The novel Skink No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen is a wonderful tale of adolescent adventure that effectively encompasses realistic worldly issues experienced by many and applies it to a set of unique characters that make the story increasingly entertaining. The premise of the novel being the search to find Richard Sloan’s best friend, Malley spirals in to a variety of perilous and exhilarating experiences. When considering the length of the novel, I felt as though it was done quite effectively, as everything was properly built up, with no excess time being wasted as it was quite straightforward with the plot’s progression. The length of the book allowed for proper buildup of the urgency of the situation along with sufficient exploration of the actual pursuit itself, which was characterized by extensive problem-solving and detective work. It would most likely damage the story if it was any shorter as it would reduce the plot buildup. Out of the many notable characters, I considered Skink as my favorite. This is due to the fact that, in his unfortunate situation of previously a Governor-turned-homeless man, he went out of his way to help Richard find Malley, going as far as to risk his life multiple times for others. One must admire his need to help others despite the severity of his situation, perhaps as this is his way of making an impact as he was not in such a political position any longer and becoming self-actualized. Such acts of kindness could be his form of moral growth that has helped develop him as a person. This constant sense of altruism that Skink exhibited truly built his character up effectively and made him my favorite in the end. Carl Hiassen clearly makes efficient use of this platform to bring many issues to light, such as the dangers of online interactions with strangers, characterized by Malley’s kidnapping, and the constantly reinforced environmental concerns Hiaasen expresses. While this was my first exposure to the character of Skink and the subsequent universe surrounding him, I look forward to finding other books by Carl Hiaasen that also share the same or even better level of ingenuity in the form of storytelling.
Submitted by S.A.