Small Game by Blair Braverman
Writer and dogsledder Blair Braverman has faced down nature on dozens of real-life adventures. After she became violently ill on an episode Naked and Afraid she wondered: what would have happened if the crew wasn’t there to pull me out?
Small Game is Braverman’s answer to that question. In her debut novel, adventure guide Mara is cast on a new survival reality show called Civilization. She and four strangers are dropped into an undisclosed wilderness location and must work together to survive for six weeks, all in front of cameras. But shortly after they arrive, the crew stops coming to camp and the cast is left wondering: is this part of the show?
As time crawls by, the Civilization experiment becomes an actual survival situation. Braverman packs her writing with vivid details about the natural world that make Mara’s danger feel urgent and real. This tense, woman-vs-nature thriller will make you grateful to live in civilization.
Reviewed by Emma Radosevich, collection development librarian, Whatcom County Library System
(Originally published in Bellingham Alive March 2023 issue.)