3 out of 4 stars
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Set in beautiful but dangerous Africa, Ivory Wild by Lady Elizabeth Tullos is a story about a determined American woman, Charlotte, who braved the uncertainties of a land currently in turmoil to find her fiance who was kidnapped by ivory poachers.
After several days of fruitless inquiries from the American Embassy about her missing fiance Quinn Mc Rae, Charlotte Darach flew to Chad, Africa, to search for him herself. She left a message to Quinn’s oldest brother, Eric, informing him of her plans. Notwithstanding her fear of large animals, which resulted from her having witnessed her beloved and most revered grandfather being trampled to death by stampeding cattle, Charlotte decided to set out to the wild alone (if it will come to that) hoping to bring Quinn home. However, Charlotte arrived at the embassy at the most inopportune time and was, herself, kidnapped, but not before learning that the worst ivory poacher, Abukar Kabadi, has Quinn. She was able to escape her captors when their group was ambushed by another gang of poachers, but only to come face-to-face with a hungry lioness and her cubs. She was rescued from certain and painful death by Park Ranger, Bobo Natato.
Meanwhile, the Mc Rae family, after learning that Charlotte went to Africa, prepared for an expedition to follow Charlotte and rescue Quinn. Led by their patriarch Donald, the Mc Rae brothers, Eric, Mick, Mike, Daniel, and Sean chartered a Lear jet. They met their youngest brother Luke, together with his friends, at the airport.
The author, primarily, presented the story focusing on Charlotte’s unhampered determination to find Quinn. Moreover, she gave the readers a glimpse of the beauty and danger of Africa, the landscape, the people, the animals, the culture. It is also evident that the author is trying to get a message across which is her objection to the senseless killing of elephants for their ivory tusks.
However, there are some details in the story that I found vague; like the mention of Charlotte as coming to Africa on an environmental research project when the story began when she came to Africa to find Quinn. Moreover, characterization is somehow downplayed making some parts of the story unconvincing, like Charlotte’s ability to survive in the wild when there was no prior mention of her capabilities except her growing up in a ranch. Likewise, the Mc Rae and company’s adaptability to the harsh and lawless part of the world when they are portrayed as wealthy ranchers. However, it could be attributed to the story as being very short. There are also few grammatical, or probably, typographical errors in the story which, I believe, needs editing. So, I am giving this story the rate of 3 out of 4 stars.
All in all, I enjoyed the story and if you are the kind of reader who loves adventure, then I believe you will enjoy it, too. It is about love, family, friends (old and new) and courage. It is about what we are willing to do and how far we are willing to go for the people we love.
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