“City of the Beasts” by Isabel Allende
The book is about a teenage boy called Alexander Cold who lives in a small California town, and Nadia, a teenage girl who lives in the Amazon. Alexander, or Alex, gets send to live with his grandmother Kate, who is going to take him on expedition to the Amazon. His mother has cancer, and she is going to Texas with his father so she can have an operation. The whole book is set in the Amazon River and Rain Forest. Kate is hired by the magazine International Geographic to do a report about the Beast. The Beast is a legendary creature 9 feet tall and with a terrible odor. Nadia and Alex get kidnapped by the People of the Mist, local Indians, and they go to a hidden valley. There they find out that there are more Beasts. The Beasts have huge claws, look like sloths, and they move at an incredibly slow speed. The most incredible thing is that Nadia can talk to them.
The group includes:
Alexander Kate Nadia Cesar Santos Timothy Bruce Joel Gonzalez Ludovic Leblanc Omayra Torres Captain Aristo Mauro Carias
SuspensefulThe most suspenseful part in the book is when Alex goes down to the center of the Earth to get the Water of Life for his mother. He also finds a whole lot of gems. Along the way, Alex comes upon a milky white water and he wants to drink it. Luckily he doesn't, because it is poisonous. When he gets to the Fountain of Eternal Youth, he puts the bottle to collect the water under the fountain, but then it stops! Alex remembers the Law of Giving and Taking that the People of the Mist had told him about the night before. He puts his flute down by the Fountain, and the water starts running again.
ScariestThe scariest part in this book is when Dr. Omayra Torres tries to kill all of the People of the Mist. She is pretending to vaccinate them against measles, but actually she will be injecting them with the measles virus. The plan is that most of the Indians will die, and her boyfriend Mauro Carias will then be able to buy and develop all their land.
MysteriousThe most mysterious part of the book is how the People of the Mist can just disappear or become invisible. An example is when Alex and Nadia are kidnapped by the People of the Mist. Nadia also learns how to become invisible. It has to do with getting into a state of mind where you think yourself invisible to others.
TenseI think that the most tense part of the book is when Joel Gonzalez (the assistant photographer) gets strangled by an anaconda and almost dies. Alex gets to him first and sees with horror a body as wide as a thick branch. While Alex struggles, Nadia yells, “Papa! Papa! An anaconda!”