FOREST OF THE PYGMIES by Isabel Allende

FOREST OF THE PYGMIES

Age Range: 12 - 15
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Allende takes her readers into the wilds of Africa in the final installment of her fantasy adventure trilogy that follows City of the Beasts (2002) and Kingdom of the Golden Dragon (2004). This story begins when 18-year-old Alexander Cold and his friend, Brazilian native Nadia Santos, join Alex’s salty grandmother Kate, a journalist for International Geographic, and two photographers on a safari in Kenya. When a Catholic missionary persuades them and a local pilot to help find his colleagues who are lost in the remote jungles of Ngoubé, the heroic group endangers their lives in an attempt to save them. While packed with hair-raising near misses and vivid glimpses of Africa’s landscapes, tribal customs and wildlife, this is stiffly written, didactic and relentlessly descriptive. The characters are distinct, but undeveloped, and Allende awkwardly explains rather than reveals their interrelationships. Alexander and Nadia have totemic animal spirits, but since the origin and nature of this phenomenon are never explained, it’s all rather baffling even within the context of Allende’s magic realism. A rich but ultimately disappointing travelogue. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-076196-2
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2005




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