The Son of the last of a long line of thinkers. (delascabezas) wrote,
The Son of the last of a long line of thinkers.

Book Review - Seducing the Spirits by Louise Young

Science, spiritualism, anthropology, philosophy, and a peppering of romance. This story has it all, and not in a trite or cliche package.

Louise Young, the author of The Permanent Press' upcoming release, Seducing the Spirits covers an incredible amount of ground in a book which deals with a remote and isolated place. Through the protagonist, you are brought into a clear perspective of the trials of a field scientist, both in regards to what they endure, and what they must adjust to in order to survive when not engaged in that test of survival.

Spirits is set in the remote jungles of Panama, and is just as involved in the culture of the indigenous peoples of that region as it is with the wildlife the scientist-protagonist was observing. Like the eagles the protagonist is there to study, the tribe of Kuna natives, whose lands the protagonist's research takes place on, are imperiled by the effects of the outside world. Young weaves these two themes together with great care, but not in a preachy way - there is no way one can be left missing the parallels.

Young does a good job of fleshing out her protagonist (who seems startlingly semi-autobiographical) in a way that you get to know her better, as the story is beginning to draw you in further. One might think that there is not much in the way of a story, when dealing with the field research of obscure eagles, but, from the way the story is told, I'd say that is pretty far from the truth. Overall, the book leaves you with an interesting set of questions, as well as some startling conclusions about the atomic nature of human society, particularly at the fringe of civilization. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the book to anyone interested in the travails of researchers dealing with indigenous cultures, and how those challenges relate to field science, and the scientists who make it happen.

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