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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Real Enough: A Wilderness Survival Novel is a suspenseful adventure novel written by Jeffrey W. Tenney. The premise of the reality show was that four teams would fend for themselves on Hawkesbury Island, located in a remote area of British Columbia. Each team would have survival specialists as well as a celebrity team member. The winning team would earn a cool million dollars. The participants all had underlying motives for participating in this adventure. Some just wanted the prize money; some needed to challenge themselves; and others sought celebrity and fame. Each team was given a camping site far enough away from the others to make obeying the requirement that they not make contact with other teams relatively easy. But then something happened. The two phones each team had, to reach out to the Support Team for assistance, were non-functioning. Each team wondered how both phones could malfunction at once, and soon the participants became concerned about their well-being. Was anyone still out there to provide support? And how could they reach them?
Jeffrey W. Tenney’s Real Enough takes the reader into the great outdoors, while it also exposes them to the dark side of humanity when cultural restraints are missing. This makes it a grand psychological thriller. And while the team members do learn to coexist and cooperate despite their differences, the lone wolves or mentally unstable teammates, who got past the show’s screening process, make surviving even more problematic than the lack of support. Tenney’s premise is clever and well-thought-out, and his plot moves at a nice clip. While I’ve never seen a reality show, I am familiar with outdoor survival shows where the subject is dropped into rugged terrain and must figure out to survive on his own. Tenney’s story has the same ring of authenticity as his characters hunt, fish, and try to build the structures and gear which will enable them to survive their challenge. His characters are credible and well crafted, and their interactions and experiences in the wild make this story work well. Real Enough: A Wilderness Survival Novel is highly recommended.