Book Review: Ms. Adventure

In theory, Ms. Adventure: My Wild Explorations in Science, Lava, and Life should have been perfect for me: I like travel adventure books, volcanoes, and geology. I picked it up after hearing the author, Jess Phoenix, on the Ologies podcast, and I finally read it on the plane a couple of weeks ago.

If you’re going to include “adventure” and “wild explorations” in the title of your book, you’re setting the reader up with certain expectations, and, unfortunately, Phoenix’s book did not live up to the title. Honestly, I think she needed a ghostwriter. In each chapter, I kept thinking I was going to get a really good adventure, and then it just fizzled. A better writer might have been able to set up stories from Phoenix’s life in a narrative structure that actually captured some sense of adventure.

I do think this book would be good for a certain set of people: those looking to move into a science-based profession after starting out in a different type of career. Phoenix had a liberal arts degree and then decided she really wanted to pursue geology, and a few chapters deal with her transition and some of the uncertainties she faced. For someone looking to make that type of change, I think this book would be heartening.

Other than that, it was just so…blah. Not recommended.

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