Out of the Devil’s Mouth – Travis Thrasher

Out of the Devil's Mouth Travis Thrasher
Out of the Devil's Mouth by Travis Thrasher
Published by Moody Publishers on April 1, 2008
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Suspense, Historical
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three-half-stars

Henry Wolfe has a penchant for finding trouble. Or more precisely trouble usually finds him. It is the late 1920's and Wolfe, a traveling reporter/ self-proclaimed adventurer, is hired to go on a mission deep into the dubious jungles of Venezuela.

Several months earlier, the son of a wealthy family disappeared during his search for a lost tribe who reportedly had found the key to eternal life. Wolfe is a last-minute replacement on the team to go find and extricate the son, no matter what.

The Amazon. Even today the term brings to us an aura of mystery, adventure, and danger. Back in 1928 – the year Henry Wolfe would pack his bags and lead a team in search of the missing Louis Prescott – that statement was even truer. As a journalist, Wolfe had proven himself a hardy adventurer in a previous quest, which was why the Prescott family had sought him out and why his boss had given the ok.

And so Henry Wolfe, his mentor Max Joubert, the lovely Kate Prescott, and their team of adventurers set off into the Amazonian wilderness. Their goal was to find Kate’s brother Louis and perhaps complete his mission and discover the secret city within. But adventuring isn’t easy. Henry will be lucky if he can just get Out of The Devil’s Mouth.

With his ninth novel, Travis Thrasher pays homage to Indiana Jones with this adventure novel set in the 1920s. The writing is solid, as always, and the use of the first person narrative really worked well with this story. The plot is a bit formulaic, following a pattern of getting one step closer to The Devil’s Mouth at the expense of a few crew members. That pattern doesn’t prevent it from being quite the adventure as Henry finds himself embroiled in a journey where escape seems impossible.

For reasons Thrasher mentions in his author’s note, Out of the Devil’s Mouth changed a lot from its initial conception due to what his publisher wanted. As such, it was those constraints that probably gave this book a slightly different feel than what I was expecting. But for those who love adventure, this is one they aren’t going to want to miss.

Mini Q&A with Travis

Josh: This was originally intended to be a follow-up to Isolation, but due to some things, was changed into a very Indiana Jones-esque story. Will you ever write this story concept the way it was initially intended?

Travis: My idea was doing my version of Apocalypse Now. Not a novel set in Vietnam, but a “journey” in the heart of darkness.

My answer is I’ve already done it. I just went a bit astray writing it. But my plan is to rewrite that story, possibly under a pseudonym.

Then maybe you’ll read it and have no idea I wrote it. 🙂

Josh: What sort of research went into writing this novel?

Travis: I actually considered going to Rio to get the whole experience. But that takes a lot of time and money, plus our daughter was a year old.

I view Out of the Devil’s Mouth as more of an adventure than a historical novel, so my goal was to make sure it was historically correct. I did most of my research online. It took a lot longer than I’d thought, but I didn’t mind because I was planning a series. I managed to also read through some older books written around that time. It was fun.

three-half-stars

About Travis Thrasher

Travis Thrasher

Bestselling author Travis Thrasher has written over 50 books, spanning genres in fiction, nonfiction and children’s literature. His inspirational stories have included collaborations with filmmakers, musicians, athletes, celebrities and pastors.

With the childhood goal of pursuing a writing career starting in third grade, Thrasher worked for 13 years at Tyndale House Publishers after graduating college. His experience working with as Author Relations Manager allowed him to understand the writing life as well as training him to work with a variety of personalities. This experience has proven to be invaluable with varied writing projects in the decade he’s been a full-time writer.

His novels are as diverse as the people he’s worked with, ranging from love stories to supernatural thrillers. Publishers Weekly said “Sara and Ethan are two of the most real and sensitive lovers to grace the genre” when reviewing his first novel, The Promise Remains. They also stated “Thrasher demonstrates a considerable talent for the horror genre” in a review for Isolation years later. His readers have enjoyed the unpredictability of his novels, whether it’s due to a unique style such as second person or a twist they never saw coming.

Thrasher’s storytelling ability has also allowed him to work with others on their books, from musicians like country musician Scotty McCreery and Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain to the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty. He has also penned novels based on songs such as Paper Angels with Jimmy Wayne and novelizations for films including Do You Believe? and God’s Not Dead 2. Upcoming projects continue to expand his talents, with projects including The Black Auxiliary about the lives of the 17 American black athletes who competed in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, and Baby Don’t Hurt Me about comedian Chris Kattan’s life and time on Saturday Night Live.

Travis lives with his wife and three young daughters in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.

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