Saturday, 2 April 2016

The Hill

Finished April 1
The Hill by Karen Bass

This teen novel takes us to northern Alberta. Jared was travelling from Edmonton to Yellowknife on a private plane to visit his father when the plane crashed in the wilderness. Kyle was camping nearby with his family and witnessed the crash, coming to see what help he could provide.
Jared is a privileged young man, with a sense of entitlement that has also brought him arrogance. He is determined to climb a nearby hill to look for better reception, despite Kyle's information that there are no cell towers in the area, and that the hill is something his people never climb. Kyle's reluctance is ignored by Jared and despite his misgivings, Kyle feels he must follow Jared up the hill as he doesn't believe Jared has the skills necessary to navigate in the wilderness.
When Jared finds that he still has no cell service, the teens return to the site of the crash, but the plane is no longer there, and first Kyle, then eventually Jared realizes that they have entered another more dangerous world via that hike to the top of the hill. The world they are no in has limited connections with the world they seek to return to, and the danger of something strong and determined now hunting them.
This is a story of two young men from different worlds. Jared is someone who has not often consider others' needs, feelings, or opinions; a young man who has been the leader of his group of friends partly due to his wealth and privilege. He is not a happy person, and is quick to feel resentment when not treated in the way he is used to. Kyle is a young man who has undergone loss and hardship, but has respect for his elders and their teachings. He has resentment towards people like Jared, and yet the groundedness to not leave Jared on his own. He has the self-knowledge and confidence to move forward despite his fears, using the things he has been taught and listening to his world and the guides provided. Both boys undergo change through this experience, and the things they learn will resonate with them.


  1. Wow, this one sounds good. I like that it's not a typical wilderness survival story. Did you like it a little? A lot? I'm intrigued. :)

    1. Hi Lark, I did really like it. The native spirituality intrigued me, and having recently read some literary analysis of Canadian literature featuring the Windigo, I liked that it was part of this in a way true to the legend.

    2. Ordering it, from NetGalley. In the meantime, what is some of the literary analysis you're reading about the Windigo?

    3. It's an older book that I happened upon recently.