‘The Wolves came, rising from the waves…’
Red on White is an intriguing tale of one young man’s battle to survive after an earthquake and subsequent tsunami hits Oregon. Soon enough chaos ensues as ‘James’ is about to head home from his farming job but the elements beg to differ. The huge wave rolls in along with the destruction taking everything in its path.
“Maybe his best friend was floating in that soup. Each face looked like a friend, a relative, a loved one…”
With this being my 2nd J.P. Biddlecome experience I can see his growth as a story teller is apparent through a story of adversity drawing some similarities to ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ alongside elements of ‘Castaway’. There’s a running metaphor throughout that compares the many days James spends trying to survive as a pack of wolves begin to circle and grow. Survival is the key word here as this candid descriptive reading experience drew me in from very start.
4 Stars – Thank you to the author for reaching out and providing a copy of the book. Reviews left via Amazon and Goodreads
A tale that walks the fine line between survival and madness through solitude…
Young author J.P. Biddlecome tells a story through the eyes of sole character and teen ‘Mark Poe’ in what reads like a diary style account of exploration. It pulls you in quickly and then comes the realisation that he’s lost. ‘Mark’ has been turned around in the Oregon forest and so survival along with trying to keep things together becomes the priority.
The setting is wonderfully described and literally feels as if its closing in. This is written by someone who knows the setting well and so combining that with the urgency to survive comes the real story. From the need to build a fire to quickly diminishing food rations, staying warm and even Coyotes, our narrator faces many different challenges that all centre around survival and in the end he see’s it as a sort of game.
This solitary feeling coupled with a slow burn madness ‘Mark’ experiences makes for a readable and mostly enjoyable read. There are some moments where the narration style comes across as repetitive; ‘I did this’ and ‘I did that’ and similar phrases do appear often and this is something that could have been executed with a little more variety. Being able to show a reader as opposed to telling them is limited in this setting because of the solitary feeling but still it kept my attention throughout and made for an interesting read. For those who enjoy a shorter reads about survival in a wonderfully described setting will find this book well worth a look.
3 Stars – This review first premiered via Reedsy Discovery