I read "A Matter of Survival" yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed theexperience.
Setting: I loved the novel's setting and again felt I wasexperiencing a thrilling vacation in Southern Louisiana. Eachscene from the car rides, to the cage, to the water tank, to the housefire and boat ride were vividly described without slowing down theaction.
Characters: Your heroine, Callie, was well-developed, as were yourother primary characters, Jeanne, Bobby, and Tony. Callie, like Morgan, is an attractive, emotional,quick-witted, immature teenage girl with limited resources, suddenlythrust in an impossible situation. She is also, kind, intelligent, and possessthe ability to reach down and tap that inner strength found in all goodsouls, the strength to fight evil, to rise high above yourcircumstances.
Theme: Loved the Good vs. Evil theme. Your good guys were really good and your bad guys really bad. Thegood guys were conflicted but driven by, "What's the right thing to do?" The bad guys were unusually cruel and driven by, "How can I cover mytracks?"
Plot: The plot-driven tale was a fun ride, never slow, or overlypredictable. My palms are still sweating.
The plot's climax, the one-way ride on Ryan's Lady, was mostexciting. Your knowledge of boats, ships, and channels shined. I feltevery moment of the ride, saw Callie falling into the water, heard toboat crashing into the wall. Well done!
Epilogue: Like after any good story, I was left wanting more, and the epilogue promised just that. I immediately found myself looking forward tothe next adventure.
From the Author
The harrowing qualities of Callie's experiences in this book are inherent in the raw character of her natural world and the violent people you might find there. There's nothing quite so difficult to survive in as this part of Louisiana, and I wanted to capture a quality of toughness and adaptability in a young, feminine character.