The Legend of Cascara

Young Adult - General
220 Pages
Reviewed on 12/31/2012
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Author Biography

Raised in Panama, David Colclasure attended all the schools in the former American Canal Zone. The jungle was his back yard which he explored enthusiastically most days of the week. He grew familiar with the plant and fauna, creatures and features of the upper and lower canopies through his association with friends, natives of Panama, the scouting program, and through employment working for the Tropical Test Center where he worked as a research statistician documenting sights and sounds in the jungle for the Viet Nam war. He patrolled the area as a Canal Zone Policeman, learning Spanish and the local 'bajin' slang. He learned how to survive in the jungle from instructors in Jungle Warfare, from local explorers (see The Jungle Whispers, by Kenneth Vinton, who was a personal friend of his family), and Neville Hart, who traversed the jungles in search of hieroglyphs carved in stones in the dangerous Darien jungles of Panama. He was a personal friend of Marvel Iglesias (missionary to the Kuna Indians) and Marjorie Vandevelde, an author who wrote about the Indians of Panama, and is a personal friend of Al Sprague ( ) a world famous painter from Panama, who has offered to allow him the use of his prints for illustrations in his novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Patricia Althoff for Readers' Favorite

"Visions: The Legend of Cascara" by David M. Colclasure is a book for history buffs, romance readers, and those interested in period pieces. Michael Coker is a reserved young man known for his daydreaming and adventurous nature. Nearly drowning while diving for a collectible can near a freighter in the Panama Canal sets him on an adventure of a very different type. Beginning with a vision during his near-death experience, Michael connects with Lieutenant Donald Broderick (who lives in the early 18th century) and witnesses the historical events of the time. In addition he becomes involved in the history and mystery of the local Guaymi people as the English lieutenant faces the Spanish, and in the current debate over the legend of Cascara. Michael, as Broderick, experiences the conflict among the Indian, Spanish and English cultures of the colonial time, which seems somehow to center around the beautiful Maria. Meanwhile, as Michael struggles to understand the meaning behind his unwanted visions, he also struggles with his brother, James, his mother and father, and his girlfriend, Joanne, as they do not believe his reports.

Throughout the adventure, the reader enjoys not only historical references, but also well-developed immersion in the Panamanian environment. One who has been to Panama will enjoy the realistic description of the flora and fauna of the area, as will the initiate. Colclasure blends his descriptions with his dual storyline very well, and moves seamlessly between the visions and the present life of the characters. The reader's emotions remain aroused throughout the story, and the anticipation of an outcome is intense. It is suitable for teens as well as adults. There is no bad language and there are no explicit scenes that would make the book unsuitable for a younger person.