REVIEWS

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From: Moragh Orr Montoya -a resident of Roatán Island

"I finally finished The Judas Bird and you can believe me when I tell you - it's fun! There truly is something for everyone in this treasure book: Intrigue, action, pirates, romance, comedy, mystery, history, anthropology, good guys, bad guys, even socio-economic theory (something called "The Image of Limited Good"), not to mention all your favorite restaurants: Gio's, Romeo's, Que Tal Café. If you are an Islander, born and raised, you'll laugh at Evans' dead-on descriptions of clueless tourists wandering around, getting sunburned, drinking margaritas and stumbling back to their cruise ships at the end of the day. You'll also recognize, and love, his beautiful word paintings of your Island. Roatán's beaches, reefs, and sunsets, its curving mountain roads, torrential rains and brilliant sun all come to vivid life. You can decide for yourself how good a job Evans does of duplicating the Island dialects - it sounds pretty exact to me. Most of his characters are Islanders and they speak to each other and to their gringo friends in Island English. He even duplicates the way many of you switch back and forth from formal English to dialect in what to all of us who speak only one, not very colorful, English, seems truly amazing!

"If you're an expatriot (from anywhere) living on one of The Bay Islands, or on the mainland, you'll be tickled pink by the familiarity of Evans' hero and heroine's experience at the TACA counters and waiting rooms in Miami. And you will watch, with growing amusement, their gradual acceptance of the completely insane (our earliest, rather limited point of view) as completely normal (our later, more experienced, point of view). Tell the truth! How many trips to Honduras did it take before you started playing "spot the missionaries, the honeymooners, the con artists, the 'mochilleros'"? And how long was it before all of the above became "foreigners" to us too, the objects of some amusement?

"Todd is Evans' hero; a fairly young Gringo whose first encounter with Roatán and its people came from a stint in the Peace Corps several years ago. Now he is returning to the Island after time spent in the States studying and teaching maritime history. He's bored with the work he's chosen for his career and is trying to find some way to make it exciting again. Colleen, the beautiful young heroine, comes from Scotland and is on Roatán because, by a strange twist of fate, she has inherited a lovely mountain top estate on this far away island, a place she has never heard of before. The bad guy, and I mean he's a really BAD GUY, is Charles Tegget, "a land pirate" with a smile that charms anyone right out of all common sense unless they catch a good look at his eyes, "the eyes of a stray dog" with no warmth or compassion, only cold calculation.

"Todd and Colleen arrive on Roatán just in time to get caught up in Tegget's latest scheme, an attempt to steal a beautiful beach property from the family who has owned it for over 150 years. Of course, Todd must save the property, win Colleen's love, find the treasure and thwart Tegget in such a way that the truly evil pirate never dares to set foot on Roatán ever again. He does so with the help of a tightly-crafted plan and a band of his island friends, Tony, Sharella, Miss Cristina, Tim, Miss Katy, and Francisco, an old "Turtle Mon" who mysteriously sees into the Island's distant past.

"That's your basic plot and it’s more than enough to keep you interested. If you don't want to know anything about pirates, islanders, and Roatán's amazing history you can skip over everything else and still have a great read. Skipping would be a huge shame, though, because The Judas Bird is jam-packed with fascinating pieces of history, island lore, odd vocabulary and all of Roatán in its idiosyncratic glory!

"In any case, the older people on Roatán won't ever have to worry about its history and culture being forgotten. David Evans has done a great job preserving it and serving it all up to us on a really tempting platter. No matter how busy you are you'll be glad you took the time to enjoy this book - whether you gulp it down fast, or savor it slowly, a little bit at a time."

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