City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende: A review
The two main characters are teenagers Alexander and Nadia. When Alexander's mother becomes quite ill, he is sent to New York to stay with his grandmother, Kate. She is a magazine reporter who is irascible and tough-minded, not qualities that one would normally associate with the word "grandmother." She had been planning a trip to the Amazon to search for a gigantic legendary creature known only as the Beast and to encounter the lost tribes who live in that region. Now, she'll be taking Alexander along with her.
The local guide for the trip into the Amazon has a teenage daughter named Nadia, and she and Alex quickly bond. Other members of the expedition include an anthropologist, a doctor, and a local entrepreneur. Pretty soon we come to suspect that not all of these people are pure of heart and at least one may have ulterior motives.
Once in the Amazon, a local tribe known as the People of the Mists take Alexander and Nadia and they travel with them through jungle, mountains, and caves. The two young people get an education in what it is like to live as primitive hunter-gatherers.
Alexander and Nadia are presented as remarkably rational thinkers who are able to reason things out and come to logical solutions to problems. In this regard, they are more adept than many of the adults around them.
This apparently was the first in a trilogy featuring these characters. I enjoyed it quite a bit and, at some point, would not be averse to reading the other two books, but I already have a full reading list and they will just have to take their place in the queue.