I received this advanced reading copy through Shelf Awareness. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- if you're looking to get free copies of books and ebooks, this is a great resource!
The Jaguar's Children is John Vaillant's first work of fiction and is set for release on January 27. In a nutshell - this book was incredible.
This is the story of Hector and it is told through his eyes in a series of audio recordings he made during his journey. The story shifts back and forth between past and present. Hector and his friend Cesar are in the midst of an attempt to illegally enter the U.S. from Mexico, inside a water truck. Hector's audio recordings are made as he sits in the truck, but in order to divert himself from his dire situation, he tells about his past life, his family, and how he and Cesar ended up where they are.
The truck stops moving, the driver leaves to get help, and the immigrants within can do nothing but wait for deliverance as they ration their clean water and try to make contact with anyone who can help them.
This is a story of coming of age, of the need to maintain a cultural identity in the midst of breaking away from it, of hope for the future, and of resilience in impossible circumstances. And it is the story of the Jaguar -- a legendary animal that reappears throughout Hector's story.
This story is unforgettable. I highly recommend it.
Note: There is some adult content in this book - mostly language.
If you're interested in reading more about this book from the author, check out this great interview with John Vaillant on Shelf Awareness.