"Move this one to the top of your TBR pile"
Okay, we all have them. Books shoved so far down in our To
Be Read piles that we've all but forgotten them. I've had
this one for years, but kept passing it by. The copyright
date is 2005 and collecting dust. I thoroughly enjoyed
Glenna McReynold's Medieval series, actually loved--they all
went onto my keeper shelf, so why did I pass this one up for
so long? Well, her fabulous series dealt with magic, elves,
time-travel, dragons, displaced princes, even aliens,
everything desirable in a great paranormal and this sci
fi/fantasy gal just wasn't in the mood for basic ordinary
contemporary, even from a remarkable writer. Which was the
worse kind of logic on my part because River of Eden is
anything but basic or ordinary.
It is a contemporary though, that is if your contemporaries
are gun-toting, crystal wearing, shaman apprenticed renegade
Harvard-trained botanists racing up the river of the Amazon
on a boat protected by a spirit anaconda, in search of a
rare magical orchid while fleeing one crazy gun trafficker
who wants your head shrunken to wear on his belt and another
power-hungry, frog poisoned vision seeker who wants you to
be the star sacrifice in his noite do diabo.
I am smacking my head that I waited so long to pull this one
out of the stack. I felt totally immersed, wet in the rain
forest with caimans splashing against the hull of my boat,
afraid to get in the water, frightened when Will actually
did so...and Will and Annie—They are the kind of couple to
root for and fear for and totally become absorbed in their
story. Both have been tortured (literally) and transformed
into hard-hitting, rely-on-no-one-else survivors who are
determined to get up the river regardless of the forces
piling against them and the very real risks of getting
there. When they stop butting heads and start trusting in
each other, the vulnerability and fragile acceptance is
beautiful as in seen in this except: "The strength of his
whole arm was in his light grasp, and she felt that as a
promise, too. His strength was hers. It was something she'd
never had on her side, a man's strength, something she'd
never truly understood. She understood it now, her gaze
drifting over Will's broad shoulders. She understood it even
better when she followed the trail of his tattoo."
It's that kind of soul-deep writing that first drew me to
Glenna McReynolds. Her ability to bring the reader up close
and intimate with her characters, strengths, flaws,
everything exposed and raw, hero and villain alike, amazes
me. Guess I better dig back into my TBR and see what other
treasures I have buried in there.
Reviewed by Clover Autrey
Posted October 27, 2008
**A PNR Reviewer Recommended Read**
Bad-boy scientist Will Travers may have an Ivy League mind
but he?s got the spirit of the jungle in his heart and the
kiss of the Amazon on his body.
River of Eden
With his sun-bronzed skin, a week?s worth of beard, and a
shaman?s crystal around his neck, Will Sanchez Travers
looked more like a man mothers warned their daughters about
than a Harvard-trained ethnobotanist. And even if only half
the rumors about him were true, Dr. Annie Parrish figured
she was in trouble. Still, she needed the rogue scientist to
ferry her upriver in search of a prize so extraordinary, it
would make her reputation?if it didn?t get her killed first.
When he?d reluctantly agreed to take the legendary Amazon
Annie deep into the Brazilian rain forest, Will expected a
woman warrior, not a blond ragamuffin renegade whose secrets
ran darker than he could have imagined. But once the journey
begins, there will be no turning back as they enter
territory?of the wilderness and the heart?as dangerous as it
is beautiful, desperate to stop a twisted destroyer of
worlds before his nightmarish fantasy becomes horribly real.
Amid sorcery, violence, and mystical visions, which will be
the victor?the yearning for vengeance, or a power as potent
and seductive as the heart of a singular, magical orchid?