Looking at my Audible library I’m realizing I’m really on a horror/suspense/thriller/mystery kick right now. I’ve recently discovered Michael Crichton, I know I’m a bit behind on the times, and read Jurassic Park. It isn’t fresh in my mind so I’m going to do the one I just finished instead, Congo.
I listened to this one on Audible mostly while driving to and from work and other places. I enjoy listening to books while driving since it makes the time pass faster and listening to the radio can get really repetitive after a while. The performance was fairly well done in my opinion though sometimes I’m not always a fan of the narrators version of the opposite sexes voice. Her version of dudes voices sometimes just sounded like they had a cold or something. Over all though it was pretty good.
This was my second Michael Crichton book and I could definitely tell it was him writing even though it wasn’t connected to Jurassic Park in anyway. This book is about a group of people who head into the mostly unexplored Congo to find a lost city, treasure and what the heck happened to the first team. I enjoyed the mystery of the book. Going in to great unknown and you really relate with Peter as he is more of less along for the ride and doesn’t really know what to expect. I liked not knowing for a long time what it was in the jungle, what adversary they faced. Who doesn’t love a good treasure hunt story with mystery and danger?
I enjoyed the cast of characters. Peter is a scientist working with his gorilla Amy. He teaches her sign language and studies her behaviours. We get to have Amy along for the ride. It was fun to read about her interactions with the rest of the human people and how she dealt with the situations they found themselves in.
Over all I enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading more from this author.
** SPOILERS **
Now I’m going to get into the details of the book. So if you want to read it then don’t continue, go read it, then come back.
The book starts off with us following the first expedition of the ERTS team into the Congo. Everything seems normal enough until they are suddenly and brutally attacked. All we know if that people are getting their heads crushed, there is some weird breathing noises and a couple video frames of a face of some kind. Now I’m looking at the front of this book and seeing a gorilla, so automatically I’m thinking, well it is a gorilla. As you read/listen on it isn’t so clear and it is, but it isn’t a gorilla, you got to keep going to find out.
The ERTS company sends out another crew and really doesn’t seem to care about the first one. They are really hard core business people it would seem. Dr. Ross is on the clock and hungry to prove herself. ERTS needs to get to the Lost City of Zinj so they can have these special blue diamonds that will be part of the future of technology. She brings with her some local porters, a mercenary called Monroe, Peter Elliot and his ASL learned gorilla Amy. They have to deal with the locals fighting, plane crashes and the jungle itself, all while racing teams from other countries to claim their prize. It shows quite a different world than the one we are used to and they are quite cut off and surrounded by nature.
Through many obstacles they finally make it. The lost city is quite interesting but quite empty. Not a lot remains of the original inhabitants. Eventually they are attacked by the city’s guards. What was speculated to be gorillas is more of a human gorilla hybrid. So everything they know about gorilla behaviour doesn’t really help once they start attacking. These highly aggressive and intelligent animals really put the team to the test. After many night time attacks and many causalities they finally find the diamonds. However Dr. Ross is a little too impatient and ignores Monroe’s warnings. She sets off charges in the mines and kicks off a volcanic eruption.
It’s all very tense and full of excitement. I did enjoy this book, though I felt slightly put out with how it ended. I guess it is always hard to write an ending, but I felt that the team just got out and didn’t get anything from it. Sure an experience, but I do with Elliot got to claim his new species.