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  • Location: Central America, Costa Rica, Panama Canal

Do Not Become Alarmed

Do Not Become Alarmed

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: A paradise cruise docks in hell…..

  • ISBN: 978-0241305461
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

Liv and Nora decide to escape Christmas and take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise. On board life seems like a Disney movie on repeat – happy people, all the food you can eat and lots to do

But then they all go ashore in beautiful Central America and danger lurks away from the safe cocoon of the ship.

One minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone.

And the ship is about to sail….

Travel Guide

Central America

The country and the forests the children go missing, the beach where the parents are just before darkness settles on the day are vague and quite rightly so. It’s a country in Central America – most likely Costa Rica as this is actually known as The Switzerland of Latin America as the unknown country is referred to in the novel. The tour is going to take them up the coast via the Panama Canal and down again.

Costa Rica is the ideal place for a cruise – or so you would think. Not in this novel it’s not and you should best be prepared for this stop over. Getting off a cruise for an afternoon sounds like a great idea but when you venture into the woods, past the point you probably should stay behind, certainly past the line between right and wrong, the consequences can be awful…

The taxis are all busy when the ships docks, it always is on ship day, and so the guide takes them in to the woods on their own. They will see monkeys and all kinds of creatures but the worst they are warned about are the cotimundis (animal from the racoon family) stealing your lunch but then..

“The trees were hung with parasitic vines that would eventually pull the trees down, to be food for the tiny shoots that would grow up and take their place. She thought of Werner Herzog’s Bavarian voice talking about the overwhelming misery and fornication of the jungle, something like that. Weird insects buzzed”

The country does seem to have some delights however – there is talk of a visit to a Hummingbird Sanctuary and the chance to spot a quetzal in the jungle trees….There should be plenty in the Parque Nacional Los Quetzales


Booktrailer Review


You might not want to read this if going on a cruise, but then again it’s a story to warn of the perils of when paradise goes bad…

This is not the cruise from paradise in any way shape or form. The people on  it aren’t exactly ones you’d like next to you at dinner either. But when that ship docks and a group heads out on foot to the forests then you just know something bad is going to happen.

I did enjoy the immersive experience of the jungle, the heat, the pool in the middle of the trees, the excitement of not knowing where you are, the urge to explore..

What followed is not what I expected at all – there are more than a few farfetched moments once the children get lost in the forest and you really do have to suspend your level of belief somewhat. The dynamic between the children was also interesting and quite frankly I would have put them in charge of the errant parents. I’m not sure what they were expecting from a cruise but they seemed to have some strange ideas and had they ever been outside of their home town? Strangely naive but once in that jungle, the will to survive kicked in.


Booktrail Boarding Pass:  Do Not Become Alarmed

Author/Guide: Maile Meloy  Destination: Central America, Costa Rica, Panama Canal  Departure Time: 2000s

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