Book Review: Jungle Jim and the Shadows of Kinabalu by James King

  Ok. This is weird.  

“…that was a trait Jim had always desired… to be ultimately famous one day, to be loved for what he was good at.”

I’ve said before that’s what I’ve always wanted. To be remembered for something. To be in the history books. Although, sadly, I’m more like his bookworm friend Rufus than my eponymous double. 

Jungle Jim reads a bit like an old pulp novel. Overly dramatic. And a little cliche. 

But the author is a decent writer and the story flows pretty well. Overall, I found it a somewhat enjoyable. There are a few things, though, I might change if I was the author. 

There could have been more suspense. Certain scenes lent themselves perfectly to this. There could have been good pulpy cliffhangers if the author would have taken advantage of the, and built up the suspense. 

There’s almost too much going on. Dark Matter, teleportation, multiple worlds, primitive magic, futuristic science, time travel. 

There were some things that didn’t get resolved or were touched on and never returned to. Some were important plot points. For example, Jim was going to have to travel “through time and space” and to find the Elixir of Life. But there was no time travel (you may wonder why I mentioned it above; this is why), and no elixir to change him back. Or did I miss something?

Also problematic is the whole idea of white savior to a group of indigenous peoples. Did this whole white savior trope come about to combat the history that indicates the opposite – that more often than not, white man is responsible for destroying indigenous people and their cultures? 
And as for the girl? The author tries to make her badass, but she’s gunning down bandits one minute, and fainting the next. 
So, I liked it, but with a few caveats. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Troubadour Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. 


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