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3.5 

City of the Beasts

By Isabel Allende & Margaret Sayers Peden
City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende & Margaret Sayers Peden digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

A search for the Beast, a Yeti-like creature within the heart of the Amazon, becomes a quest for self-discovery in this young adult coming-of-age story filled with international adventure, rich mythology, and magical realism from globally celebrated novelist Isabel Allende.

Fifteen-year-old Alexander Cold has the chance to take the trip of a lifetime. Parting from his family and ill mother, Alexander joins his fearless grandmother, a magazine reporter for International Geographic, on an expedition to the dangerous, remote world of the Amazon. Their mission, along with the others on their team—including a celebrated anthropologist, a local guide and his young daughter Nadia, and a doctor—is to document the legendary Yeti of the Amazon known as the Beast.

Under the dense canopy of the jungle, Alexander is amazed to discover much more than he could have imagined about the hidden worlds of the rain forest. Drawing on the strength of the jaguar, the totemic animal Alexander finds within himself, and the eagle, Nadia's spirit guide, both young people are led by the invisible People of the Mist on a thrilling and unforgettable journey to the ultimate discovery.

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105 Reviews

3.5
Expressionless Face“This wasn't my cup of tea, but I still want to read more from Allende because this was her first time writing for younger readers. Maybe I shouldn't expect a ton of nuance from a middle grade novel, but this one seemed especially clunky. I was enjoying the first part, the relationship with his grandmother, and some of the humor, but about halfway through it started to get repetitive and obvious. I also think the depictions of the local indigenous people include a lot of stereotypes along the lines of the "noble savage". It's patronizing and ultimately leads to a lot of white savior moments. On the other hand, it does have a good cautionary message about treating the Amazon (and other ecological areas) with respect. Oh, and the English translation is just clunky, awkward, and kinda annoying.”
Diverse charactersDescriptive writingEasy to readMagical settingComing of ageBad writingPredictable

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