Below The Surface

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

If Hiro’s theory was right and Kryptsoki was a murderer, then they knew too much already. Enough to get them hurt.
He sat up shaking. This was insane. His imagination was taking him for a ride. But what if it wasn’t his imagination? What if it was some kind of internal warning system that he didn’t fully understand? He wanted to talk to Hiro. Needed to see if she felt it too. But it was way too late for that. He stretched out on his berth again and tried to calm down. Tried to think about totally unrelated things. But like a storm on shifting winds, his mind kept circling back. “You are not alone.” That was truth. And deep down, he knew that hanging onto that truth was critical. Maybe it was the only thing that would get him through whatever was to come tomorrow.

Book: Below the Surface by Tim Shoemaker, Zonderkidz, 2014
735014: Below the SurfaceGenre: Mystery
Target Audience: Boys 13+
Subjects: Fear, Crime, Friendship, Trust in God
Summary: A vacation is exactly what they all need. Cooper and Gordy want to forget what happened to them, bury the fear. Lunk desperately wants to solidify these precious, but seemingly fragile, friendships. Hiro is the only one not interested. Now that she has seen what she thought was a crime, it’s all she can think about. It’s not long at all before the boys are fed up with her “womanly intuition”. They get that she wants to be a cop someday, but spending the whole vacation trying to solve a murder that didn’t happen is taking it a bit far. To their dismay though, things keep happening and the fear is spreading. If they don’t start taking her seriously, they might just be the murder’s next victims – whether they believe there is a murderer or not.
Notes: Sequel to Code of Silence and Back Before Dark, Below The Surface continues the story of Cooper and his friends. In this story Cooper in particular is fighting a fear that seems to attack him at times. He nearly drowned in a basement in the last story and whenever he gets in dark water he starts to freak out. Lunk has a general overall fear of the water. The whole mystery plays out on the water and so both characters have to
wrestle with that fear throughout the story. Cooper in particular has to learn that burying it won’t make it go away, only turning to Jesus for strength and recognizing that Jesus will never leave him gives him the strength to do what he needs to do. After the story, the author has a page discussing the various responses to fear and how they hurt or help. Overall, there’s a lot of hinting of spiritual matters, praying to God, recognizing we’re “never alone”, but there’s not a source for this. It’s almost as if the author doesn’t want to get too “preachy” and so skims lightly over the truth without digging in too deep. There’s a lot more focus on the fear than on what Scripture says about how to deal with it.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Psalm 56:3 – When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
Hebrews 13:5 – Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Thank you to BookLook for providing me with a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.


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