Review: The Okapi Promise
Drawing on her own memories of the Dark Continent, Paula brings to life with immense detail and description the safari experience with all its associated discomforts, dangers and delights.
For those of us – like me – who would prefer an armchair experience when travel involves bouncing around in a truck, sleeping in tents, being close-up-and-personal with wild animals, and trekking for hours, The Okapi Promise is the way to go.
I felt I was there with the characters enduring the mosquitoes and the tiredness and other more hair-raising challenges. Cheryl’s experience when she is woken by the roars of a prowling lion was a mesmerising, heart-thumping moment.
I found myself wanting to check out the route on a map, but the black and white photographs certainly helped to make up for this omission and added an authentic stamp to the storyline. I think the number of characters with no obvious protagonists presented a challenge in keeping the story pacey and the tension of the intrigue tight throughout.
However, the slow unravelling had the advantage of allowing the reader time to become acquainted with each of the safari group and absorb the great African ambience. Tension mounts in the last third of The Okapi Promise and the reader will be surprised by an unexpected twist in the tail.
Paula’s forthright style and intimate knowledge of the setting of her novel delivers a most entertaining read.