. But as a whole, it was well thought-out and an interesting take on the vulnerabilities of people, passionate environmentalists and those who are out for revenge.
However, I was somewhat disappointed in this last Alaskan Courage book for two main reasons: I would have loved more history and information about the Iditarod. I learned a little, I suppose, but one of the reasons I loved Submerged (Book 1) was because I learned so much about the connection between Alaska and Russia and the history therein. There was such rich opportunity to share more of the culture, history etc. of the Iditarod, but I came away without that.
The second reason, and more integral to the book, was that I didn’t feel Reef and Kirra changed, evolved, grew, etc. at all. Now, if you have read the previous books, you’d have seen how Reef has been changing for some time. But as a stand-alone, you don’t get that at all in Sabotaged. It’s more like both Reef and Kirra are discovering just how much he has changed. That made the story fall flat for me.
I wanted to know more about Kirra, to see her struggles, her personality, not just because of a trauma in her past, but because of who she is as a person. Like I said, I identify with her. But I didn’t feel like she was fully explored and rounded out as a character.
Overall though, I love the Alaskan Courage series, Sabotaged included. I look forward to seeing what new book Pettrey has in store for us next!
I received a complimentary copy of Sabotaged from Bethany House Publishers, but I was not otherwise compensated for this review. All writing, thoughts, and opinions are solely mine.