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Knowing Jack by Julie Elizabeth Powell

Knowing Jack - Julie Elizabeth Powell

Jack, who is 12, and his parents are planning a trip to the Lake District (Britain) for the holidays. They plan to share a cabin in the woods with Jack’s aunt, uncle, and their daughter Rosie. However, Jack has that feeling, that headache and nausea that tells him something bad will happen. He doesn’t want to go but can’t give his parents a solid reason. His dad is willing to listen to him, but his mother isn’t likely to.

The inevitable can’t be put off and they head out to the cabin but have to stop at a local convenience store/post office to pick up the keys. There, Jack sees a girl with a grumpy man and his concern increases. After settling in at the cabin, the group splits up to head out for various activities. Rosie’s dad plans to go for a climb while the ladies plan a shopping trip. Rosie doesn’t want to do either, so Jack and his dad are saddled with her. Driving out to a place where they can take photos, they are sideswiped and forced off the road by the grumpy guy (who we come to know as Eddie) from the PO. Jack and Rosie are forced to flee. And so starts the action-packed part of the book after a delicious build up.

Rosie complains loudly for most of the book, though she does have a few moments where she rises to the occasion, finally realizing that if she keeps arguing with Jack they will be caught and most likely killed. Jack’s ESP (or whatever power it is) keeps warning him when danger draws near but he doesn’t have it fine tuned, so Bad Stuff still happens. I liked that it wasn’t a power that could solve everything, and in fact, was sometimes a hindrance.

Most of the female characters come off as whiny asses of one variety or another, and that was a little tiring. Jack’s mom came off as rather self-centered and annoying, though she did have some comedic lines. I like that Rosie eventually saw the larger picture and started trying to keep up instead of hindering the escape at every turn.

As Jack and Rosie flee in to the wilderness, trying to find their way to the cabin, they come across some unexpected bits and bobs. Some are good, some are scary, some are useful. A cat and mouse game ensues as Jack tries to keep them alive and Rosie whines she is hungry. It was a fun, fast paced story. Also, I want to note that I didn’t realize there were no longer any bears running wild in the UK prior to reading this book. So, hey, educational as well as entertaining!

I won a copy of this audiobook from the author with no strings attached.

Narration:  Joel Froomkin had great little kid voices and various UK accents. Each character was distinct and the female voices were believable.