Spirit of the Amaroq

A Story of Salvation

Fiction - Adventure
265 Pages
Reviewed on 03/06/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

James Charles has written six books. He is a former Administrator with the Los Angeles Unified School District and an Army Veteran. He lives in Hawaii with his wife, Linda.

An avid reader friend told me to write a romance novel. I said, "Yeah right." So, I did, but made it an Adventure/Romance novel.

    Book Review

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.

Deborah Stone

Spirit of the Amaroq: A Story of Salvation by James Charles is an exciting, nail-biting adventure that takes you on a journey from Georgia to Alaska. The imagery, the description of the struggles in the wilderness are intense and vivid. Jack Douglas is a pastor with a wife and two children. He pastors a church in Georgia and is happy and content with his life. When his wife and children are all killed in a tragic auto accident, his whole world falls in around him. Nothing matters anymore, he feels nothing and all he wants is to disappear. Jack sells everything and begins his journey to find healing. He hitchhikes or walks and stops wherever it pleases him. He has no destination in mind, he just heads west. Jack works on oil rigs in Montana until another tragedy sends him back on the road. He travels through the wilderness in the cold of winter and is befriended by a lone wolf. His search for healing and answers takes on a supernatural dimension, or is it his imagination? It’s hard to know what is real when you are alone for so long. The wolf becomes Jack’s companion and guide. She leads and he follows, deep into the snow-covered wilderness. Is she luring him to his death? Jack finds himself in Alaska and eventually learns to captain a commercial fishing boat. He also meets Qaniit. He is attracted to her immediately but fights to remain detached, from her and any other person. He only went into towns for supplies, he liked his solitude in the wilderness. More tragedy and events that compel him to stay and help have changed his plans. Can he allow himself to get close to someone again? Can he risk more loss, could he survive if it happened all over again?

James Charles has written what could very well become a classic. This riveting and compelling story of one man’s journey through grief and healing is not only exciting and adventurous, but it is also profound in many ways. James Charles tells a story that captures your interest from the very beginning and holds it every step of the way until the very end. This is no ordinary adventure story, this is adventure and survival and finding a second chance at life. Finding a way out of the darkness and finding a way to live again and maybe even find happiness. James Charles’ work is meticulous, thorough, detailed and well thought out. His style of writing is cohesive and easy to follow while being complex and fascinating at the same time. The story development is cohesive and leaves no room to lose interest. There are no lows in this book and once you pick it up you will find it very difficult to put it down. The character development is flawless. James Charles reminds us how life can change in the blink of an eye and all of man’s plans must change with it. Spirit of the Amaroq: A Story of Salvation would make an epic movie. James Charles has a new fan in this reader.

Scott Cahan

Spirit of the Amaroq: A Story of Salvation by James Charles is a well told and thought-provoking story about one man’s incredible journey. The plot follows a man named Jack who, in the beginning, has a perfect life. A tragedy happens and Jack’s life spirals downward until he no longer knows who he is or where he belongs. From there we follow Jack through several stages of his recovery, moving from one adventure to another over a period of three years. He travels across the country, ending up in Alaska. On the way, his life takes many drastic turns; some for the better, some for the worse.

James Charles’ writing style moves fast from one event to the next, not stopping for any more detail than is necessary. For many authors, that kind of style would result in a book with not enough character development. That’s not the case with Spirit of the Amaroq. Mr. Charles has mastered the ability to move quickly through his story while giving us well-rounded characters that we, the readers, cannot help but care for deeply. The story that unfolds is fascinating at every turn. Each thing that happens to our main character, good or bad, had almost as much impact on me as I read the book as it did on Jack. Spirit of the Amaroq: A Story of Salvation is an emotional roller coaster from start to finish. It's the kind of book that will keep you thinking about it in between sittings. I highly recommend it.