The author has an amazing ability to transport the reader thousands of miles into the Nepali wild. The audio is also fantastic, the reader clear, and there are some lovely sounds added to really entrench the listener in the environment. An extremely professional production all around!
Certainly recommend this one!
At first I was attracted to this book by the beautiful cover and the fact that Nepal sounded interesting. When I received the book I was impressed with the quality of the paper and good, clear print. It is unusual to have photos and this really added to my enjoyment. The character of each child is shown clearly by how they react to their situation and each time I came to the end of a chapter, I wanted to carry on for another. I haven't read a novel set in Nepal before and by the end, not only had I enjoyed their adventure, but I knew more about the people, animals and plants in this country.
This is an adventure story for adults and young adults. It is a breathlessly exciting page-turner, in the long tradition of quest stories.
The complex and shifting relationships of the three main protagonists – Alex and James, and their engaging girl companion Bim – are put to the test as they work their way through the beautiful and dangerous Nepalese landscape. They know what they have to do, but not what they will be required to face. Perils confront them at every turn, some natural, others man-made. The Nepalese landscape – presented in vivid and almost tactile clarity – can be beautiful, but also menacing.
In many adventure stories the characters are the main interest and the setting is little more than a lifeless backcloth; or the landscape is the writer’s real subject and the protagonists are anaemic stereotypes whose only purpose is to move the story forward. But here the characterisation is enmeshed within the action and the setting. Without noticing, readers find themselves caring about the characters, anxious when they are separated, comforted when they are reunited.
The author is a traveller. She writes about places and people she knows well, so there is an integrity in her writing and a total authenticity in the heft and feel of the story. So her accounts of the wildlife, the valleys and mountains and rivers, and the people the three main characters come across, have truth in them.
Victor Watson, editor of The Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English
In this fast-moving adventure story, the unthinkable happens several times over! From a plane crash landing in the remote mountains of western Nepal, we follow Alex, Bim and James as they escape from the wreckage, crossing terrifying torrents and battling through dense forests – where bears are the least of their problems. This is more than the story about three children trying to find their parents again. It’s also a glimpse into the wicked world of underground trading in animal parts and a quest to bring wildlife-killing criminals to justice.
Anna Robinson-Pant, Professor of Education and UNESCO Chair in Adult Literacy
From looking at the cover of the book I wouldn’t normally have chosen to listen to this audiobook. However I am pleased I did.
It is very interesting learning about Nepal and the characters surviving in the Himalayas. I didn’t like James's character because he farts a lot at the beginning and is mostly talking about food at inappropriate times. However I liked Alex's character and I liked the other main characters. I liked how Alex was so knowledgeable about animals and plants and ecological and animal welfare.
I think Jane’s voice is really good and the book is well read and easy to understand and enjoyable to listen to. Her reading is a lot better in my opinion than some other audiobooks I have listened to on audible and the library app.
The photos in the accompanying PDF really help the listener to visualise what some of the things and places in the book would look like and is a helpful addition. On the PDF I learnt that Jane had taken most of the pictures herself and written what they are. This validates her knowledge of Nepal and the animals and culture.
This book has an enjoyable story but also a serious animal welfare theme and interesting setting.
Himalayan Heist, a YA book by Jane Wilson-Howarth, is about three teenagers stranded in the Himalayas after a small plane crash. They make their way over treacherous mountain passes, through dense forests, and over rickety bridges and icy, glacial rivers. They struggle with finding their way and enough food to eat, while facing off with smugglers, bandits, and wild animals. The story moves quickly from adventure to adventure and the kids, though prone to squabbling and errors in judgement, are able to eventually work together to find their way to safety and foil the plans of some very shady smugglers. The book was read by the author who has a lovely British accent.
Sheri Amsel, author, illustrator, science educator
This a fast-paced and gripping adventure story is set in the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal. Jane Wilson-Howarth clearly has an amazing knowledge of Nepal and the details of wildlife and landscape add to the richness of the storytelling. She tackles difficult subjects such as climate change and the trade in rare wild animals but the story never loses its momentum. Alex and James and their Nepali friend Bim survive crashes, captures and the hazardous landscape on their journey through the mountains. The reading is never dull and includes sound effects from Nepal to give it a sense of the real place.
Wonderful narration of a lively story with great characters
Lizbeth Meredith (author)