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Rebel Island

Rebel Island (Audio) - Rick Riordan, Tom Stechschulte I didn't like this book as much mostly because Tres and company were stranded on an island with a killer during a hurricane. Did I mention no phone service? Yeah, it felt like a bad horror movie script to me. Sure there were some twists and turns, but what makes me most disappointed is that Tres didn't really grow throughout the series or this book in particular. I had hoped for a revelation about his relationship, or work, or something... anything. Nada.

In my opinion, Tres Navarre may have been the center of the books, but truly Ralph Arguello was the hero of the series. We saw Ralph grow as a character from a thug to a respectable father. From the tender moments he shared with his madre in the first book, to his grief and care of her tombstone in a later book mark the progression in his path to the dedicated family man he eventually becomes. His integrity became clear in book six, Mission Road, when we find out that he felt a deep sense of service to his community through owning the pawn shops as a way to help those in need. It is far from the impression we got in beginning of the series of a ruthless, egotistical, greedy, power-hungry entrepreneur.

Ralph chose to take a chance and strive for a different life, marrying his true love and starting a family. On the other hand, Tres sat back and let life take him along for the ride. He abandoned Maia when he moved back to San Antonio, then added insult to their relationship by refusing to move 70 miles to Austin after she moved hundreds of miles from San Francisco to be near him. He made no real life choices intentionally other than what was convenient and easy. Oops, Maia's pregnant guess he better marry her after 15 years of dating. How insulting!

What really upset me more is when Ralph was killed in Mission Road. I think it was a poor choice for the series. It's like Murtaugh without Riggs, it just doesn't work. Plus, Ana did not deserve to have her husband taken away from her while laying helplessly comatose in the hospital. And, to have their last words to each other be angry ones said in an argument. How horrible! I can't imagine the grief, guilt, and regret she has to live with the rest of her life. How cruel of fate to callously separate a true love pairing when they are found so rarely. Alas, now I remember why I almost exclusively read romance. My mistake.