Chameleon: The Poacher’s Enemy: ISBN: 9781801284127, published, copyright and written by Brandon Kimbrough.
The author has written this story to heighten awareness of the high level of illegal poaching imposed upon the beautiful animals of the world and inspire people to aid in saving them from their rapidly approaching extinction. Reviewing this completed apparently first volume in an anticipated series will require a somewhat difficult procedure to do justice to his goal as well as his manner of presentation.
Plot: To accomplish his goal, he has chosen a young, seemingly oversensitive boy raised in a loving and supportive extended family including a Veterinarian father, doting mother, grandparents and siblings and subjecting him to a heart-rending experience at a very young age. Ben’s first discovery that all ‘bad’ activities cannot be overcome and conquered by ‘good’, and certainly not by immediate direct action when he was reprimanded for fighting with another grade school child “because he had hurt a friend, the groundskeeper’s dog”. His loving and understanding father attempted to enlighten the child with perhaps a modicum of success and life went on in a somewhat curtailed manner. Somewhat later, the father arranged to take Ben and the family on an African Safari where they were able to witness these magnificent animals living in all their glory. The trip was progressing beautifully until they were observing a male Lion sitting regally surrounded by his pride on the open plain when the animal was struck in the head by a high power rifle round from a distant stand of trees that literally destroyed the magnificent animal’s head. The young boy experienced a traumatic psychological shock of almost inexplicable magnitude hat required extensive treatment. Ultimately he recovered and became a highly understanding and successful Veterinarian, but with a burning hatred for all poachers and especially a gradually developing desire to destroy the particular killer he had witnessed. His post-kill life provides the basic plot of this book- his desire to wreak havoc on all poachers and especially the one who had killed the lion.
Discussion: The author has made an exceedingly good effort to present a case against poachers for the totally uninformed reader and has employed several characters with nicely explained flaws to aid in this endeavor. There are Dylan, a lifelong childhood friend who has provided Ben with much of the social familiarity he exhibits; Jill, his well-positioned, beautifully adept at many functions office manager, Dana Harper, the well-trained investigative journalist with additional talents and Stan with his group of somewhat unusual animal activists. The overall attempt has been a well-worthwhile endeavor that hopefully will increase interest in this important subject. Most regrettably however, from the perspective of what this reviewer hopefully would believe to be the more generally knowledgeable individual, the level of approach would appear to be positioned toward the less knowledgeable and/or young adult. Too many occurrences depend upon chance and facts per se are totally distorted or missing. The description of ‘poaching’ largely, is distorted, jungles really are not that close in appearance as the ‘woods or forests’ he appears to indicate, transport to the United States of animals to be ‘poached’ is not a usual operation, and most ‘poaching’ per se, is done by a different breed of individuals, although financed, no doubt by wealthy individuals. The ‘fight scene’ descriptions are obviously put together by individuals unacquainted with such activity. And as a pertinent aside, Krav Maga, a prominent attack/defense developed I believe in the 1940’s and reportedly used effectively by the Israeli is not a sport that is ‘picked up in one’s spare time’. As with all martial arts, time and constant practice are required to acquire and maintain any level of competence. Also, the shot destroying the lion’s head that Ben witnessed as a child, probably was a ‘miss’. A prize of the type described would not be one to destroy, rather a trophy to be retained. Thus a killing shot but non-destructive of tissue would have been more likely.
In Summary: Chameleon is a book that provides many interesting features, especially of the effects life’s vicissitudes will force upon one’s psyche, and ‘en toto’, an interesting indoctrination for the uninformed on animal ‘poaching’. As such, it is a well-worthwhile read. It is hoped that the author will acquire more familiarity with some of the other subject matter he discusses.
5* important message for the uninformed; – 2* or more for oyhers.