Having read most of the fiction novels in "Medical Thrillers / Scientific Adventures" category, by Robin Cook / Michael Crichton, I decided to try different authors this time. Last week, I did a random search in our Groton Public Library, and picked up this book - Amazonia by James Rollins. When I browse 'Editorial Reviews' of novels, I look for Amazonian Jungles, Egyptian Pyramids and other Ancient Myths, Mutations / Genetic Engineering and Aliens :-) This book seemed to have some of these "feelers" and so I got it issued. Having completed this 420-page novel in less than a week (usually, I take 3-4 weeks) is a testimony that I enjoyed reading it. Yes - It did meet my expectations with all elements of Amazon - Native Indian Tribes, Anacondas, Swamps, giant Caimans & a good dose of Scientific unknowns - Mutated Creatures, Pre-historic Healing Tree, Incurable Virulent Plague etc. From an 'Action' standpoint, you have Quasi-military rangers, trails & chases, death traps, stealth weapons, explosions to keep you glued to the story's mainstream.
A very interesting point is, I did notice lot similarities in this novel (released in 2002) and "Avatar" movie (2009). I have seen the movie earlier in Dec. 2009. In the movie, you have Hometree - the Tree of Souls, deposits of Unobtainium (!?!) beneath it, Na'vi tribe protecting it and RDA corporation trying to destroy / exploit it. In this novel, you have Yagga - the Healing Tree, source of evolutionary genetic library beneath it, Ban-ali tribe protecting it and St. Savin Pharmaceuticals trying to destroy / exploit it. Coincidence?? James Cameron should answer this question, though I did not see credits/reference given to this author/novel in the movie. I also noted that many readers reflected similar thoughts in the writer's blog @ www.jamesrollins.com.
Now that I have got a new author, who writes the genre I love, I am looking forward to read his other novels like Excavation, Subterranean, Deep Fathom, Ice Hunt etc.
I also googled some trivia below:
- In 2007, James Rollins was hired to write the novelization of the script for the movie "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull".
- James Rollins and James Clemens are two of the pen names of American veterinarian "Jim Czajkowski" - He sold his veterinary practice in Sacramento, California, to concentrate full-time on writing.