Blood Feather Awakens by R.W.K. Clark is the story of a wildlife photographer who encounters a murderous unknown bird while in the Amazon jungle. The massive feathered creature murders his guide right in front of him, but he manages to escape with his life. Soon, he is compelled to take his photos of the animal to an ornithologist at the university, and they are heading back to the Amazon to find and capture the deadly bird.
The primary characters in the book include Sam Daniels, a professional wildlife photographer, and Dr. Kate Beck, an ornithologist for the University of Washington. Rico is the first guide killed, while Miguel, Abilio, and Glaucio are the three guides who accompany them when they return. Dr. Harold Kreiger and Roy Hastings are the paleontologists who are racing against the clock to find Blood Feather before Kate and Sam do. Other big players include Kate’s assistant, Jason Seward, and Martha, her receptionist at the university. Basically, the main characters are just chasing the bird, but all of them are motivated to do so by different things. The majority of this book takes place during the return trip, when the bird is being hunted by them all, and they encounter a series of adventures, misadventures, and horror along the way.
For me, it is a bit difficult to pinpoint if I really had a favorite character from this book. There are those who have negative motives, and it was easy to hate them. There are also those who are simply along to help, like the guides, but they were easier to like than the bad guys. As far as my personal favorites, I would vote for Sam and Kate; they are the ones with the purest motives, after all, and the love that is growing between them makes the entire book flow a little better.
If I could relate to any one character, though, I would choose Miguel. He is the director of Expedition Amazon, and he is the lead guide on their journey. Miguel has a righteous anger about the bird, and a huge concern regarding its desire and ability to kill. He has already lost one man, Rico, and he wants to stop this thing before it is too late. Miguel is a family man whose heart is weighing heavy, and this instills a level of bravery in him that is really pretty unrivalled by his associates.
The story takes place primarily in the jungle, but in the beginning, it swings back and forth a bit from Sam’s apartment in Seattle too Kate’s office at the university. Of course, there is a bit of travel going on, but the majority of this tale takes place in the Amazon, which gives the entire storyline a strange, spooky feel. Most of us have never visited the jungle, and the thought of being out in the middle of it, with no shelter other than a tent, while a killer bird is flying around, is pretty scary indeed. I felt like RWK Clark did a very good job providing the perfect narrative in regarding to location, which proved to really help the feel of the story.
While there were many good, descriptive parts, and lots of realistic dialogue, my favorite part of this book was the very end. True to Clark’s form, he once again delivers a twist that changes everything, and to put it bluntly, the lack of the idyllic ending was just what it needed. I think he wanted readers to ask themselves: ‘What would happen if we messed around with something that Mother Nature never intended us to even see? What would this thing do to us? Well, he pretty much lays it on the line at the end.
Now is a good time to discuss the ‘bad guys’ in the book, Dr. Harold Kreiger and Dr. Roy Hastings. These two paleontologists are associates of Kate’s at the university, and she goes to them with Sam in an effort to see if they know exactly what species the bird is. Something inside of her tells her to hold back, and she couldn’t be more correct. As soon as Kreiger sees the photos of the bird, he immediately begins to formulate a plan for beating Sam and Kate to the Amazon and capturing the creature first. His name would go down in history, and he would get fame and fortune as a result. Kreiger and Hastings don’t quite make their goal, and I personally feel like Clark did the right thing when they got what each one deserves.
As far as the bird goes, Clark did a good job prodding me to think about its mindset. Was it fearful, or simply violent? Is it attacking out of fear, or some kind of shark-like rage that was simply its nature? When he introduces the view of the bird’s nest at the very end, I think it really sunk in that Sam, Kate, and everyone else were fighting a losing battle from the start: They had no idea what they were doing, and their lack of respect for the creature and the unknown ultimately lead to the demises the reader witnesses here.
I would have to say this is a really good reading choice for those who enjoy science fiction with a touch of horror. It is not so intense that you will end up sleeping with the lights on, and it won’t take you months to trudge through. ‘Blood Feather Awakens’ is an easy-read that doesn’t weight the reader down or confuse them with too many characters or too much filler. It is also a good, imaginative story, almost alone the lines of Jurassic Park, only worse, in some ways, but we won’t talk about those points here; it may just give away the ending to do so.
In conclusion, I would recommend RWK Clark’s ‘Blood Feather Awakens’ to anyone looking for some good reading entertainment. Once again, he contributes a story that is written just for the joy of writing, and it manages to provide us with the light, creative entertainment he is known for, without bogging readers down in the slightest. This book is fresh, entertaining, and will keep you reading until the very end.
ISBN-13: 978-0692734087 (Custom)
BISAC: Fiction / Romance / Action & Adventure