Monday, July 19, 2010
Synopsis from Amazon:
When 15-year-old Alexander Cold is sent to stay with his eccentric, gruff grandmother, Kate, while his mother is being treated for cancer, he is more than a little reluctant to accompany Kate on a writing assignment in South America to search for a legendary nine-foot-tall "Beast." However, once the expedition down the Amazon begins, Alexander's doubts are pushed out of his mind by more immediate concerns, such as keeping an eye on two suspicious members of the party: a native named Karakawe and Mauro Cari as, a wealthy entrepreneur. After Alexander's mysterious encounter with a caged jaguar, another teen, Nadia, explains its importance to him, and begins calling Alexander "Jaguar." This marks the beginning of their somewhat surreal journey: the two teens are kidnapped by the "People of the Mist," a tribe possessing the power of turning invisible, and enter a mountain to discover the mythical city of El Dorado and the enigmatic "Beasts." Reluctant readers may be intimidated by the thickness of this volume, but the plot moves at a rapid pace, laced with surprises and ironic twists.
This is the first book by Isabel Allende I have read. I have several of her other books, but I decided to read this one first, not realizing that it was young adult. Overall I thought this book was just okay. The main character, Alex seemed younger than fifteen. I thought the premise of his grandmother taking him to the middle of the Amazon a little bit far-fetched. Most of the adults in the book were portrayed as dumb and like they did not have a clue what was going on. Most of the book was very predictable and a bit far fetched. If I had not heard such great things about her other books, based on just this one, I would not read any other books by this author.