Smith, Roland. The Edge (Peak #2)
October 6th 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Peak is approached by billionaire Sebastian Plank to take part in an International Peace Ascent. The pitch is odd-- it's last minute, and the details are sketchy. Still, after his adventures in Peak (2007), Peak and his mother are up for the challenge, especially since if they don't go, their friends won't get the job of filming it. When they get to their location, they find out they are in Afghanistan, and the entire Peace Ascent won't be there-- they are spread out in a lot of different areas. That's okay with Peak, since he would rather climb with fewer people. Some of the climbers are idiots, but since his old friend Zopa is leading the climb, Peak is happy. There are some challenges with the climb, but when most of the group, including his mother, is kidnapped, Peak has new challenges to face to get them back.
Strengths: Lots of outdoor action and adventure, appealing characters, exotic setting-- there need to be a lot more books like this! I loved all the details about climbing, equipment, etc., even though I don't know that I ever want to climb mountains!
Weaknesses: Plank's motivation seemed elusive, but since the group was in a war-torn country, I didn't really question it when the kidnappings occurred.
What I really think: What took so long? And why haven't I recommended the first book to anyone this year? Definitely buying a copy, and glad that they kept the look of the first book, which is a great example of appealing cover design.