by James Rollins

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“Gripping…a first-rate nail biter.”

 —Tampa Tribune


James Rollins—the author of The Doomsday Key, The Last Oracle, The Judas Strain, Black Order, and other pulse-pounding, New York Times bestsellers—carries readers into the heart of darkness in his classic thriller, Amazonia. Lincoln Child, New York Times bestselling co-author (with Douglas Preston) of Cemetery Dance and other Agent Pendergast thrillers, raves, “Amazonia grabs you by the throat and refuses to let go until the very last page is turned.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061965838
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/27/2010
Pages: 624
Sales rank: 70,450
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 7.30(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

James Rollins is the author of international thrillers that have been translated into more than forty languages. His Sigma series has been lauded as one of the “top crowd pleasers” (New York Times) and one of the "hottest summer reads" (People magazine). In each novel, acclaimed for its originality, Rollins unveils unseen worlds, scientific breakthroughs, and historical secrets—and he does it all at breakneck speed and with stunning insight. He lives in the Sierra Nevada mountains.


Sacramento, California

Date of Birth:

August 20, 1961

Place of Birth:

Chicago, Illinois

Read an Excerpt


Chapter One

Snake Oil

August 6, 10:11 A.M.
Amazon Jungle, Brazil

The anaconda held the small Indian girl wrapped in its heavy coils, dragging her toward the river.

Nathan Rand was on his way back to the Yanomamo village after an early morning of gathering medicinal plants when he heard her screams. He dropped his specimen bag and ran to her aid. As he sprinted, he shrugged his short-barreled shotgun from his shoulder. When alone in the jungle, one always carried a weapon.

He pushed through a fringe of dense foliage and spotted the snake and girl. The anaconda, one of the largest he had ever seen, at least forty feet in length, lay half in the water and half stretched out on the muddy beach. Its black scales shone wetly. It must have been lurking under the surface when the girl had come to collect water from the river. It was not unusual for the giant snakes to prey upon animals who came to the river to drink: wild peccary, capybara rodents, forest deer. But the great snakes seldom attacked humans.

Still, during the past decade of working as a ethnobotanist in the jungles of the Amazon basin, Nathan had learned one important rule: if a beast were hungry enough, all rules were broken. It was an eat-or-be-eaten world under the endless green bower.

Nathan squinted through his gun's sight. He recognized the girl. "Oh, God, Tama!" She was the chieftain's nine-year-old niece, a smiling, happy child who had given him a bouquet of jungle flowers as a gift upon his arrival in the village a month ago. Afterward she kept pulling at the hairs on his arm, a rarity among the smooth-skinned Yanomamo, andnicknamed him Jako Basho, "Brother Monkey."

Biting his lip, he searched through his weapon's sight. He had no clean shot, not with the child wrapped in the muscular coils of the predator.

"Damn it!" He tossed his shotgun aside and reached to the machete at his belt. Unhitching the weapon, Nathan lunged forward'but as he neared, the snake rolled and pulled the girl under the black waters of the river. Her screams ended and bubbles followed her course.

Without thinking, Nathan dove in after her.

Of all the environments of the Amazon, none were more dangerous than its waterways. Under its placid surfaces lay countless hazards. Schools of bone-scouring piranhas hunted its depths, while stingrays lay buried in the mud and electric eels roosted amid roots and sunken logs. But worst of all were the river's true man-killers, the black caimans — giant crocodilian reptiles. With all its dangers, the Indians of the Amazon knew better than to venture into unknown waters.

But Nathan Rand was no Indian.

Holding his breath, he searched through the muddy waters and spotted the surge of coils ahead. A pale limb waved. With a kick of his legs, he reached out to the small hand, snatching it up in his large grip. Small fingers clutched his in desperation.

Tama was still conscious!

He used her arm to pull himself closer to the snake. In his other hand, he drew the machete back, kicking to hold his place, squeezing Tama's hand.

Then the dark waters swirled, and he found himself star ng into the red eyes of the giant snake. It had sensed the challenge to its meal. Its black maw opened and struck at him.

Nate ducked aside, fighting to maintain his grip on the girl.

The anaconda's jaws snapped like a vice onto his arm. Though its bite was nonpoisonous, the pressure threatened to crush Nate's wrist. Ignoring the pain and his own mounting panic, he brought his other arm around, aiming for the snake's eyes with his machete.

At the last moment, the giant anaconda rolled in the water, throwing Nate to the silty bottom and pinning him. Nate felt the air squeezed from his lungs as four hundred pounds of scaled muscle trapped him. He struggled and fought, but he found no purchase in the slick river mud.

The girl's fingers were torn from his grip as the coils churned her away from him.


He abandoned his machete and pushed with his hands against the weight of the snake's bulk. His shoulders sank into the soft muck of the riverbed, but still he pushed. For every coil he shoved aside, another would take its place. His arms weakened, and his lungs screamed for air.

Nathan Rand knew in this moment that he was doomed — and he was not particularly surprised. He knew it would happen one day. It was his destiny, the curse of his family. During the past twenty years, both his parents had been consumed by the Amazon forest. When he was eleven, his mother had succumbed to an unknown jungle fever, dying in a small missionary hospital. Then, four years ago, his father had simply vanished into the rain forest, disappearing without witnesses.

As Nate remembered the heartbreak of losing his father, rage flamed through his chest. Cursed or not, he refused to follow in his father's footsteps. He would not allow himself simply to be swallowed by the jungle. But more important, he would not lose Tama!

Screaming out the last of the trapped air in his chest, Nathan shoved the anaconda's bulk off his legs. Freed for a moment, he swung his feet under him, sinking into the mud up to his ankles, and shoved straight up.

His head burst from the river, and he gulped a breath of fresh air, then was dragged by his arm back under the dark water.

This time, Nathan did not fight the strength of the snake. Holding the clamped wrist to his chest, he twisted into the coils, managing to get a choke hold around the neck of the snake with his other arm. With the beast trapped...

Amazonia. Copyright © by James Rollins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Amazonia 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 293 reviews.
Eat_The_Kids_First More than 1 year ago
I have never written a review before so I decided to pick one of my favorite books and Amazonia definitely qualifies. I loved reading this book and did not want to put it down. It really grabs you and doesn't let you go. This is definitley a re-read for me. Nathan Rand is an exceptional main character who isn't in a race to be the next Rambo. He's a hero when needs to be but he isn't stupid or foolish. One can very easily relate to his character. I highly recomend this book to anyone that is in search of a good thriller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book! I could hardly put it down! If you like action, adventure, and learning about new cultures and places (or at least getting inspired to go do some research) then this is the book for you-as well as any other book written by James Rollins!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Since the first book I picked up of his, I've never been dissapointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book at 9:00 PM and couldn't put it down till I finished it at 5: AM.
Steamwitch More than 1 year ago
Once you get started reading you need keep turning the pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book Very interesting animals that scare you but also grab your attention.dont read if you get scared easily.
Rocka More than 1 year ago
Amazonia is now one of my favorites! It is such an amazing book, and has you not wanting to put the book down!
rjr66 More than 1 year ago
Reads like and old black and white "B" movie.
ThrillerFanMS More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. It was nice combination of a Thriller and Science Fiction. Good character development.
Electrician71 More than 1 year ago
James Rollins fans must read this book. It is every bit as good as the Sigma series. James Rollins uses both historic fact and well researched fiction to craft a suspenseful story in the Amazon jungle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the first novel I have read by James Rollins and I am hungry for more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazonia, for me, was a mega adventure. Full of danger, excitement, discoveries.With Rollins writing style and descriptions of events (excellent as always), the story was so vivid and had a terrific ending. James Rollins never fails to transport me into a place far more exciting than even my extremely vivid imagination can take me. I love all his books!
Mistie3k More than 1 year ago
Definitely will check out some more books by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book. It is so fast paced there is always something happening. Never a dull page! This is the book that introduced me to James Rollins and I have been reading everything he has written since. I am a Dan Brown fan and one of my friends said if you like him try James Rollins. So glad I did. If you are looking for a great book to read that will pull you in this is the book for you! I can not say enough wonderful things about this book and all of his books! A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my second time reading it and i love it even more. Thrill, action and suspense on every page. Definitely would recommend.
JoClare on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really love James Rollin's books. I love how he takes a historical tidbit of information and connects it to a slice of science, mixes it all together with a lot of adventure and a dash of romance and voilà!; I'm ready for an enjoyable read~I also love how he points out the facts and the fiction at the end of his stories; more than once I have gotten lost on the internet satisfying my curiosity regarding the history/science he calls to attention there.I think he does a great job with his protagonists, I find most to be really interesting and fleshed out. Sigma Force is a recurring theme in many of his stories and it adds another layer of interest for me, taking the adventure to the next level.Rollin's novels are every bit as enjoyable to me as a big screen summer blockbuster; think I'll go get some popcorn~
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When the mood strikes for a good adventure thriller, a James Rollins book always does the trick. Amazonia was able to carry me away to the jungles of South America, and involve me in an expedition searching for a lost party of scientists. Of course nothing is as it seems and the story includes a rival team, an unknown illness, medical research, native Indians and ¿ something else that¿s out there in the jungle.Of course the story is far-fetched and quite unbelievable, but that is exactly why I read these types of books, for pure escapism, if I actually learn a fact or two about South American jungles, well that is an unexpected bonus.This is adventure with a capital A. A non-stop thriller that takes off like a roller coaster and gives you quite the ride. If you are in the mood for danger, intrigue and thrills, without leaving the comfort of your armchair, I definitely recommend Amazonia.
Sink222 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great Action Adventure, could not put down.
Dinyo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So far im about a quarter way through and this book is one of the greatest books ive ever read it has action adventure science and a lovable jaguar named tor tor.
laurie_library on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not my style, but read it for a book club. Overall, too, too detailed when decribing scenes.
Tara714 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
James Rollins writting seems to gett better and better with every book. I loved this book. It's about a group of people who go into the Amazon looking for answers and a cure that is ravaging the planet. It's a very compelling read and I recomend it to anyone who loves mystery and adventure.
Talbin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Amazonia is another fast-paced thriller from James Rollins. As per usual, he takes some pretty fantastic ideas and brings them together in an exciting, just-maybe plausible book. Nathan Rand's father and his scientific research team disappeared in the Amazon rainforest while researching potential botanical cures for disease. But, several years later a US Army Ranger who was part of the mission appears out of the Amazon rainforest - and formerly amputated arm has seemingly regrown. A party is put together to discover what happened to the expedition and recruits ethno-botanist Nathan Rand to join the mission. As the group goes deeper into the rainforest, they begin to discover strange creatures and even stranger myths about a dangerous Indian tribe. Somewhere out there is someone - or something - that can regenerate a human arm . . . and more.As usual, Rollins does a good job of making the unimaginable almost real. The reader most definitely needs to suspend disbelief when reading a Rollins book, but once the reader has decided to go with the flow, s/he can count on an exciting journey. Definitely not "serious" literature, but Amazonia makes a perfect beach read.
ladydymondz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My first read by James Rollins. Reading Amazonia was like running for my life. The excitement, the animals, the people, death all seemed so real, it was terrifying. definitely a page turner. I was scared yet i couldn't put it down.
Nuit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It¿s wonderful action packed, mystery thriller with many twists and turns, that¿s hard to put down. It¿s creatively thought out and well written with many scientific facts thrown in and it flows as part of the story. This story is fast paced filled with action, mutated creatures, explosives, giant jaguars, violence, betrayal, insects that will eat you alive, a lost tribe, a plague threatening the world, etc. This book held me from the very first page, even the second time when I read it. I'd recommend this book to anyone!
thewere8472 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fun book high lighting the mysteries of the Amazon but not in the normal boring way of some lost tribe, but a tribe with a ancient tree that can heal, even restore limbs - a fun read.