- File Size: 5582 KB
- Print Length: 430 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Turtleshell Press; 1 edition (June 13, 2016)
- Publication Date: June 13, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01H2AIFWU
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,881 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Amazon Code (Harvey Bennett Thrillers Book 2) Kindle Edition
|Length: 430 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The potential reader should view this book’s listed genre with skepticism, in my opinion. On Amazon (the online store, not the region), the book is listed as Psychics, as well as Action & Adventure. I don’t get it. With the references to neuroscience, as well as the author’s synopsis mentioning “emerging science,” I was thinking technothriller. For example, the clues that drive our protagonist, Harvey “Ben” Bennett, to the Amazon come from fMRI-based videos of people dreaming, a capability that appears close at hand. But perhaps the author went with the psychic category because the link to science is weak with more hand-waving in crucial places (how did they get that map?) and niggling errors (e.g., the incorrect definition of fMRI) than one would hope.
The second precautionary note for potential readers is that you may want to start with book 1 – always a good idea, but maybe more so for this series, because you are joining an on-going story. Ben is single-mindedly pursuing a ruthless organization he faced in book 1, even though he’s totally unsuited to the task. He’s a park ranger. The villains are part of a clandestine group unencumbered by ethics and at ease with the use of extreme violence. Hopefully, his obsession is explained in the first book, because the attempt to attribute it to his personality in this book just doesn’t work (“Ben was just being Ben — stubborn, boorish, and reclusive”). Lots of people share those traits, but none of them go to the Amazon based on a rumor, untrained and unprepared, hoping to form a rag-tag team with the right mix of skills to win the day. Ben, however, does. It’s good suspense, but a bit inexplicable even for action/adventure.
The Amazon Code also has the somewhat unusual distinction of being loaded with action – chases, gun fights, grisly deaths – and yet, it feels slow. Part of the reason is that chapters are written from the perspective of different characters, so with each change in point of view, the reader gets another recounting of the hopelessness of their situation. Additionally, each character recounts events from their lives in general. The technique can greatly aid character development, but it’s overused and sometimes makes little sense. I was never sure, for example, how either Ben or Julie saw their relationship, beyond the fact that they thought it was something they couldn’t escape (“Hours of arguing and slamming doors had taught her that there was nothing that could force them apart, except, ironically, death”). Is that supposed to be romantic?
So, for the reader who can suspend reality a bit and who doesn’t require crystalline characters, The Amazon Code can provide a decent rush of intense action…and a long list of ways to die in the Amazon.
Characters aren't true to their type. Two science researchers, a park ranger, an ex-army sniper all of whom fail simple deductive reasoning that any plain person would apply given the developing situation. These deficiencies create a negative feedback loop for the reader that just keeps intensifying as more is read. Too many skill gaps, too many reflections, too many contradictory words combine to bury this story. It should stay lost in the Amazon rainforest!
All of Nick's characters are believable. There are several new people, the most important of whom is Dr. Meron, who's been recording dreams. Most of the dreamers see a gold man who isn't important to the dream itself, except the relationship of the gold man to the people leads the group to the Amazon.
The plot and subplots are action packed. The Enigma Strain was exciting and fast paced, but The Amazon Code is even more exciting. I found it nearly impossible to put the book down. As soon as I finish this review, I'm reading The Ice Chasm. I'm eager to follow Ben and Julie in the third book of the trilogy.
I highly recommend The Amazon Code, but if you haven't already read The Enigma Strain, you might want to read it first.
Top international reviews
There's a woman called Amanda who is super intelligent and incredibly beautiful (YAWN) and she runs a company that is trying to use electrodes to view people's dreams. First of all there's some nonsense about them recording onto VHS and Digital because digital isn't safe. (1) it's one or the other (as in if digital isn't safe why are you recording in both) and (2) if you store the output in a vault or safe then how is a digital medium less safe then VHS? And this then doesn't square up with, a few pages later, the results being "put online" for the investors to view.
Then they are watching the dreams of a sleeping old man and they can see indistinct shapes - except for 1 person (won't say more than that) who is crystal clear. There is then a mixed up paragraph where Dr Wu (one of her team) suggests they change from the "live feed to the recording" of the video. You CANNOT do that. The only way to see what's already been recorded on tape is to stop recording and then rewind. Not sure how old the author is - but has he ever used a VHS?
Then he has a conversation with Amanda where she says "how can he be staring at me?" (the body in the dream, showing on the screen). Errr, he's not love, He's looking towards the aspect of the "camera" (the focus of the person's dream). I only mention this because this supposedly super intelligent woman asks questions that a 12 year old would probably be embarrassed by. And then seems to behave in a really flakey manner (accepted by Dr Wu) which doesn't fit in with someone who is driven enough to start her own research business.
Shortly afterwards we move to Juliette and Ben and Juliette goes into another room (to try on a bikini to model for Ben) and gets a phone call on the way. She comes out looking upset and says something about "going to Brazil". And yet a few pages later they are on a plane and having a conversation along the lines of she never wanted to go to Brazil and it was all his idea and she wished she hadn't mentioned the call. She didn't mention the call. She walked out the room and said "we need to go to Brazil" and he responded "excuse me?".
I can't carry on, I'm afraid, with this level of contradiction. It seems like every few pages the characters "forget" what they've already said. So, apologies to the author for bailing.
I was certainly gripped by this 2nd in the Harvey Bennett action packed thriller series, set in the Amazon rainforest; following the various twists and turns with baited breath. I enjoyed the way myths, science, conspiracies and a military component were threaded together. I also liked the link to a previous assignment, that had still been rankling Ben, and therefore Julie too. Dreaming is one of the most understudied fields in neuroscience; since my husband and I had experienced very strange dreams during our 2020 Covid-19 illness, the story intrigued me even more......
I have only rated this 4 stars as I did have to work quite hard to finish this, as there were a few confusing parts; but I really did want to find out what happened and I’m so glad I did!
Frustrating jumps between viewpoints from one chapter to the next which do not always segue well.
Interesting scary and historic story, kept you on edge.
Characters were interesting with interesting lives and careers and personalities
Thoroughly enjoyed reading, well worth reading.
This genre is my favourite and this book does the job. Lots of suspense, shootings and running away. For me, and interesting topic with just enough information to keep me interested rather than bemused
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Amazonian Mayan mysteries.