I have not finished this book yet -for the above mentioned reasons I am advancing slowly. I am still at the page 135. And somehow I do not feel that this book is the best of Allende (perhaps it was discounted for a reason?). The setting itself is quite interesting and promising: an international expedition travels to the Amazonian jungle with a mission to find a mytic beast. The protagonist is a 15 years old North American boy, Alexander Cold, whose grandmother Kate Cold is writing an article about the beast. The expedition consists of a group of various professions and nationalities: an attractive female doctor, a native guide with his daughter, a photographer, solders and an annoying, arrogant French anthropologist. The topic relates to many current problems in the jungle, such as illegal mining, but perhaps the contemporary setting of the book is something that disappointed me. I have always liked the historical aspect of Allende's novels.
However, the characters feel very real, and for me, the best part of the book is the interaction between them, and tensions arising in their little expedition group. Also, I would not like to judge a book before I have finished reading it-I am expecting something exciting and unexpected happening before the end. I hope to find some peaceful moments this weekend to get back to my book.
Have a nice weekend!