River of Eden Mass Market Paperback – 3 Apr 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is a "go up the river into the jungle and accomplish a great feat against all odds" story. There are riverboat chases, and multiple levels of bad-buys double-crossing our intrepid hero/heroine (and each other). It's FUN, but it has a serious underlying theme of mysticism and redemption that is fascinating and different.
Most of all, River of Eden is a love story on many different levels. It's about self-love, consuming love of a place, and oh yeah, a believable love between two really interesting people, Will and Annie.
Will and Annie are great characters. Each of them is running from something, and running toward something else in the desperate hope that their destination will be enough to absolve them of past crimes, real and imagined.
This is no light wise-cracking duo - these two are carrying some major baggage, some of it metaphysical/mystical in nature. Sometimes backstory like that can drag a romance down fast, but in River of Eden the hero and heroine are well-matched in their derring-do and their emotional wariness, so it's rewarding to watch them deal with each other and eventually, slowly, give in to their attraction for each other. I really enjoyed both of them individually and as a pair.
The setting of this book takes on a life of its own, and the lush, lyrical quality of the narrative makes you feel like you can feel the rain and see the vegetation. It's almost a visual novel in its depth and feel. This is something River of Eden has in common with McReynolds' previous books, though the setting was very different in the fantasy trilogy.
I thoroughly enjoyed River of Eden and think you will too if you liked Romancing the Stone (the movie) or Heart of Fire by Linda Howard (the novel). Check it out. I don't think you'll be sorry.
Glenna McReynolds has penned a fast, can't wait to turn the page, stay up all night reading, story!
Dr. Annie Parish, "Amazon Annie", is on a mission. To convince Will Sanchez Travers, once a renowned Harvard botanist, now a rather seedy looking--with a seedier reputation guide, to take her up the river to Santa Maria. She herself is a botanist, who, while having some renowned work under her belt, also has the rather infamous reputation of having been kicked out of Brazil a year ago for reportedly shooting a `lover'. But she's back, and determined to follow up on an amazing discovery she made quite by accident on her previous trip, but she has to have someone, namely Will, get her up the river close to the spot where her find lies. The RBC, River Basin Coalition, who used influence to allow her back into the country to study `peach palm harvest', has no inkling of what Annie is truly up to. Annie has other plans, and the case of guns, ammo, and grenades that she bought from a questionable source is only the beginning.
Will agrees, under pressure, to take Annie up the river on his boat, the `Sucuri'-which translates to Anaconda! He's got his own personal agenda, and see's Annie being dropped in with him as a nuisance. But he can't help but be drawn to her spunk and passion. The fun begins before they even get the boat out of the port, with Annie receiving a letter telling her to leave Brazil. Oh, and then there's the shootout with those guys she got the guns from...
This story starts at page 1 with the action and doesn't let up the entire book. And the relationship that develops between Will and Annie, who are both leery of the other, is done will skill and grace. Will has had some experiences with the metaphysical, and the author does a tremendous job of making us `see' what he experienced, and of helping Annie understand Will. You feel them being drawn together. And the cast of supporting characters is great. They will have you chuckling about shrunken heads, and an overweight gun runner sweating it out in the jungle, to feeling the menace ooze off the bad guy, Carisco Vargas.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of romantic suspense, or action packed adventure. I read it in one sitting, and can't wait for her next suspense novel! She's done a wonderful job keeping the pace up, and not forgetting the romantic theme.
Don't miss this read!
River of Eden is a romantic suspense story with a touch of the mystical, but that doesn't do it justice. It's a lush, intense story that transports you into the jungle, makes you believe that anything might be true, and gets your heart pounding. Heh. Wonder if reading it could substitute for a workout?
Dr. Annie Parish has returned to Brazil after being kicked out of the country the year before. She's risking everything to return for the rare, bio-luminescent (and sentient?) orchids she'd had to leave behind. She needs transportation up the river, and her best bet is Will Travers.
Dr. Will Travers, a world-respected botanist from Harvard, had disappeared into the jungle for a year, and now appears to be nothing more than a drunken river rat. He's obviously full of secrets, but Annie has secrets of her own, starting with the crates of weapons she loads onto his boat.
The two of them find themselves on a collision course, with both of them trying to get to the same place for different reasons. They're racing against time, and running from a fat gangster and directly toward an evil madman, and the shaman and his mystical snakes may or may not be on their side.
Along the way, they reluctantly fall in love, but this isn't the main focus of the story, which is possibly one reason why River of Eden stood out so strongly for me. Normally, in a romantic suspense book, you'll have the suspense plot, but every time the characters look at each other, there'll be romantic sparks, they can't think about each other without rhapsodizing over body parts, can't talk to each other without imagining their mouths doing other things. I hadn't realized how pervasive this was until I read River of Eden. I still believed, definitely, that Annie and Will fell in love, but it was accomplished without the... sugar coating. I think the difference is that River of Eden takes the suspense story seriously. It's not just a setting for the romance. Likewise, the romance isn't just tacked on as an afterthought.
Whoops. Getting perilously close to gushing there.
It's not easy to describe the feel of this book, but I'll try. Take the movie Romancing the Stone and slide it to the left a bit, make it a little more serious, a little more real, and a little more dream-like. Cover everything with a jungle mist, and add an ominous soundtrack of jungle drums.
Outside the story world, it's hard to accept risking everything Annie went through just for a couple of flowers, even if they would make her career, and the evil madman is too much The Evil Madman, but even that adds to the atmosphere, which demands you accept it all as real.