Guest Post: A.J. Raven
“Na Bolom: House of the Jaguar” by author Forrest Hayes is quite an interesting book. The main characters are likeable and I found myself turning one page after another.
The first character we are introduced to is Peter Campbell. Peter is an anthropologist and he’s really interested in dinosaur fossils. The author wastes no time in setting up the story. Peter is worried about his girlfriend Jazmin Rivera because he hasn’t heard from her in weeks. A mysterious phone call tells him about her whereabouts and he sets off to the jungles of Chiapas. What follows is a very exciting adventure that touches a number of subjects. We also see Peter beginning to reconnect with his past experiences. He’s helped by a shaman named Chan. I really liked Chan as a character. He is wise, looks after his tribe, and allows Peter to realize his potential. Jazmin was a good example of a female character. I liked that the author didn’t keep her away from all the action. She’s strong and determined. She and Peter have to do what they can to save the rainforest and stay away from the Mexican Special Forces chasing them. I liked the aspect regarding a corrupt government wanting to cut down the forest to make money.
There’s also a lot of talk about spirits and the forest being alive. Jazmin seems to have created a strong bond with her surroundings and it helps the two more than once. Peter, on the other hand, took time to understand what he was going through with regards to his hallucinations and his own power. As I kept reading I found out that he seemed to be in a continuous circle where: An evil force coming after him repeatedly through the ages. It even attacked him when he first enters the forest. But in the end, Peter decided to put a stop to it. The story is more or less a journey relating to Peter recognizing and unlocking his internal powers. Not only that, by saving the forest, he is able to save the world.
I enjoyed the forest being portrayed as a living entity. It knew what was happening and even helped Peter and Jazmin more than once. There’s also a lot of talk about dinosaurs and past life experiences. The environment and the tribesmen were shown in a manner that felt well-researched. The detailed surroundings really came to life on the pages.
“Na Bolom: House of the Jaguar” gets 5 out of 5 stars from me. It achieved what it was set out to accomplish. It talked about Peter’s journey from start to finish and the whole thing had a proper ending. Give it a read and we’ll talk about it.