While at the Stanley Writer’s Retreat, I picked up AMAZONAS by Alan Peter Ryan, a novella published in hardcover by Cemetery Dance.
Set at the turn of the century, the story is about a woman traveling up the Amazon River with her deranged husband and a dark, brooding man named Crown. Edwin is in hot in pursuit of vast riches, as Crown, it seems, has found the Slave Tree.
Ryan writes quite beautifully. He immerses you in the journey and its exotic sights and discomforts. The Slave Tree is a fascinating creature and presents a core mystery. Unfortunately, after the long buildup, just when the tale is starting to show a lot of potential and gain steam–with Henrietta in direct conflict with Crown–the climax comes and goes rather abruptly, and I was left dissatisfied. Ryan might have turned this one into a novel. The story had a lot of potential.