City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende

December 12, 2008
By Colleen Carney, Portland, OR

City of the beasts is by Isabel Allende. It is an adventure of a book, and defiantly goes with its fantasy genre. I chose to read it because I like stories with lots of action, this one is way more than I expected! I loved this book, and if you are anything like me in choosing books, you will like it too!

The characters are very unique and each have their own personality. Alexander Cold is a fifteen-year-old boy who must part with his ill mother and wonderful family. He must venture with his brave grandmother into the dense jungle of the Amazon. There he meets a honey-colored girl named Nadia who lives in the jungle along with the People of the Mist, a tribe that lives in the isolated part of the Amazon. Alexander is on an expedition with a doctor, an anthropologist, and a local guide, whose daughter is Nadia.

The setting starts in the busy city of New York where Alexander carries on with his normal life. His house is chaotic because of the absence of his mother. The boy’s dad must take care of the house and he doesn’t like it. Alexander is always depressed about his mother’s illness, and doesn’t like to do anything that he used to do. Soon, his dad must make the children leave because he can’t take care of them at the moment. Alexander is soon on the plane to the dense Amazon jungle with his grandmother.

Alexander misses his mother and father. He is worried that his mother will die, and always asks if there is anything to heal her in the jungle. Alexander’s grandmother is a magazine reporter for International Geographic and is on an expedition with him, and many others. Their mission is to research the Yeti of the Amazon, or what they call, the Beast. Alexander meets Nadia, and the People of the Mist. They must go on a risky adventure to save the tribe from danger. During the journey, Alexander realizes his sacred animal and Nadia realizes hers. The sacred animal means the animal that one is connected with. Nadia and Alexander work together and overcome the things that they never thought they would overcome.

I enjoyed reading this book because I never knew what would come next. City of the Beasts is different from all the other fantasy books. It is more realistic, not the typical “unicorn and fairy” fantasies. Isabel Allende has always written adult novels, and this book is her first one for young readers. I loved how something new happened every page, it kept me reading till I had to go to bed. I would rate this book five stars, just like almost every book I finish. If I’m not interested in the first couple pages, then I put the book down and pick up a different one. This book had an awesome beginning, and it captured me as quickly as you can say “Great Book”!

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