Featured Review: Ascent (A Peak Marcello Adventure #3) by Roland Smith
About This Book:
After conquering the mountains in Afghanistan, Peak Marcello goes to Myanmar, a country that has been in the grips of a brutal military regime for more than fifty years, to visit Alessia. When he’s invited to climb Hkakabo Razi, one of the most isolated mountains in the world, Peak can’t pass up the opportunity. But getting to the mountain will involve a four-week trek through tropical rainforests rife with hazards—from venomous reptiles and leeches to corrupt police and military. In the end, summiting Hkakabo Razi may be the easiest thing Peak does.
*Review Contributed by Karen Yingling, Staff Reviewer*
Climb the most isolated mountain in the world!
After their disastrous climb in The Edge, Ethan, Alessia and Peak are looking for some adventure that is a bit safer. Ethan is now Alessia's bodyguard, appointed by her mother, who is now the ambassador to Myanmar. When they learn about Hkakbo Razi, an alpine mountain on the border with China, they are intrigued, especially since it's never been accurately measured. It seems like an uncomplicated journey, so they take off, but soon run into trouble. They have a porter, Lwin, and his elephant, but both of them are unreliable and a little bit dangerous. When Alessia has to spend some time in a village fighting malaria, the group runs into Nick Freestone, a botanist who is collecting samples. In exchange for the climbers' help in obtaining samples from trees, he offers to take them to the mountain. They let Lwin go, but he's not happy, and soon the military is on the group's tail, looking for Lwin, who had killed his girlfriend with a sling shot and stolen the elephant. They manage to pay them off and get on their way. Freestone visits a friend who is a trader, and this friend take Peak to visit a high powered, somewhat shady, but ultimately decent businessman, Chin. He was also a mountain climber, and offers them a new battery for their satellite phone and help if they run into an emergency. There are no shortage of challenges on the trail-- sabotaged bridges, a reappearance of Lwin, but also some unexpected help from old friends. When they reach the mountain after their difficulties, there is still plenty to overcome, even when Peak's father makes a surprise appearance. Will all of them survive what turns out to be a more treacherous climb than is expected?