As much as I've enjoyed the books of the writing team of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, I have to admit that I prefer the solo books that Preston writes, and The Lost City of the Monkey God is no exception. Preston's descriptions of the landscape and wildlife of the jungle re-enforced my opinion that the best way for me to explore these fascinating places is by reading books. (The insects and snakes alone would probably drive me insane.)
Preston covers all the bases in telling his story, and every one is spellbinding. From the history of Honduras to the history of searching for the lost city to how the language of archaeology is changing and on to the actual discovery of the city... I couldn't get enough.
But the book hit high gear once Preston and the others returned home. From an archaeological search for an ancient city, the book changes into a hair-raising tale of the spread of a horrific disease. Even Preston's explanation of the differences between the spread of disease in the Old World versus the New World kept me turning the pages.
Ultimately The City of the Lost Monkey God is a cautionary tale that infuriated me. Today the only diseases for which cures are being avidly sought are the ones in which the pharmaceutical companies can make lots of money. If the disease affects mainly poor people, forget it. They can't pay, so it's not worth trying to find a cure. But as Preston so ably tells us, disease can spread long distances, and ignoring the "no profit" ones is putting us all in grave danger.
The Lost City of the Monkey God is a book that satisfies on many levels, and I highly recommend it.