“From everywhere along the trail the view would be different. But even if they stood as they were all day the light would change, and with each passing minute a new landscape would emerge.”
Zoje Stage, Getaway
Getaway takes us deep into the Grand Canyon, and deep into danger.
Nature thrillers are not new. We’ve seen them before with titles including The River Wild, The River at Night, The Descent, Deliverance. So why add one more nature thriller to the pile with Getaway? Because it’s an awesome setup!
Stage sets up multiple sources of strife from the beginning. Our protagonist, Imogen, has survived a shooting at a synagogue, as well as some vaguely traumatic event from her past. Seeing this as a chance for healing, Imogen’s sister sets up a weeklong camping trip into the Grand Canyon with their longtime friend.
We already have the tension of Imogen’s past, and now there’s the challenge of contending with nature. The trail is for advanced hikers and leaves them bone-weary.
But then they notice their supplies have been rummaged through by a person. Man versus nature, meet man versus man.
Getaway doesn’t succumb to flashy action movie-style antics. We don’t see a heroic, gravity-defying tour de force to defeat the baddie. Instead, they play the smart angle psychologically, doing their best to keep him calm. While it doesn’t include explosions, it does make the story so much more believable.
I didn’t love Stage’s debut novel, Baby Teeth. In fact, I went on a 15-minute-long rant about it. While it was compelling and well-written, the way it handled the little girl was problematic for me. Check out my thoughts, below:
The fact that Baby Teeth was so well-written made me come back to give Stage another try and I’m glad I did.
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