The Explorer

Title: The Explorer
Author: Katherine Rundell
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Book
Pages: 337 pages
Year of Publication: August 2017
Rating: 4
lineI have never been surprised by a book as much as this book did to me! This book was recommended by a dear friend of mine, she rarely read Children/Middle Grade book but for some reasons she gave this book a try and she was blown away.  So she was really excited to introduce me to this book because she knew I love Children/Middle Grade book. But I wasn’t sure if I’m gonna like it because I usually read fantasy, and knowing that this entire book is about an adventure in Amazon really make me question what’s so interesting about it. But boy was I wrong! I’m so glad I took her advice and just read it without any expectation! Because in the end this book shock the bejeezus out of me!


This book is about Fred, Lila, Max, and Con. Four children who were on six-seated aeroplane from Manaus to England before the pilot had a heart attack and the plane dive straight into the Amazon. The children are wounded and traumatize, but alive and also lost in the jungle. In order to get home, they have to survive the jungle.

You probably wonder how boring it must be to read 300-ish pages of children surviving in the jungle, well guess what, I did too! But once you read about these children and follow their adventure, you could never stop reading until the end.

They have to find food, build shelter, survive the weather and whatever dangerous creature there might be in the wild jungle of Amazon with little knowledge they had about survival.

The pace is rather slow and I normally hate slow pace book but I was surprised by how I enjoy the pace because I’m too caught up on their adventure.


Fred is a very brave kid (or at least he excel at pretending to be brave) and he’s the oldest among the lost kids. He tries so hard to get them home and he always gave his friends emotional support even though he’s also scare as shit. Lila is the smart one, her parents are scientist and she knows so many things about animal kingdom which is a very useful knowledge for them to survive but I also find her too perfect for a character, she seems to know everything and it makes the adventure looks easy. Max is Lila’s younger brother, he’s 5 year old but he’s got a big curiousity, Max character is inconsistence, one time he cried so hard because he’s afraid, another time he explore the jungle alone, just in a matter of days. I find this sudden shift in his character is weird, and he’s an annoying little kid, seriously does little kids are always annoying? And the last character is Con, now Con is an amazing three dimensional characters, unlike the other three. At the beginning of the book Con is a brat and I hate her so much I’m glad she’s stranded in Amazon and never to be found again, but as I learned more about her character she’s actually pretty good and a kind-hearted person, she’s very well developed and I love how Con turned out to be.

All the characters has very different background story, and I love reading everyones’s story. The story somehow connect all of the kids together.

I also love the slow burning friendship between the children, to watch them mentally and psychologically change throughout the story is very satisfying. Sure there were times when I want to strangle some of the kids because they’re too annoying and selfish but in the end, they came to their sense and just work it out together.


The main reason why I love the slow pace of this book is because I was too captivated by the Amazon. There are a lot of forest in my country and I’m not fond of them, but Katherine describe Amazon as this amazing green heaven (except for the scary creatures). What I love about this book is, it’s not only entertaining but also very educational. We get to know so many plants, animals, and also a few tricks of survival (in case you lost in Amazon too, but let’s hope that would never happen).

The adventure is fun to follow. One thing that I didn’t like is it’s lack the sense of danger, they’re trying to survive in Amazon but everything seems so easy like they’ve been in that situation before.


Katherine Rundell’s writing is very very beautiful. It’s one of the most beautiful writing I’ve ever read in a book. She describes the Amazon with such flowery language that make me easier to picture it in my mind.  And for once I actually LOVE the flowery style of writing, because I usually despise them for being overdescriptive. I have no further comment on her writing style, it’s just briliant!


This book is not just about an adventure and survival but also friendship, relationship between children and parent, finding yourself, and what it means to coming home. This is a beautiful book that I’d recommend to everyone of any age. I’d definitely buy another books by this author.



Have you ever been surprised by a book? Do you love this kind of adventure books?


7 thoughts on “The Explorer

  1. Ahh, this is exactly why I love middle-grade books. They can still be dark, but they offer great morals in the end, and they just make you feel so good. This book sounds like a great adventure, so I’ll be sure to add this to my TBR. 😉 Excellent review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Wrap Up: July 2018

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