My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This story follows Jack, the son of Tarzan, who is dissatisfied with his life in England’s public schools, and longs to be living in the jungle. When circumstances push him to Africa, young Jack rises to the adventure and goes racing around the jungle as his father did before him. But will Jack ever find his parents again or even bother to return to civilization?
This book is exciting and fun to read! The action is non-stop and there’s always some wild battle going on, or devious kidnappers threatening to hold everyone for ransom, or a group of evil cutthroats murdering and plundering, and of course there’s always the threat of lions and panthers and savage tribes. It’s never dull, that’s for certain!
My only complaint is that the plot is a little over-the-top drama, to the point where it’s not quite believable. When they fall into the clutches of the exact SAME kidnappers for the THIRD time, I start to roll my eyes. It’s also a tiny bit predictable in some areas, since I easily guessed the secret identity of the Big Bwana.
I love the main characters, Tarzan and Jane, and of course the youthful Jack. They have so much energy and courage and resourcefulness. I cheered them on through the whole book!
Jack really grows from a reckless, sort of idiotic young person, into a thinking man, who learns a lot of wisdom and common sense. At first, he revels in killing at the hunt simply because he can, and that really bothered me. “Law of the Jungle” might work for animals, but men should have more of a moral compass than to go around murdering tribes-people and stealing their goods.
But later on, he gains some wisdom, learns the true value of what he has, and chooses a more noble path.
We are also introduced to a little kidnapped girl, Miriam, who is surprisingly resilient and strong. Her jungle journey to freedom was the real highlight of the book. I like Jack, but Miriam is the real star of the show, I think. She’s growing up little by little, discovering the world in so many different areas, finding her place in jungle society and then in civilized society. She’s utterly innocent and sweet, ready to learn and grow. Her story line was what truly brought the rest of the book together.
Morrison Banes is an “honorable” young English gentleman who appears on the scene in Africa, and he has a lot of moral enigmas to work through. His redemption story really kept my attention, and I thought Morrison’s internal dialogue was wonderfully written. You could really see his thinking process as he sinned, and tried to justify his sin, then repented, changed his heart, and accepted the consequences of his actions. A beautifully complex character, even though he’s only a supporting character!
I wish there was more of Tarzan and Jane in this book, especially their journey to find their lost son. And I wish there was less of the apes in the story, because those parts weren’t that interesting to me.
Can’t wait to read more of the Tarzan series!