Friday, November 15, 2013

"Steps Into Darkness (A Shakertown Adventure)" by Ben Woodard

Steps Into Darkness
(A Shakertown Adventure)
by Ben Woodard

Steps Into Darkness is the second book in the Shakertown Adventure Series by Ben Woodard. You can also read about A Stairway to Danger, the first book in the series, in my previous blog post

Explosions, sabotage, caves, deadly warnings and a dangerous red-haired man.
Imagine The Hardy Boys meet Tom Sawyer. Add a layer of teen angst and excitement plus a mysterious group trying to stop a new dam while stirring up racial tensions.
That’s Steps Into Darkness, the next book in the Shakertown Adventure Series by Ben Woodard.
Fourteen-year-old Tom Wallace again makes plans to escape the small town in the 1923 Kentucky countryside. The town that won’t let him forget his past, when a horrific event changes his mind. He teams with his cousin Will and young FBI agent Rick Sweeney to try to solve a perplexing mystery. Attempts on the boys’ lives and a bewildering list of suspects keep them on edge and confused. An old man gives them a clue that leads to a false accusation and embarrassment until they discover the real villain, and then wish they hadn’t.
Steps Into Darkness is a fun, page-turning thriller with a hint of romance that delivers adventure and mystery while exploring the fears of a teen living with a frightful memory.

His back was to them as he connected the wires to the detonator. Will shoved Tom. They had only minutes. They found the last connection point with blasting caps wired to two sticks of dynamite. The wires to the plunger snaked up the hill. The connecting strands were twisted together, tightly, as with pliers. Tom grabbed a rock, but Will took his hand and pointed up the hill. Tom understood. The man would hear the pounding. They each took a twisted connection and tried to pry it apart with their fingers. They would need to break only one.
The wires resisted. They couldn’t get their fingers under a wire. Tom gritted his teeth, then stopped. He had forgotten his pocket knife. He pulled it out, flipped the blade open, and wedged the tip between two wires. He twisted and the blade snapped. The sound startled the man. He whirled around and looked directly at the boys. Tom forced the broken blade in the gap he had made with the wires. Will put his finger on top of one of the wires and pulled as Tom twisted. Blood ran down Will’s hand as the wire bit into his finger. They strained, and watched the man out of the corner of their eyes. His eyes darted in all directions. Then he made his decision. He pulled the plunger up, hesitated a moment, and slammed it down.

Steps Into Darkness is a dynamite read - literally and figuratively. Packed with suspense, adventure, danger and characters to care about, it's a fast-paced mystery - a great follow up to Ben Woodard's first novel in his young adult Sharkertown series.
Warning - this book is not for children under 12 due to some language, violence/very intense scenes and racial conflict.

About the Author
A spellbinding storyteller of high adventure, Ben has walked the Great Wall of China, hiked in Tibet, and climbed to 18,000 feet on Mt Everest. And recently learned to surf in Hawaii.
Ben is active in SCBWI and a member of a local children's writing critique group. He is a former Marketing Manager for a major corporation and ran his own marketing consulting business. He started writing children's stories in 2008 and has written picture books, middle grade and young adult. Stories of adventure and wonder. Stories that inspire and educate, and, most of all, entertain. His titles include The Trestle, The Hunt, A Terrible Price, The Boy Who Flew With Eagles, and the newly released sequel to A Stairway to Danger, Steps Into Darkness.
Ben lives in Kentucky with his wife Lynda.