Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Case of the Cursed Dodo - a Jungle Noir

The Endangered Files No. 1, Featuring Jake G. Panda
 The Case of the Cursed Dodo - a Jungle Noir

Well, this is a completely unusual book. First, it is written as though it is being filmed which can sometimes be a little distracting but interesting. Second, it is reminiscent of the old black & white private eye movies of the 1940s. This is a presentation featuring Jake G. Panda. It is his story (and debut), his first completed Endangered File. File closed.

I thought this was an interesting take on writing a private eye book. We are entering the world of endangered wildlife in a very unique way. Although this book is written with middle school readers in mind, I think it works better for those of us who actually saw the old movie genre. That said, it really could be enjoyed at any age. The concept is brilliant with hints of what animals on the endangered list are endangered from. The film noir theme also works well. Jake G. Panda brings a bit of Humphrey Bogart's Sam Spade personality to the book giving it that deadpan feel while at the same time presenting a fascinating look at wildlife. The Dodo story was a great place to begin. Who doesn't know of the long-gone Dodo bird?

It is from this perspective that the story fledges into a full-blown mystery, complete with clues, sidekicks, an Underground, good guys and bad guys with hidden agendas, and it all begins with a mysterious suitcase in the middle of a desert. Wonderful. My advice is to let the story take you along for the ride to enjoy it at it's best. There are lots of animals on the endangered list from which the author will be able to choose his cases. With Jake G. Panda on the scent, let's hope some of those animals get a reprieve. Great fun, a fast read, a good though fanciful plot that points out the very real facts that are endangering these animals, such as the harvesting of elephant ivory. I loved this entertaining and somewhat educational book for any age group.

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