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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Early Work
James Rollins is an author who until recently was little known in the UK, his early novels having not been published on this side of the Atlantic and being only available as imports. With the success of the Da Vinci Code however, publishers have been rolling out any book on their lists that bore even the merest similarity to that juggernaut & Rollins recent novel, 'Map...
Published on 4 Dec 2006 by C. Green

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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars same story, different title
A C.I.A. agent, missing for 4 years struggles out of the Amazon jungle. When the agent disappeared 4 years ago, along with a group of scientists, and military men, he was missing an arm, now he misteriously regrows that arm?
Another expedition of scientists, and military men are sent by the head of the C.I.A. to find out how he regrew the arm, and why he died of a...
Published on 26 Feb 2002 by J. J Kamlani


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Early Work, 4 Dec 2006
By 
C. Green "happily low brow" (Quenington, Glos, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Amazonia (Mass Market Paperback)
James Rollins is an author who until recently was little known in the UK, his early novels having not been published on this side of the Atlantic and being only available as imports. With the success of the Da Vinci Code however, publishers have been rolling out any book on their lists that bore even the merest similarity to that juggernaut & Rollins recent novel, 'Map of Bones' was therefore thrust onto British book buyers. As a result of its subsequent success, despite the fact that it bore little similarity in tone or plot to Dan Brown's novel, the decision has obviously been made to release Rollin's back catalogue, including Amazonia.

Originally published in 2002 Amazonia is, as the title suggests, a tale set within the unexplored reaches of the Amazon jungles. Like Rollins other work it is a mixture of action, adventure, science, and science-fiction.

The plot centers around the discovery of a sole survivor of a lost expedition into the Amazonian interior, whose physical state when he is founf found, dyingm suggests he and his companions may have stumbled across a medical miracle somehwere deep with the jungle. A party of soldiers and civilians is thrown together and dispatched to try and trace the missing expedition and the source of their discovery. Along the way they find themselves confronted on all sides by dangers both natural, un-natural and very human.

For those who have read other Rollins novels this short plot description will sound reasonably familiar. What unfolds certainly bears a close resemblance to his other early works such as Excavation. In fact in many ways Amazonia is something of a retread of the plot of Excavation, with its reliance on natural dangers, lost tribes and hidden conspiracies. Even the final 'discovery' in Amazonia is very similar to Excavation. All the Rollins has really done is change the setting (jungle for caves) and rejigged the characters.

Despite that however, Amazonia is still a very exciting, well written thriller. The pace of the story is pretty much unrelenting, with set piece following set piece in rapid succession, and the plot is kept nice and tight. Characters, whilst never really growing much beyond cliche, are well enough conceived to serve the purposes of the plot. There aren't too many 'only in the movies' moments to kill the suspension of disbelief. The bad guys are suitably evil and the good ones suitably heroic. There are plenty of gory deaths and a body count that leaves no-one, heroes or villains, feeling safe. Even the 'maguffin' at the centre of the plot, the medical discovery everyone is pursuing, has at least a ring of truth to it and provides no deus ex machina resolution to the whole plot. In fact by the end Amazonia becomes close to unputdownable.

If there are quibbles, beyond the somewhat repetitive plotting from other Rollins novels, its that some of the imagery in the book feels a little tired. Anyone who has read Matthew Reilly's Temple or Michael Crichton's Congo might find themselves thinking that thy've encountered some of the plot twists in other places, sometimes to better effect. The characters could also do with greater depth. The cast of Amazonia is quite large, yet many of the supporting members are barely sketched, so that their plights and ultimate fates don't necessarily hit quite as hard as the author might have liked. Even the lead roles aren't fully rounded, and whilst there's enough about them to serve the plot, they remain pretty one dimensional. It doesn't help that Rollins can't withstand the temptation to include the obligatory yet wholly superfluous and poorly handled romantic subplot that feels like it was included merely because its traditional rather than because the story demanded it.

So, overall not a bad early effort from Rollins. For those familiar with his books Amazonia will be familiar territory. Moreso those who have read other jungle based thrillers. For those who have only encountered Rollins via Sandstorm or Map of Bones, both of which are better novels, Amazonia is a slightly different beast but still very enjoyable. Its also a whole lot more exciting than the Da Vinci Code...
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 29 May 2006
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This review is from: Amazonia (Mass Market Paperback)
Although there are numerous comparisons to Dan Brown, I would not entirely agree, James Rollins's novels are far more action-packed and energized.

As with all other novels by James Rollins, this is great and grips you instantly. The story is both descriptive and fast-paced. The developed characters lets you feel for them and in some cases, despise them. What I like the most is the nice mix of characters.

There is no point in delving into the plot too much, you've probably read it already. The focus of the plot is based on a group of different skilled people being brought together on a journey though the Amazon forest, desperately seeking a cure for a rapidly spreading global disease, whilst being followed by a group of gold-diggers, purely interested in the wealth that can be gained and will stop at nothing. This has everything: hero, heroine, enemies, comics, annoying characters, greed, betrayal, romance, action, in this case, a lot of action and facts. It is a nice and clever story with a lot to keep you entertained and eager to reach to the end.

There are parts of this story that you may find far-fetched and unbelievable, but really this is fiction. James Rollins may take parts to the extremely, this is what makes the story, as inevitably you can never guess the ending.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling, Gripping, Satisfying Adventure!, 16 Feb 2006
By 
Imperial Topaz (Marrakesh, Morocco) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Amazonia (Mass Market Paperback)
If you are a fan of Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code), you will LOVE James Rollins!
When an unknown white man stumbles out of the jungle, a padré insists on helping him against the advice of the local shaman, who insists that the man's body must be burned immediately upon his death. The shaman says that the man bears the mark that he is a slave of the Ban-Ali tribe, and that none must help the Ban-Ali. The padre discovers some identifying information in the man's pocket, and arranges to notify the United States, who collects the body (since it turns out the man is a former government agent, missing for several years). It turns out this man has re-grown a missing arm, complete with correct fingerprints. When the body is shipped back to the United States, it leaves a trail of destruction wherever it passed, as the new pathogen is transmissible by air.
The U.S. government wants to investigate how the regeneration was possible, and to retrace the missing man's movements, when he went into the Amazon as part of a scientific team. Meanwhile, a French pharmaceutical company hires spies to follow the team into the Amazon, and steal whatever the American team can find.
In the jungle, they encounter terrifying creatures sent by the Ben-Ali. Eventually, some of them arrive in the Ban-Ali homeland area, in which numerous species thought to be extinct are existing. They find some amazing things upon arrival in the Ban-Ali homeland, including solving the mystery of what happened to the former expedition, which had vanished without a trace.
This is a great thriller that is hard to put down. I thought the characters were great, and I really liked all of the main characters. (People do die horrific deaths along the way, but not the characters you like most.) The book is full of so many interesting places, people, and ideas. Some of the ideas have to do with evolution, prion diseases, the origin of humans as a species, and just plain good adventure (with a satisfying romance toward the end)! The book reminded me a bit of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's, The Lost World. Furthermore, the ending is EXTREMELY satisfying.
Amazonia is the second book I've read by James Rollins--Sandstorm, a later book, being the first. I think Rollins gets better with every book, and had I not read Sandstorm first, I would have given Amazonia five stars. So the four stars is only by comparison to Sandstorm, which is even better!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazonia, 27 July 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Amazonia (Mass Market Paperback)
The review above relates the story so I won't repeat it.
If you are a fan of action novels with a hint of sci-fi this could be the best book you have read in the past few years. The plot is good and after the first couple of chapters the pace hots up. The story soon becomes "unputerdownable" long periods of breath holding are required while reading. The last couple of chapters get a bit sci-fi I admit, but there is nothing way out. I have lent my copy to several friends most of who have read the book in one session, its that kind of story. For me this is a five star book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, fast paced action adventure, 15 Sep 2006
By 
Michael Florit "Barca" (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Amazonia (Mass Market Paperback)
This was my first ROLLINS book and boy am i pleased I picked this one to read. I'm now just starting "Map Of Bones" after being hooked by ROLLINS style.

Amazonia has you hooked from the start and the characters are excellent. You really get swept away with the fast pace and none stop action. I was quite sad when I came to the end as I wanted it to go on, which really says everything about the book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read - like tomb raider on paper :D, 30 Sep 2006
This review is from: Amazonia (Mass Market Paperback)
an enjotable story which sometimes lost me...there were times when there was simply TOO much going on and i struggled to keep on track with what was happening in the story - but other than that - my first foray into adventure fiction was a great read and I would recommend it - its not a "Victor Hugo" but if it was - I wouldnt be reading it :)

Go on its worth a go....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good jungle adventure, 19 Dec 2007
This review is from: Amazonia (Mass Market Paperback)
I have enjoyed the more recent Sigma force novels from Rollin's so have tried some of his earlier work such as Amazonia.

This is a typical Rollins adventure and is truthful to his staple formula. We start with a man who has been lost, presumed dead 5 years ago walking out of the Amazon with an additional arm to his previously amputated appendage. This starts a quest for a re-gerative drug in the Amazon with a medical team (good guys) and a pharmaceutical (bad-guys) team. We get a host of adventure with chimera animals and mutant pirranah's and jaguars together with the lost Ben-Ali tribe. Yes, it is far fetched (I call it fiction), but it is great fun. Enjoy!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZONIA, 20 Sep 2006
This review is from: Amazonia (Mass Market Paperback)
Brilliant outlandish adventure fiction. I am part way through Excavation and the same comments apply. Have ordered more of this authors books and cannnot wait to read more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All story - no filler, 14 Aug 2011
This review is from: Amazonia (Paperback)
I get very annoyed with books which insist on putting in numerous pointless subplots and explaining an entire life story for each character and person encountered.
I don't care. Get on with the plot and the point of the book.

Which is exactly what Amazonia does.

The pace of the book is brilliant. You understand the characters through their actions in the main story and the plot keeps moving without pause for any pointless side stories.

The story starts with an ex-army amputee stumbling out of the jungle with his arm regrown.
Cue an adventure romp through the Amazon to find the whereabouts of the rest of his team and the cause of his arm regeneration.

Numerous perilous encounters with the Amazon and its animals follows - not all of which have been discovered before.

A great book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars edge of your seat, 5 Aug 2010
By 
K. Deakin (england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Amazonia (Mass Market Paperback)
Im a great fan of James Rollins so expected great things from this book and I wasnt disappointed. The storyline was enthralling and the charactors were as believable as always with this author. James Rollins always shows great imagination in his plotlines and once you start reading you cant put it down. Fans of the author will not be disappointed.
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Amazonia
Amazonia by James Rollins (Mass Market Paperback - 30 Nov 2002)
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