Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey is the fifth and final instalment of the Alaskan Courage series. The book can be read as a standalone as this story focuses on Reef and Kirra, but the books are definitely best read in order as you get to revisit main characters from previous books.
Reef and Kirra are partnered as volunteers during the annual Idatrod when the frontrunner, Kirra’s uncle, goes missing. Reef insists on accompanying Kirra as she searches for her uncle Frank. They soon learn that Kirra’s cousin has been kidnapped and that Frank is being forced to do “a job” to ensure Meg’s safety. Kirra and Reef embark on the journey of their lives as they try to not only find the missing Meg, but discover what Frank is being forced to do.
Along the way, Kirra is forced to confront a buried hurt that is still hovering over her life and influencing not only her present but any chance of a happy future as well. As Reef assists, supports and comforts Kirra during this very stressful time she comes to find he is no longer the irresponsible playboy hooked on adrenaline and excitement that she once knew. He grounds her and gives her stability during a time that is anything but stable. God is no doubt using Reef to help Kirra face and overcome her demons. Could it be that her childhood nemesis is the answer to her prayers?
I love the McKenna family and I love the Alaskan Courage series, but sadly this final instalment (one I’ve been looking forward to so much) is my least favourite in the series. Reef has become unrecognisable from the character we first met. Now, this might be intentional – Pettrey may want to illustrate the way a person can change once he gives his heart to the Lord – but my problem is this character does not seem like Reef at all; it felt like a whole new character for me. This Kirra also seemed different to me than the Kirra we met in Silenced. I love the fact that she is a vet and she runs a shelter for rescued sled dogs, yet none of this was incorporated into this story, which I found very disappointing. The Mckenna family business, Final Frontier Adventures, also played no part this time around which felt strange to me.
The action portion of this story also didn’t grab me as strongly as the previous books did. I remember reading the previous books, especially Shattered, and being so tense! I feared for characters’ lives in the other stories, but not this time around. The danger just didn’t feel real to me. I enjoyed that Pettrey made the reader so much a part of the scene in the past (she took me diving, skiing, kayaking, mountain climbing) and sadly I didn't experience that feeling this time around.
I love that Reef and Kirra found each other, but it all just seemed to happen a little fast for me. I found the pacing of their relationship a little unrealistic. Having said that, the characters complement each other well and it was lovely to see how Reef helped Kirra come to terms with her past, and helped her heal. Focus on faith is ever present, which I appreciate and enjoy, and we get to visit with all the other McKennas and their significant others one last time.
All in all a satisfying conclusion to the Alaskan Courage series.
Bethany House Publishers has graciously supplied me with a complimentary copy of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much!
Series: Alaskan Courage (Standalone)
Author: Dani Pettrey
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers