© Will Hobbs.
Rick Walker is a troubled teenager, an orphan bounced from one foster home to another, full of anger, who ends up in a Juvenile Detention center near Las Vegas. There his troubles only worsen, and finally he’s forced to try an escape. On the run, he ends up trapped in a remote canyon complex called The Maze in Canyonlands National Park in Utah, at the camp of a grim, unfriendly biologist named Lon Peregrino who is working to reintroduce six young California Condors into the wild. As they spend more time together, the two misfits become friends, and find they have a lot in common. Rick takes interest in the birds, and starts helping Lon with them. Lon’s other passion is hang-gliding, and before long he’s teaching Rick how to do that, too.
Things aren’t all rosy, though. Two tough locals are using the area, too, and a conversation Rick overhears convinces him it’s for something highly illegal. The men do all they can to make Lon’s job harder, including stealing from his camp, and even killing one of the condors. Things come to a head in a grim test of wills, and a struggle for survival for Lon and Rick in this exciting adventure story with great characters and lots of fascinating knowledge about condors, hang-gliding, and the harsh canyon environment.
This is the third Hobbs book I’ve read, and I’ve liked them all, and will read more. Recommended.