The Raft – S.A. Bodeen
Robie is an experienced traveler. She’s taken the flight from Honolulu to the Midway Atoll, a group of Pacific islands where her parents live, many times. When she has to get to Midway in a hurry after a visit with her aunt in Hawaii, she gets on the next cargo flight at the last minute. She knows the pilot, but on this flight, there’s a new co-pilot named Max. All systems are go until a storm hits during the flight. The only passenger, Robie doesn’t panic until the engine suddenly cuts out and Max shouts at her to put on a life jacket. They are over miles of Pacific Ocean. She sees Max struggle with a raft.
And then . . . she’s in the water. Fighting for her life. Max pulls her onto the raft, and that’s when the real terror begins. They have no water. Their only food is a bag of Skittles. There are sharks. There is an island. But there’s no sign of help on the way.
Review: Survival stories are one of my favorite genres, and I haven’t read one in years, so I knew that I needed this book as soon as I saw the cover.
The narrator, Robie, is on a cargo flight from Hawaii to Midway Atoll when her plane crashes into the ocean. Robie and the co-pilot, Max, are the only survivors. All they have is a yellow raft, a few supplies, and the garbage that they pull out of the ocean.
This novel goes fast. The action begins quickly and doesn’t let up. I started reading, and then suddenly I was halfway through the book, and then suddenly it was over. If you’re looking for something that you can read in a few hours, I’d recommend this one.
I did have some issues with the story. Robie is a very bland narrator. I never really got a sense of her personality. All I know about her is that she’s extremely incompetent at everything, thinks she knows better than everyone else, and gives up easily. Those are interesting character traits, but I would have enjoyed her story more if I’d known her better. I had a hard time caring about what happened to her because she never felt real to me.
There is a twist ending. I don’t want to spoil it, but I didn’t think it was much of a twist. I kind of suspected that it was coming. This same twist has also been done several times in other books and movies, so I wasn’t surprised when it did happen.
Even with my criticisms, I enjoyed The Raft. It’s a quick read and an entertaining way to spend a few hours.