By a South Florida Author
A Book Review by Denny Patterson
Jeffery Allen Boyd’s first young adult novel, Wolf’s Head Bay – The Journey Home, was published in 2004. Journey of the Courageous Eleven is the sequel which is geared more towards young adults and older type of audience. Importantly, this action/adventure two-volume thriller is inspired by actual events.
For eight kids, a simple camping trip into northern Michigan’s wilderness was supposed to be an enjoyable adventure until a terrifying abduction shatters their world leading them on a desperate life or death race to save their friends. Nineteen-year-old Jeremy Hodak, his younger twin brothers, and their friends are held captive by a dangerous man called the Colonel, and his intent is to control the world’s human trafficking network. The frightened group makes a chilling discovery involving corrupt Washington powerbrokers.
They make the great escape via helicopter, but not before collecting evidence exposing the criminal activity. With Jeremy at the controls, they are now being pursued by the Colonel’s black Scorpion helicopter and are quickly forced down into a remote section of the woods. Now on the ground and unable to communicate with the outside world, Jeremy and his friends are running for their lives as they are pursued by government operatives.
Initially, I was not sure what to expect going into this book. But I quickly found out that Journey of the Courageous Eleven is an action-packed page turner that will make you want to read until the wee hours of the night. I had the hardest time putting this book down because it was so enthralling. Book lovers want stories that will immediately grab their attention, and that is exactly what this book does. You will be instantly hooked.
Additionally, this is also an important work because it hits on the still relevant topic of human trafficking. This industry continues to grow. It is kidnapping and murdering, not only young girls and women on a daily basis, but young men and boys as well. Boyd gives readers more of an inside look into this terrible business with an engaging storyline and a cast of young characters. It is not every day you read about young people thwarting and exposing an evil corporation like this. Boyd does an excellent job of raising awareness on this timely issue.
Is there an LGBTQ connection in the story? Not generally revealed in this sequel, one of Jeremy’s younger brothers, Travis, believes his older brother, Jeremy, is gay and argues this with his twin, Matthew. Although not the main focus of the book, it does make for an interesting part of the story.
Since Boyd grew up in Traverse City, MI, a lot of his youth was greatly influenced by his surroundings. Today, Boyd resides in Islamorada of the Florida Keys. I do hope we can expect more from Boyd in the future. With excellent storytelling and a colorful cast of characters, this book will not disappoint.