Skink, No Surrender is a charming eco-thriller by Carl Haissen. With its quirky characters and chilling mystery, it is well worth the read. The book starts us off in Flordia, where our main protagonist, Richard, is tring to contact his cousin, Malley, after she was grounded, and soon what seems to be a normal book turns into a edge-of-your-seat thriller as Richard learns that his cousin had left her house with a man who she didn’t know. With help of the former governor of Flordia turned eco-avenger, Skink, who he meets while watching turtle eggs hatch, they set off to recover his cousin from the clutches of her kiddnaper, who has the aduacity to steal a former soldier’s name, a car, and a licence plate. While I read this, I admit that I found the begining to be a little to slow, but it is still a worthwhile read. The characters are fleged our extremely well, with Richard painting a colorful image of Malley, a geinus girl who constantly runs away and tries to make counselors think she’s psycotic or Skink, the man who can’t deal with eco-crime and has no idea what wikipedia is. As they drive to the area they think Malley is, due to her clue involving a extinct species of woodpeckers, and thus ends the first half.
Hiassen’s ability to write out characters shines in the book which is not only from how they are painted, but how each is given positive and negative qualities without having them be forced. Skink is a person who goes to far protecting the enviorment. Richard is a nice, normal boy who dosn’t do anyhing to bad exceot for the “Saint Augisten’s incident” and that is justifiable from what life problems he was experiencing at the time. Even the bad characters are given some pity as there bad behavior is explaned as them “going off the road”.
Finally we have Hoassens ability to subvert reality yet make it seem plausible. Having a 14-year old drive a car? Sure, just as long as the older man is injured and a helpful police man gives him a fake licence. Need the book to be child-frendly? Don’t add too many details on what the kidnapper did. Overall, from his interesting plot, his colorful characters, and great situational writing, I have to say that this book is worth the read.