Disclaimer: I won a copy of this book from Librarything as part of their Early Reviewers programme. The views expressed here are honest and are in no way influenced by the author or the publishers.
Struggling documentary producer Michael Burns has traveled to the remote Maya Mountains of Belize to capture exclusive footage of the last surviving curandero. The traditional Mayan healer may hold the key to discovering new medicines among the vast, uncharted flora of the rain forest. But with a violent civil war spilling from across the border from neighbouring Guatemala-and Burns inexplicably drawn to the curandero’s American apprentice – the film makers stumble into a more explosive story than ever could imagined. At once an adventure and an exploration into the nature of perception, THE FIVE LOST DAYS exposes the clash between modern culture and ancient beliefs.
I had a really hard time reading this book and I don’t think it’s because the contents of the book is poor. The Five Lost Days has been on my ‘currently reading’ stand for three weeks now. Whenever I pick it up to read, I read a page or two and then put it back down again. Aside from worrying that my to-read pile is yet again getting out of control and moving to a new home, I have not been able to concentrate on the story and I have only managed to read the first 8 chapters. At this rate, finishing the story seems highly unlikely and with a number of books still to read, I figure that it’s time for me to give up this book and place it in my DNC/WCB (did not complete/will come back to) pile.
In all honestly and fairness to the author (who I am sure, worked really hard on the book), the plot sounds very interesting. In the first five chapters of the story we are introduced to the amazing landscape of Belize. The descriptions are quite vivid and with a hint of realism (maybe Petrick has been there before) and it makes for a great portal of escape to the readers. Petrick further adds authenticity to his book by including little tid-bits about exotic plants found in the Belize jungle and their uses at the beginning of every chapter. The characters that were introduced are all different and dynamic and I am sure that it would be a joy to get to see them develop as the story progresses.
Though the story starts off a bit slowly in my opinion, I thought that it progressed nicely and if my imagination is any good this story will unravel quite interestingly. From the point of view of 8 chapters, I would say give this book a try. Unfortunately I can’t lend you my copy since I do intent to return to it once things settle down on my end.