Back Before Dark, Code of Silence Series #2
Sometimes Promises are Impossible to Keep!
Back Before Dark
A Code of Silence Novel #2
By Tim Shoemaker
It seemed like a promise easy to keep - to get home before dark after a quick run to WalMart. But some promises can't be kept no matter how badly you want to keep them.
When a good samaritan attempt turns into a kidnapping no one gets home before dark. What's worse Cooper can't remember the license plate number exactly and he blames himself for Gordy's kidnapping and the kidnapper's disappearance.
Cooper is determined to find his cousin. Even when everyone else gives up hope of finding Gordy alive Cooper knows that he is still alive. But Cooper's determination is endangering not only him, but Hiro and Lunk as well. And how far is Cooper willing to go to rescue his cousin?
Back Before Dark is edge of your seat excitement from the opening line. But valuable messages about safety and crossing certain lines are delivered in a subtle yet effective manner. This entertaining novel will keep you guessing until the kidnapper is revealed. And then you'll be hoping against hope that Gordy and Copper will be rescued in time. But time is short and the kidnapper is determined to leave no one alive that can identify him. Sometimes praying is all you can do.
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher ZonderKidz and DJC Communications in exchange for my honest review.
July 20, 2013
Keeps you on Pins & Needles
Cooper, Hiro, and Gordy return with their new friend, Lunk in this nail-biting adventure. The four friends are hanging out in a park when Gordy gets kidnapped. The others chase down several theories and even try a few ill-advised pranks to find him.
The story is told in omniscient POV, making for interesting reading as we get to see what each of the main characters, as well as the kidnapper is thinking.
I'd like to say I couldn't put the book down, but a couple of times, I couldn't handle any more tension and suspense. I had to quit reading. This book is every parent's nightmare as told through the kids' point of view with realistic consequences for poor judgment and bad decisions. It kept my emotions roiled all the way through until I was crying at the climax.
The discussion questions and tips for staying safe at the end make this a great book for parents to read and discuss with their children.
Tim Shoemaker is at the top of my list of favorite middle-grade authors. Can't wait to read the next book in the series.
August 29, 2013
An exciting sequel to Code of Silence!
Once again we return to northern Illinois to the adventurous world of Cooper, Gordy, and Hiro. I hadn't really taken a look at the back cover in a few weeks, so I dove straight into the book unaware of what was going to happen. Within pages, the new mystery and thrill had begun.
In this installment, Lunk has officially been added to Coop's circle of friends. He is a great addition to the group in Back Before Dark primarily because in the long absence of Gordy, Coop needed someone. Lunk really made an effort to change and I adored his loyalty to Coop. While he still has some personal flaws, he is a very interesting character to read about.
Hiro was and is my favorite character so far in the series. She reminds me a lot of myself in many ways. I like how Shoemaker has made Hiro the "Jiminy Cricket" of the group. She's very by the book and probably the most responsible. I constantly wanted to high-five Hiro's efforts to keep Coop in line.
I would hate to say too much and spoil such a great mystery book, so I'll keep this brief. Shoemaker does an excellent job with the pacing of events, character development, and plot depth. I recommend this book to boys, although girls will enjoy it too, anywhere from 12+. There is a dark undertone mentioned concerning Gordy's abduction, so parents might want to take a look at this first. I look forward to the next book in the series.
I received this book from DJC Communications in return for an honest review of my opinions, thanks!
June 13, 2013
Tear Jerker (I cry easily)
Four friends pedal as fast as they can to make it home before dark, when they see a backpack on top of a van. Gordy, wanting to offer his assistance, races to inform the person. Right before there eyes, in broad daylight, their friend is abducted by a masked assailant. Cooper, chasing after the van, tries to keep up but can't out pedal the car. Hours elapse into days without further news of Gordy. Though the police are doing all they can, Cooper and the gang turn to their own investigative methods.
The author created a strong and unique plot like I have never seen before. The cast was well described throughout the story. With the characters many different personalities they added a lot of dimension. The strong emotions that were presented throughout this book were so real. It was heartbreaking seeing how Cooper handled his grief, but beautiful at the same time. His love for his cousin was so compelling, though it drove him to do some reckless things.
It was beautiful to see the deep relationships with Jesus these teenagers had. While I shared Coopers grief, sympathized with Lunk's hard lifestyle, or Gordy's terrifying ordeal you would easily find me in tears. This was a very emotional book. I enjoyed all the suspense, action, mystery, lessons, and tears that went with reading this book.
Though the book spanned only a couple of days it felt much longer to me. I would not say that the story was dragged on, but the amount of action that took place made the time frame seem longer than reality.
I loved how though the author intended this book to be read by boys and I was able to enjoy it all the same. I would give Back Before Dark a 5 out of 5.
I received an ARC copy, for free, from Zondervan in exchange for this independent and unbiased review.
March 29, 2013