Hostage Three — Nick Lake

Bloomsbury, 2013

hostage three

How much is your life worth?

The last thing Amy wanted or expected was to sail around the world with her father and her stepmother. What she really wanted was to turn 18 and take control of her own life. Amy, her father and stepmother embark on a tour of the world. Then the unthinkable happens…their ship is attacked by Somalian pirates. Amy’s father is the most valuable, which makes him Hostage One, her stepmother is Hostage Two, and Amy is Hostage Three. While the ransom brokering is playing out, Amy, surprisingly, finds not all of the pirates are as terrible as they first appear. She may even have feelings for  one of them.

Review: I still haven’t read Nick Lake’s Printz Winner, In Darkness, but I was nevertheless excited to start his newest book, Hostage Three. Even though the cover is not as appealing as it could be, I throughly enjoyed itIt wasn’t at all what I expected. It was not your traditional taken by pirates novel. For one thing, it’s set in the 21st century. Fast paced and thrilling, Hostage Three is an incredible read that will leave the reader heartbroken and wanting more. Amy’s spirit and heart were broken my her mother’s suicide, her fathers subsequent abandonment and new marriage. She is sullen and attention seeking in all aspects of her life. The first part of the book with Amy just on the yacht with her family shows much of her apathy for her current life and future.

Enter the pirates.

Lake did an especially good job with the captor/captive relationship. Even as Amy is ‘falling in love’ with Farouz (the pirate), she is aware of the bizarre situation and the extenuation circumstances around their feelings for each other. This awareness allowed me as a reader to ‘get on board’ (excuse my pun) their relationship. Their relationship feels surprisingly real and not forced for being on a ship in the middle of the ocean. Farouz is a perfect foil for Amy. His life has been full of hardship and together Amy and Farouz are able to work through some of their problems. However, where Lake really excels is in the juxtaposition of the Amy’s wealthy lifestyle and the pirates who are struggling to survive. His writing makes you thankful for the mundane parts of your life.

This thriller will not disappoint. Hostage Three is moving, beautifully written, and makes you feel when you are reading every word. Anyone who is looking for a realistic fiction fix will appreciate Hostage Three. 

**I read an advanced readers copy of this book. Thank you to Bloomsbury for providing me with a copy via NetGalley.**

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