Monday, May 17, 2021

"Jungle Up"

Nick Pirog is the bestselling author of the Thomas Prescott series, the 3:00 a.m. series, and The Speed of Souls. A Colorado native, he now lives in South Lake Tahoe with his two pups, Potter and Penny.

Pirog applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Jungle Up, and reported the following:
From page 69:

There was a giant snake projected on the screen at the front of the room. It was several shades of brown and easily camouflaged among the dried leaves in the photo.

“The fer-de-lance,” Mark Holland said in an English accent.

Holland, as he liked to be called, was tall, easily six foot four, muscular, with a light-brown goatee and a shaved head. He wore a white paracord bracelet on one wrist and an enormous black watch on the other. He had spent the previous five minutes recounting his bio: forty-two years old, ex–British Special Forces, advanced trauma medic, skilled survivalist, and senior instructor in jungle warfare. After leaving the military, he started a company called TAFLS, Television and Film Logistics and Safety. He specialized in bringing television and film crews into the most dangerous and inhospitable environments. He’d worked with several TV shows— including Running Wild with Bear Grylls, Survivorman, Extreme World, and Naked and Afraid—and on numerous documentaries.

Holland and his partner—Ian Rixby, whom they would meet the following day—would be in charge of Andy and the other expedition team members’ safety while in the jungle.
When I first turned to Page 69, I found myself grinning. The page is, without a doubt, one of my favorites in the entire novel and I can visualize the scene in my head perfectly. That being said, after rereading the page several times, I would say my book fails this test.

While the passage may spark interest in readers intrigued by the prospect of a jungle adventure, there isn’t a window into the narrator, Andy Depree, whose personality is one of the driving forces of the novel. Andy is a breathing conundrum: he is the lead anthropologist on a documentary expedition headed into the Bolivian jungle in search of the lost city of the Incas, but he is also an anxiety-ridden hypochondriac who once locked himself in his room for three days when his dad saw a garter snake in their backyard.

The page also fails to mention the primary storyline (and protagonist), which is retired homicide detective Thomas Prescott journeying to the Bolivian Amazon to rescue Gina Brady, a World Health Organization doctor (and ex-girlfriend) who was abducted from her village. Thomas had caught a ride down to South America on the documentary expedition’s charter flight, but after landing, the two groups went their opposite ways. Thomas is destined to cross paths with the documentary expedition later in the novel, which is just one of several hold-onto-your-socks twists along the way.
Visit Nick Pirog's website.

My Book, The Movie: Jungle Up.

--Marshal Zeringue