This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Format: ARC, E-book
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo
A five-hundred-year-old legend. An ancient curse. A stunning medical mystery. And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world's densest jungle.
Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location.
Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization.
Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn't until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease.
Suspenseful and shocking, filled with colorful history, hair-raising adventure, and dramatic twists of fortune, The Lost City of the Monkey God is the absolutely true, eyewitness account of one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century.
Informative, fascinating and filled with adventure! This story can appeal to a wide range of readers. The start of this novel is historical. We learn about the history of early explorers and archeologists alike who set out on explorations to discover parts of Central and South America, specifically with a focus on pre-Colombian civilizations.
For those interested in stories that have political elements you will find this story most enjoyable. There is much discussion about the struggles of dealing with politics, both governmental and between factions. In addition, there is talk about the politics surrounding the studies of disease and the research of treatments.
Like reading about books that have a focus on rare diseases? Hot Zone by Richard Preston came to mind while I was reading this book because several members of the expedition were affected by a horrific parasitic disease. The Author did not shy away from giving us details about his personal struggle in this area as well as giving background information about the origins of the disease, its pervasiveness, and its life cycle. I found this portion entirely fascinating.
There was also the part of the book that described their actual expedition to the White City, or the Lost City of the Monkey God. It made my inner Indiana Jones rear itself up. The writing was so thorough that you can imagine everything he was describing vividly. That would also be the only downside to this book. There were parts in this novel where the Author became overly wordy about certain experiences.
What did I take away from this? My inner Indiana Jones is really more of a play it safe curator who lets the other guys go hunt for the historical findings. For me there was a lot of eye-opening information about the difficulties of being in the profession that takes you to remote areas of the world. I guess I just never took the time to consider how dangerous it can be. I have a whole new respect for missionaries, archeologists, treasure hunters and employees of National Geographic who go into dangerous areas. Just amazing. This is an engrossing read with every page being a whole new experience! I highly recommend for all readers.
*Thank you to Grand Central Publishing & NetGalley for this eARC of The Lost City of the Monkey God*