Book Review: Out of the Devil’s Mouth

31 Aug

Out of the Devil’s Mouth, by Travis Thrasher

Genre: Christian fiction; contemporary; 1920’s; adventure; humor; mystery; romance

Plot Summary: (from Henry Wolfe has a penchant for finding trouble. Or more precisely trouble usually finds him. It is the late 1920s and Wolfe, a traveling reporter/self-proclaimed adventurer, is hired to go on a mission deep into the dubious jungles of Venezuela. Several months earlier, the son of a wealthy family disappeared during his search for a lost tribe who reportedly had found the key to eternal life. Wolfe is a last-minute replacement on the team to go find and extricate the son, no matter what. No white man has ever gone down this Venezuelan river path and returned alive. Local tribesman and predators lurk in the leafy shadows as Henry and his team fight for their lives.

My Review: Adventure. Mystery. And a dash of romance. Seemed like it would make a good summer read. But when it arrived through Interlibrary Loan and I started reading it, I began to be dismayed that it sounded like the second in a series. (You see, I’m a stickler for having all my ducks in a row…) I searched high and low on the internet to find the title of the first book, but to no avail. So I finally settled down and delved into “Devil’s Mouth”. As it turns out, there is no other “Henry Wolfe Adventure” but this one (as of yet). Author Travis Thrasher purposefully wrote it to sound like the second book, in order to make the characters feel more like “just another episode in the life of our favorite adventurists…”

Chock full of natives, jaguars, head shrinkers, piranhas, this was just plain fun to read. It was also humorous, even in the most gripping scenes.  Witty, vivid, film-like… If you’re thinking “Indiana Jones” you’re not too far off the mark. But instead of a perfect hero, we have Henry Wolfe, Sidekick– flawed, stubborn, at times clueless, but very much the human hero of the story. Don’t expect it to be the typical Christian fiction plot.  This isn’t a story where everyone meets Jesus and then all their troubles are over.

The story mentions Colonel Fawcett and the Search for the Lost City.  Ironically, I had just seen PBS’ “Secrets of the Dead: Lost in the Amazon” (short documentary) just a few days before I picked up my library book, so I already knew a little about that incident.  I recommend doing this, so that readers will better understand the context of “…Devil’s Mouth”.

I did sort of have to roll my eyes over the fact that the heroine was always unrealistically so beautiful every single moment.  Beautiful Kate’s mosquito bitten face still appeared flawless…  Beautiful Kate’s clothes were still clean and shoes still polished after camping in the jungle for several weeks… etc. etc. etc. But I think that just contributed to the whole intentional cheesy-feel of the story, which had to make you laugh and hang in for more.

A word to the intellectual: This was not Great Literature. Nor do I think was it intended to be. Sure, some of the adventures in this book came across as being hokey. Not hokey-written, just unrealistic, almost in a purposeful way. I got the impression it was supposed to feel like a fun B-movie, so I just decided to let my hair down and have fun reading it!  Somehow that made the story all the more fun. When was the last time you actually laughed as you read a fun book? This would make the perfect summer-escape read.  I can’t wait to read more by this author, and I REALLY hope that he will seriously consider writing a sequel or a series for Henry Wolfe!

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Posted by on August 31, 2013 in Book Reviews


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