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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Spirit of the Amaroq: A Story of Salvation is an adventure novel written by James Charles. Pastor Jack Douglas was a disciplined man who woke early each morning to get in his exercise routine before his wife and two small children were up. He loved waking them up to get ready for work and school, and, at breakfast that morning, he promised his eight-year-old daughter, Rebecca, that he’d be there for her big soccer game that afternoon. His wife, Janette, would drive their two children to school on her way to the Puckett Women’s Shelter where she worked. As he was the pastor, the Puckett Christ Our Savior Church was his second home, and he was soon engrossed in preparing the day’s sermon. Then the sheriff came with news that would strip every bit of joy and hope from Jack’s life. His wife, son and daughter were all dead, casualties of an horrific traffic accident. Jack had nothing.
Not being inclined to organized religion, I wondered about this book as I began to read it, but soon realized that my superficial concerns were just that -- superficial. Before very long, I was captivated by Jack’s odyssey up north to the oil fields and his further adventures up into Alaska. I’m a big fan of adventure and travel stories, and Spirit of the Amaroq ranks up there with the best of them. Charles’ Pastor Jack Douglas is a reader, and the novels he chooses to accompany him on his travels are both insightful and inspiring. His time in the wilds of Alaska is beautifully portrayed, most especially his growing friendship with the female wolf who becomes his companion and protector. The second part of the book, which chronicles Jack’s visit to Nome, is equally stirring. Spirit of the Amaroq is one of those books you’ll want to tell everyone who’ll listen -- and even those who don’t want to listen -- about how good it is. I was stunned by the power and beauty residing within this book and thrilled to discover that James Charles has written other books. Anyone who’s ever lost themselves reading the grand classics such as Moby Dick and The Call of the Wild, will find much to fall in love with in this book, as indeed I did. Spirit of the Amaroq is most highly recommended.