Marchez! — A race for survival When Rhodes Delaney challenged James Alderston Whitbury III to a grudge match she chose the most grueling of all tests — the Iditarod: a lethal dogsled race across the perilous wastelands of barren Alaska. Through life-sapping storms, howling blizzards, and deadly sub-zero temperatures, the racers must struggle over treacherous mountain passes where the sun’s rays never reach, cross frozen rivers risking the icy torrents below, and pass enraged bull moose, ravenous bears — and the world’s largest, hungriest wolf pack.
In Iditarod, André Jute puts the reader’s feet on the ice and on the runners for twelve hundred hazardous miles of the last great race across the last dangerous frontier as the exhausted bodies and hallucinating minds of the contestants battle towards the moment of truth — when Man and Nature exact the ultimate reckoning from each other. Iditarod is at once a love story, a great adventure, and a brilliant word portrait of the world’s most spectacular and least-known land. First published in 1990, Iditarod is fully revised for this 21st anniversary edition by CoolMain Press.
This review is going to be a little different than most of my reviews. Just hang with me and we’ll see how it goes.
What I liked about the book:
- The author apparently did quite a bit of research about the race. I knew next to nothing about the Iditarod, and I learned several fascinating facts from this book.
- The author did a great job of putting the reader in the story and making us wonder and worry about a racer getting eaten by wolves or trampled by a moose.
- (This one is a bit of a spoiler. Sorry.) I liked that Rhodes and James acknowledged that although they had developed feelings for each other, they realized that they needed to spend some time together under normal conditions before declaring their undying devotion.
- There was a bit of humor in the story. It wasn’t just dry facts and drama. Although there was plenty of drama.
What I didn’t like about the book:
- The back story on the wolves was thrown in haphazardly between chapters of the main story, and while I could see where it was going, and it eventually tied in, it was confusing. And kind of weird, really.
- The whole storyline of James and Rhodes erstwhile relationship, especially before the race didn’t seem realistic to me. I think part of it was the dialogue. I have a thing about dialogue in books. Theirs just didn’t seem right.
- There were some things that didn’t make sense or weren’t wrapped up. Like who was sabotaging Rhodes’ dogs. She thought it was James, but it didn’t seem like something he would do. We’re never told what happened or where the distraction came from.
The bottom line:
This is a nice little adventure/romance if you don’t take it too seriously. You can learn a little about the Iditarod, while staying warm and cozy in the comfort of your favorite reading chair.
About the book
Title: IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth
Author: André Jute
Publisher: CoolMain Press
Release date: June 15, 2011 (2nd Edition)
Where I got the book: Free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review