Scout Press| May 2019| 336 pgs
Source: Library

Erica Ferencik's first novel (The River at Night) takes readers to the remote Allagash wilderness whereby hiking and rafting were part of the activities the characters had to play. In this second book, she transports us to the Bolivian jungle in which contact with the outside world is minimal and that threats come in all forms of shapes and sizes. 

Our protagonist, Lily Bushwold, thought she'd escape the miserable life of living in foster homes and is looking forward to her teaching job in Cochabamba until she realises the gig falls through and she is stuck with a cleaning job. Together with a few girls they stay in a local hostel and occasionally Lily will resume her stealing habits. Her life begins to take a turn after meeting a man named Omar. Omar grew up in a remote jungle village in Ayachero but decided to make a living in the city of Cochabamba. Lily and Omar fell in love; but that bliss is short-lived as Omar has to return to Ayachero after hearing the death of his young nephew. Killed by a jaguar, the Ayachero residents decided that a hunt is inevitable and they want Omar to join in with their mission. Omar leave the choice to Lily as to whether or not to follow him; and ultimately Lily chose to go with him as she thought it'd also be an eye-opening experience for her. 

Lily would never imagine what'd be in store for her in the following months. Aside from the wild and deadly creatures, she also faces the threat of lawless poachers as well as various infectious diseases which may take away one's life easily if they aren't careful. Lily's excursion into the wilderness suddenly becomes a fight for survival and would she be able to walk out of Ayachero alive given all the unforeseeable challenges? 

This was a totally different take from the author's first novel. While both books' have the wilderness theme as their setting, this book didn't have the unreliable and complicated characters like her first book. This was a straightforward thriller with Mother Nature and nasty creatures as threats; and of course there are villians as well in the form of poachers and the likes. After reading several thrillers with unlikeable and unreliable characters lately, this was a refreshing read in which I didn't have to guess the whodunit but to live vicariously through Lily's experiences in the Bolivian jungle (after all I doubt I'd have that kind of courage or skills to step into this wilderness no matter how tranquil and beautiful the place might be). Character-wise, Omar was easy to like from the start. He taught Lily many things; and he was so protective of her that it'd melt any girl's heart. Lily, on the other hand, took me a while to warm up to her but she won me over gradually and I found myself rooting for her for the obstacles and challenges she's to face later. Overall I enjoyed reading this book and I'm really curious where the author would take us in her next book. 

© 2019 Melody's Reading Corner (, All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
8 Responses
  1. jenclair Says:

    I find it rewarding when a character wins me over gradually, so I'm glad you mentioned that. This one sounds like a real adventure!

  2. Lark Says:

    You make this one sound so good! I didn't love The River at Night, but I think I'd really like this one. Great review, Melody! I'm putting this one on my Must Read list. :)

  3. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - I've not read a book purely on adventures for a while and I'm glad to have read this. :)

  4. Melody Says:

    Lark - I enjoyed The River at Night; and this book was so different from that so it was totally a refreshing reading experience. I'll be curious of your thoughts if you do read it, Lark. :)

  5. I know what you mean about finding a straight forward narrator and story refreshing after so many unreliable narrators. I can only read so many books with unreliable narrators close to each other. I like that the author wrote two very different novels. I will have to check out this one and her previous one.

  6. Melody Says:

    Wendy - This book surprised me on many levels; especially I was expecting a psychological suspense but it turned out more of a thriller, which I didn't mind and ended up enjoying.

  7. Iliana Says:

    While I imagine jungles are beautiful they seem so freaking scary to me! All those unknowns :) Glad to hear you enjoyed this one!

  8. Melody Says:

    Iliana - Yes, it's the unknowns which are so terrifying.

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to hear from you.