Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Book Review: Tarzan-The Jungle Warrior

No excuse for taking this long to read the second book. So let's just jump in...

Following the events of the last novel, Tarzan has returned back to his gorilla family while Jane Porter tries to discover more about his past. Meanwhile the illegal logging operation camp Jane's father is involved in has moved and welcomes a new guest: Nickolas Rockoff, a famed Russian big game hunter. What no one knows is that Rockoff is in the illegal animal trade and is looking for a famous "white ape." When Karnath, a young ape from Tarzan's tribe, is kidnapped Tarzan, Jane and Robbie Canler attempt to rescue him, only to discover a dangerous foe and the real reason that Rockoff is hunting the "white ape." A reason that leaves more questions than answers...

Having liked the first book in author Andy Briggs' new updated Tarzan series, I approached this one curious to see where he would take the story. And in most cases he succeeds quite well. The action sequences are handled with aplomb and great style-the best being a stampede that Tarzan causes to slow down Rockoff. There is also more character background revealed about Robbie and a new threat that could come back to haunt him. I also thought the reworking of Rockoff and Paulvitch as illegal animal thieves brought a good modern day twist to their characters and their final confrontation with Tarzan pays off well. The closing is also pretty good, leaving the door open for the next book.

Where the book does fall short a little is in character development. Outside of Robbie, Tarzan and Jane are pretty much the same as before. Tarzan in particular seems stuck in Weissmuller mode too much while Jane's feisty quality is nice but begins to get a little grating after the third or fourth time she wanders off into danger. Also the lack of romance between the leads leaves this reader little to hook onto. The big appeal of Edgar Rice Burroughs' earlier Tarzan tales was the love story between Tarzan and Jane. I guess not wanting to turn off young readers it has been eliminated but for us older readers the romance always was a big part of the story.

Beyond that though I found The Jungle Warrior an entertaining, quick read. It may not be the original Tarzan but anything to help bring the character to new readers I'm all for. Rating: *** out of 4.

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