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"Amazonia" reminds me a little bit of Tolkein's "The Lord of the Rings," where a stalwart band of allies sets off on a hopeless mission, against insurmountable odds, to save the world. At each turn, they face a deadly danger that their inscrutable quarry has cast into their path; while behind them stalks an evil hunter out to wrest their prize from their very grasp. Unlike "The Lord of the Rings," however, Amazonia takes place not in Middle Earth, but in the eponymous rain forest; and, rather than Orks, these questers face every other kind of creepy, crawly, venomous, wickedly-toothed creature imaginable ... and then some unimaginable ones, as well. As with all of Rollins novels, "Amazonia" does not lack for thrills or chills. Also in line with Rollins' other novels, "Amazonia" explores one of Nature's mysteries -- in this case: prions. (If you haven't yet heard of prions, you will learn a lot about them here. Suffice it to say that they are real-life deadly pathogens.) However, unlike with his previous novels, with "Amazonia," Rollins adds in a couple of timely, apposite environmental/ecological messages:
1) Don't decimate the habitats of our fellow creatures;
2) Don't underestimate traditional wisdom.
As an herbalist, I very much appreciate Rollins' investigation into the power of native medicinal herbs. As always, he has done his research! Since "Amazonia" was only his fourth novel, I suspect that he was probably still doing that research himself, rather than hiring a team of experts to do it for him. Whatever other reviewers may think of Rollins' writing style (and, I have to admit, he sometimes does write a bit awkwardly in these early novels), I think that his very curious, very intelligent open mind more than compensates for any such shortcomings. I appreciate beautiful writing as much as anyone; but, if I have to choose, then I would value a questing, curious mind even more.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
As always, Rollins captivates the reader from the very beginning of the story and continuing with intricate twists, personal attachment to the characters, and a sense of "being" in the story. A true story-teller, Rollins will have you on the edge of your seat. I never wanted to leave my car while listening to the audio version!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful