I am not usually a non-fiction reader but I tend to enjoy reading books about history when I actually sit down and read them. I do find, though, that I tend to read these books really slowly. I have a hard time reading more than a chapter at a time which means that I spend a lot of time on a single book. As a really fast reader, this kind of drives me crazy and I start questioning whether or not I am actually enjoying the book I am reading.
That said, I really did enjoy this book. I got a galley at Heartland Fall Forum in October. Douglas Preston was one of the guest speakers at the Adult Author Dinner and his talk about this book was amazing. I turned to the people I was with and we all agreed that we needed to read that book immediately. Of course, as it is with the book world, immediately became January and, when the book came out last Tuesday, I realized that I hadn’t actually read it yet. So I decided that it was finally the time.
This book was filled with so many different things. Archeology. History. Adventure. Poisonous snakes. Incurable diseases. A were-jaguar. Preston did a great job of balancing stories of his excursion with the history of the area as well as the history of past expeditions in search for “lost cities.” I learned so much, not just about South America and these “lost cities,” but also about the politics involved in exploring areas as well as how archeological language has needed to change over time. Preston did a great job of breaking everything down and explaining concepts that I personally was not familiar with. I think that this is a good book for anyone looking better understand how a single archeological expedition affects the greater world.