3 out of 4 stars
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Strong Heart by Charlie Sheldon is a magical story of legend and family. The main story revolves around Tom and Sarah. Sarah is a troubled young girl who is dropped off without warning at her biological grandfather, Tom’s house. Tom didn’t know she existed until that night, but he lets her stay with him. Tom had been planning on going on a hiking trip with his Native American friend William and his daughter Myra to return an artifact to Tom’s grandfather’s grave. They decide to take Sarah with them instead of canceling the trip. While they are hiking, Sarah goes missing and mysteriously reappears. They later return to try to find the artifact Sarah lost while she was missing. While in the woods, they come across people from the Buckhorn Corporation who want to start mining in the area and have a confrontation.
The secondary story in the book centers around a vision Sarah has while she is missing. She describes a journey she goes on after being taken by a group looking for wives to take back to their home. They spend most of their time on a canoe but stop on islands occasionally. Along the way, they deal with many challenges, including wild animals, death, injury, leadership struggles, and running out of food. It sounds like a dream, but it was very real to Sarah.
What I liked most about the book was the debate between science and legend and how long people have lived in North America. Myra firmly believes in the legends of her people. Sergei, a scientist William knows, firmly believes in facts and data. They have heated discussions that really made me think. Can everything be proven with data? How do we know things just haven’t been discovered yet?
What I disliked most about the book was the part of the book that focussed on Sarah’s vision. It was very unrealistic and seemed to drag on forever. I think it would have been more interesting if it wasn’t so long. There was also a gory part where a character’s head gets ripped off. It seemed unnecessary. It could have been told without being so graphic.
I would give Strong Heart 3 out of 4 stars. I couldn’t give it a 4 because I was bored for a good portion of the book. I wouldn’t give it a 2 though because I enjoyed the main characters and wanted to find out what happened to them.
I would recommend Strong Heart to people who like reading about legend and can suspend belief when reading a story. People who don’t like unrealistic stories may not want to read it.
Strong Heart is well written, and I didn’t notice any errors. It is a very interesting story that makes you think. If you read it and want to read more about the characters you should definitely read the next book in the series, Adrift. I enjoyed that book even more than Strong Heart.
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