Into the River of Angels: A Novel

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Into the River of Angels is a fantastic action adventure novel about a young man named Sam Hawkins who decides he needs a little break from his everyday life in Canoga Park, California. It is the summer of 2008, Sam’s parents are in the middle of a divorce and he is about to start his senior year of high school. With the help of his two friends, Ian and Zoe, Sam creates a plan to get a boat and ride down the Los Angeles River all the way to Long Beach. He ends up embarking on the journey alone after Ian backs out and finds himself self on a whirlwind ride down the river.

This book reminded me of a modern-day Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn meets the Pirates of the Caribbean. Although Sam is not gone for a long time, it sure seems like it. He meets many different people along the way, including a young immigrant named Ignacio who teaches him about faith and perseverance. Sam and Ignacio run into a group of psychotic killers and must find a way to escape them before they get killed themselves. Never in a million years did Sam think this would happen.

Author George R. Wolfe does a wonderful job of developing both his characters and the settings they encounter. The flow of the book is fast-paced and exciting. The dialogue between the characters is realistic and appropriate and readers will be able to envision what each character looks like and get a feel for their personalities. Although there are some really dirty, swampy areas the characters go through while riding down the river, these descriptions were necessary to create a vision of what Sam was seeing. From homeless people bathing to weird garbage strewn about such as balls with faces on them attached to sticks (this reminded me of Wilson from Castaway with Tom Hanks), Sam really saw some eye-opening things. Danger seemed to be lurking around every corner.

Into the River of Angels never skips a beat and the ending is particularly exciting as Sam and his friends find themselves in deeper trouble than they could ever imagine. Readers will not be able to put this book down. With themes of friendship, finding oneself, young love, faith, and loyalty Into the River of Angels, readers will cheer from cover to cover as they follow Sam down the Los Angeles River. This book is recommended for young adults and older.

Reviewed By:

Author George R. Wolfe
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 426 pages
Publisher The Sager Group LLC
Publish Date
ISBN 9781958861028 Buy this Book
Issue June 2023
Category Young Adult


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