Book Review: Chasing Fate by Maria Miller
Chasing Fate, by Maria Miller is one those books that you just can’t stop reading. Both a mystery and an action adventure, Chasing Fate gave me an exciting read right from the first page. The lead heroine, Kate, is near the end of her senior year in high school, a typical teenager, who can’t wait to finish school. Why? He father, though wealthy and a well-respected businessman, is also an alcoholic, frequently terrorizing Kate and his wife. As the story begins, coming home drunk again, he ripped up Kate’s final term paper for her English class, a paper worth seventy percent of her grade. Kate has never told anyone about her home situation, claiming this time she didn’t write the paper. Her teacher gives her one last chance. Interview someone.
Wanting nothing to do with her father’s friends, she rebels and interviews a homeless bum in the park, there in New Orleans. Expecting nothing much from the man, she hears an incredible story. He was a Navy SEAL and a sniper, who has murdered many. However, on his last assignment, he stole a golden idol from a cave in the jungles of Ecuador, before shooting his partner, who was also supposed to shoot him. Now, the bum is remorseful, haunted by his memories, and wants to return the idol and receive forgiveness. Knowing that he cannot do it, he gives the idol to Kate, begging her to return it to its rightful owners.
Unsure how much of this tale is true, Kate takes a drawing of the idol to a local professor, who wants that idol at any cost! Worse, her English paper was discovered by a CIA official, who had ordered the SEALs to hit their last targets in Ecuador, in an attempt to cover up a secret covert operation of his. Now both men are after the idol and the CIA man wants her eliminated as well.
Kate’s onetime boyfriend, Jeff, rescues her just as two hit men are about to kidnap the unsuspecting teen. Mystified by this, Kate decides to return the idol to the bum in the park, but finds the bum missing and the park filled with men digging holes looking for something. Now, the situation turns deadly serious. Kate and Jeff flee their homes, intending to first get away from these men and later to try to return the idol themselves.
The two lead characters, Kate and Jeff, are well-developed and seem to me to be very real teens. In my opinion, the description of life with an alcoholic father is realistically portrayed and accurate, making the story seem very believable from the first pages.
The minimalist writing style combined with fast-paced action keeps the reader constantly moving through the pages! Although targeting YA, this novel is well worth reading by anyone who likes mystery and action-adventure. I give it 5 stars!