A trip down-under goes awry. The Great Empty by @AnitaMelillo

Cover links to Amazon.com

The Great Empty

by Anita Melillo

When a rebellious youth named Donovan leaves his home in Europe for a family trip to Australia, he quickly determines another course when he decides to seek out some adventure of his own. While slipping away from the care of his guardian and sister at the airport in Darwin, he decides to take a tour bus to a Crocodile Farm, which inadvertently continues to take him hundreds of miles deeper in the outback and into Kakadu National park.

His curiosity continues to get the best of him, when he sets off on foot to explore a trail to a waterfall and plunge pool. One mishap leads to another until he finds himself alone in the dark and unprepared to face the unknown that envelopes his surroundings.

Once he discovers that he is lost, he continues to make his way through the bush, but not without its perils. Eventually, he befriends an Aborigine boy named Neji, who is on a journey into manhood. Together they fight against the elements and the mysteries of the dark, with beliefs and rituals as deep as the Dreamtime. All the while, a peculiar stranger continues to shadow them for unknown reasons.

Pretty soon, Donovan finds himself on an unexpected course with this deliberate Swagman, with his harsh ways and cruel intentions. Without warning, Donovan is forced to use all that he has learned, in order to survive this downward spiral that seems to be leading him nowhere; while his only hope is to try to make it back to civilization again.

Praise for The Great Empty

Supporting characters add to the story - not take away. Melillo explores strengths and weaknesses. This keeps them believable. Readers may even see some of themselves in the development. The ease of wanting to know more about the characters is understandable.

Melillo's unique style seeks to take readers on a journey. With this she succeeds very well. Readers can feel the settings to the point that the humid taste of the wild lands sits on the tongue while ticking the nose. I hope to find my own adventures now that I read this story.

I found it really easy to get drawn into this story, especially after the first chapter. The characters are all well developed and realistic, and the situations they find themselves in are hilarious yet believable.

One unanticipated event after another sends a little brat named Donovan into the great Australian outback, in complete wilderness where he is pit against survival. In the meantime his family and the old man who was supposed to be watching over him engage in a hysterical effort to find him.

The book has a vivid way of describing the scenery and evokes a strong sense of adventure. It also has a good sense of humor and keeps you entertained. It is a sort of coming-of-age book, and I think there's alot to be learned from it.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It is fun, adventurous, and dramatic all at the same time. I thought the characters were great and liked the way the friendship began with Donovan and Neji. It is both a story about friendship and about father and son relationships. (From Barnes & Noble)

Author Bio

Anita Melillo lives in the mountains of Colorado with her husband Tony. She enjoys writing fiction in different genre's such as, adventure, literature, historical, survival stories, coming of age, juvenile and romance.

She has a great love for the outdoors and enjoys exploring on forest trails. One of her greatest passions, has always been writing. Her first novel, "The Great Empty" was just released for sale, and she will have another novel entitled, "Ford at Valverde" a civil war era adventure, available within the near future.

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