Untouched by Jayme Bean is a smart, adventure novel with a small cast which allows for rich character development and beautiful settings.
Author: Jayme Bean
Release: May 2021
Genre: Action and Adventure
This may be the first time that I include some very brief spoilers in my review so please be warned.
Let me start by saying, I am a crime fiction, thriller, action junky and I did think this book would be more heart pounding but to me, instead of a tense suspense, this book was an amazing character story. Not what I was expecting, but not bad! Instead of staying on the edge of my seat throughout, this book has action but then down times of really calm, well thought out character development.
Speaking of characters, they were very well done. I liked them all and understood their struggles. They all brought something unique to the book. The cast was small but this worked out perfectly because Bean was able to layer development in a way that felt natural as opposed to having to stuff details in for a ton of characters.
Bean wrote amazing action and peril sequences but I wanted more. I really wanted to see more moments where the cast was terrified. There were a lot of leisurely scenes, even after the crew discovered their predicament and I thought that was kind of odd. Swimming in the pond after finding out that you might be trapped in a jungle forever would not be my first inclination. Despite that, Bean used all these moments well and I became really attached to the characters which is why, I think, I wanted them to leap into action and get out of that forsaken jungle!
The settings were AMAZING. I felt completely submerged from their starting point in Peru to where the team became trapped in the jungle. I could feel the claustrophobia of the jungle but also the beauty of the foliage and animals. It was all beautifully done and added to the overall experience I had with the characters and plot.
As far as the writing, there is a bit of repetition which slowed me down. Many reminders that Marisol and David were not friends before the trip, many reminders that David’s family was unattached to him. Both important facts but by 75% I didn’t need more reminders that David and Marisol were not friends before the trip. We’d definitely moved on from that fact. Other than that, Bean crafts an easy to read and eloquent novel. I think this was really important too because there are a lot of technical information shared about the botany of the jungle. With the easy to read style, I was able to take in and understand all the facts presented and that really added to the story for me. I love learning, so this book offered me a perspective on a subject I never studied.
Overall, I highly recommend this book! It definitely set you off on an amazing adventure, teaches you a few things and you will fall in love with these characters!