Tarzan: The Savage Lands by Andy Briggs
|Tarzan: The Savage Lands by Andy Briggs|
|Genre: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: The third book in Briggs's Tarzan reboot is his best yet - a really strong recommendation for fans of action and adventure.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: February 2013|
|Publisher: Faber and Faber|
|External links: Author's website|
Lord Greystoke is looking for his cousin Tarzan – but while he claims he merely wants to be reunited with his long-lost relation, Robbie and Jane are suspicious of his true motives. Can they find their friend to warn him before the nobleman reaches him, and just why is Lord Greystoke so keen to brave the wilds of Africa?
I’ve really enjoyed both of the first two books in Andy Briggs’s Tarzan reboot, but for me, this third is comfortably the best yet. The characters, both old and new, are excellent, with heroism coming from unlikely places at times, and Briggs’ handling of Tarzan himself as a main character who’ll go to extreme lengths to protect those he cares about continues to impress me. As for Jane – wow! Plucky, resourceful and generally awesome, she’s become one of my favourite heroines of recent years, right up there with Maddie and Verity from Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein and Kat Stephenson from Stephanie Burgis’ A Most Improper Magick and its sequels.
Briggs’ pacing is excellent and the excitement builds as the book goes on, eventually reaching an absolutely stunning climax. Between human villains, angry animals and natural hazards, there’s never a safe moment for Tarzan, Jane and Robbie, and my eyes were glued to the page as I raced through it.
As great as the characterization and plot is, though, perhaps the truly outstanding achievement in this series is just how well Briggs has managed to stay true to his source material while still keeping the books fresh. This feels like both a classic pulp novel and an up-to-date tale – no mean feat. The setting of the wilder parts of modern day Africa – including the stunningly-described lost city of Opar here – is wonderful, while there's still a strong, but never preachy, message to the books.
Really high recommendation as perhaps my favourite ongoing series at the moment.
For another brilliant update of an excellent series, don't miss Leopard Adventure by Anthony McGowan.
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