Book Jacket


rank 992
word count 12254
date submitted 28.12.2008
date updated 10.02.2009
genres: Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult
classification: universal

The God in the Tree

Paul Ebbs

Sam Croker, a boy who can't walk, lost in the Amazon rain forest. This is a true story, about lies.


Anyway, how do you start a story?
Do I start on the plane?
Or do I go straight to the bit where I killed my Dad?
Yes. You did read that right.
Okay. Deep breath.
You see, what makes it difficult is that it's not just my story. There's my Dad obviously, and there's Kik-Kik - it's her story as much as mine. It's also the story of the men who came to murder me.

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action thriller adventure, amazon, crime, mystery, psychological thriller, survival

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Wanttobeawriter wrote 606 days ago

This is a dramatic story. The chapter where the Cherokee crashes is breath taking. The fact Sam survived the landing has to be a miracle. He makes a great main character for the story; a boy not at all deterred by the fact he can not walk. I think young adults will identify with him readily – and maybe appreciate more how lucky they are an unsafe driving episode didn’t cause them to be exactly like Sam. I also think young adults will like this because it’s true (no magic, no vampires, no werewolves; just a look at how hard real life can be. I’m starring this and adding it to my shelf. Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?

Lenore wrote 1203 days ago

The God in the Tree
This is a fascinating story of pain and survival. I have read all uploaded chapters. The information is detailed and I can see the trauma that an added disability causes. My problem is that I'm not emotionally involved with this character. I'm not sure I even like him, despite his handicap. I don't know why. Much of this reads like an impersonal journal and I can't get involved, I suppose, just as he has a problem getting involved in life, since he resents not being able to walk. But I find his coldness off-putting and his lack of spirituality discomforting. Perhaps that it is the author's intent and that will be spelled out later when he has a rebirth of some kind. I know he cried, but his attitude about his father's death was emotionally uninvolved, cocky, even. Also, to say that when he was in the air, there were only two colors, green and blue, again shows the main character's lack of imagination, something that comes through time and again as he describes his surroundings and what he has to do to survive.
Again, I must emphasize that perhaps the author's intent is for me to be uninvolved with this character and later chapters will draw me in LOL. In any case, the author kept me interested in his manuscript. Thanks for an interesting read. Good luck to you.
Surviving the Seaweed

Cariad wrote 1240 days ago

I'm impressed with this. Brilliant, eye catching opening full of want-to-know. Great voice and narrator and an unusual theme. Reads like water - in that I found I'd slipped through it without noticing, so well told was the story. It's a very real voice your MC has, believable and up to date, yet there is pathos and sadness in there, too. About fear and regret and hindsight and the things that happen that we can't control. I am going to read all you've posted, and will put it on my shelf with pleasure at change-over time.

Jedda wrote 1261 days ago

A story which could delight the young, especially those who are disabled. A real change from sci fi and witches and wizards. The story was told simply it gathered pace when he was airborne and promises to get evenmore interesting now the cannibal girl has appeared. Much better company for your MC than Escobar and his brother. Shelved , Regards, Anne

mvw888 wrote 1261 days ago

An unforgettable voice, a bracing pace and really, everything you need to pull in readers with this first section. Great details and story but really the strongest aspect is your narrator and his engaging voice. This story has emotion and adventure and I think is perfectly suited for the YA market. Excellent job.

The Qualities of Wood

jss wrote 1262 days ago

Read first 5 chapters and it certainly has pace. I can see the teenage readership enjoying your 'voice' and style of writing.

S-M wrote 1265 days ago

On what i've read so far this has legs; a hook in all the right places etc. premise, description, confident voice.

Meeya0407 wrote 1267 days ago

Thought this was very interesting!

Good luck!

Eunice Attwood wrote 1281 days ago

What a fantastic tale. There are so many mind boggling true stories on this site, it blows me away. This is one of the best. Fast action, and a strong voice makes this fascinating reading. Backed. Eunice - THe Temple Dancer.

K A Smith wrote 1349 days ago

Excellent stuff, rips along at a great pace, a perfect voice for a YA protagonist and a story with a fresh feel. Nice work.

Kav wrote 1372 days ago

I loved this for the original voice and pent up emotion in the opening and then was caught up in its narrative pace. I hate to leave while there's a half-naked cannibal girl at my back so I hope you will upload more.

carlashmore wrote 1419 days ago

I'm not always keen on a character's voice being used in teh pitch, but this works brilliantly well. It really does offer us a sense of the intrigue to follow. I enjoyed your prose very much and feel you pitch your prose just right for your target audience. It is accessible and your dialogue is very sharp.
I'm delighted to back this.
The Time Hunters

name falied moderation wrote 1419 days ago

Get it ha!

name falied moderation wrote 1419 days ago

Wow Paul, and a true story. I wonder at peoples lives sometimes. A well written book, your use of words to create is masterful and graphic for me as I feel the truth of it. BEST of luck with this work Paul BACKED for sure. Did not read it all will read more later. I would ask you to read some of my work it too is non-fiction and please give comments on it
'The Letter'

Barry Wenlock wrote 1420 days ago

Backed, best wishes, barry

A Knight wrote 1443 days ago

Excellent work. The light, chatty narrative contrasts deeply with the subject matter in the beginning, snatching the reader right into the story and leaving us gasping. Fabulous work, backed with absolute pleasure.

Abi xxx

soutexmex wrote 1458 days ago

Paul: You're moving up in the rankings. Both these pitches worked for me. You have it. Perfecting your pitches is how you climb in ranking to gather more exposure and comments to better your novel. The writing is good so I am SHELVING you.

Though I have been a very active member for over a year, I can still use your comments on my book when you get the chance. Every little bit helps. Cheers!

The Obergemau Key

zan wrote 1458 days ago

The God in the Tree
Paul Ebbs

Whooaa! I really had to take a deep breath after reading your pitches - and several more after reading your chapter one. The story of how Sam Croker became the God in the Tree is a delight. Sam has a brilliant voice and he tells his story well. It's nice having a hero who is wheelchair confined - how original. This first chapter ends with the reader wanting desperately to turn the page - "If I knew what I know now, as Dad scooped me easily from the chair and slid me into the plane, I would have punched and bit him and screamed until he agreed to leave me behind." I am guessing Sam is referring to the fact that he Killed his Dad (accidentally) shortly thereafter? I'll turn to chapter two to find out later when I have some more fre time - it will be a treat to dip into this again. Lovely writing style, sympathetic MC and great storyline. What else is needed?

Burgio wrote 1458 days ago

Wow. This is a story with nonstop action. The plane crash, the odd carving in the tree, and finally the girl with the spear . . . it's hard to find a story with more tension than this one. You have a great main character in Sam; he's likable and extremely sympathetic because of his injury. Makes this a great read. I’m adding this to my shelf. Burgio (Grain of Salt).

Fieldie wrote 1486 days ago

I like the pitch and the story lived up to expectations. Good charcter development and a good pace.

Peter Tapsell - Partially Built

J&M JENSEN wrote 1584 days ago

A really unusual style you have here but it works. Your pitch and opening are guaranteed to draw the reader in and the exciting premise doesn't disappoint.


chris burton wrote 1589 days ago

This is very compelling, although I am not overly convinced with your pitch. Your writing is pacey and delivers consistently, all the right ingredients for a book in your chosen market and it should do well. Whilst I can understand the temptation to do something differnt with your pitch, you still have to get people to pick the book up and buy it. Backed because of the premise and teh quality fo the writing.

T.L Tyson wrote 1601 days ago

It is the bluntness in the story that held my attention.
Sam's voice is honest and yet this is a story of lies, how ironic to me.
I think you really have a great story here. It is original, well written.
You know what I enjoyed, the sadness in the truth behind Sam's words. He didn't mean to kill his dad. He wheeled on in silence. Some lines are so pure that they are sad.
I hope that makes sense.
I really liked this. If I saw it in a store I would buy it, simply because it is different.
T.L Tyson-Seeking Eleanor

Clare Hill wrote 1613 days ago

I've just read the first three chapters - enough to know I would buy this for my son without a doubt. I would enjoy reading it to him, too - the perks of being a parent, getting to enjoy cracking YA fiction like this. Plus a disabled main character, one who has a distinctive voice and isn't portrayed as sweet, a bit thick, or a victim. Great stuff. Backed.

Jane Alexander wrote 1650 days ago

Paul, expect you've been told this a zillion times before - very very VERY good. It's just so refreshing to have a tale with a) a boy in a wheelchair, b) a boy who is quite open about being rich c) a book in a jungle setting
This is fresh, lively writing with a crystal clear voice. If I were Sam, I'd want to put poisonous spiders in their socks too - and would spit on that Brazilian kit.
No nits, no useful crit I'm afraid. I'd just lap this up.

Mike Riley wrote 1667 days ago

This is really engaging piece of writing. You button-hole the reader from the off......I hope there is more to come
Shelved Mike

Paolito wrote 1758 days ago

If I were an agent, I'd ask for a full--by phone! This is great stuff. I've just read your partial, but the writing is excellent, and Sam's voice is perfect. I can't imagine this one not selling.

I don't have any nits, but I do have a question (which you don't have to answer because I'm buying this one when it comes out). Does Sam become less angry about his condition as the story progresses. That's the only off-note that your story might have.

Shelved without a qualm.

Sheryl (comment on mine? backing optional)

Alecia Stone wrote 1758 days ago

Hi Paul,

What a great opening. You really know how to grip a reader. The narrative voice sounded authentic and brought Sam’s character and his story to life. This is a wonderful and moving story. Great characterisation and dialogue and wonderful vivid descriptions.

Your prose is tight and I read this with ease and joy.


Shinzy :)

Elaina wrote 1767 days ago

Hi Paul

I see you haven't been on for a while, but I read anyway and must say I am completely enthralled with this tale. I have read through ch7 and have no nitpicks at all. Sam's voice is spot on- one can imagine him in danger and despair in the jungle. This is a wonderful read and deserves support.

Placing this on my shelf.


mn73 wrote 1804 days ago

An engrossing read from the get-go with Sam's voice shining through from the start, and what an engaging voice it is. You have a fabulous writing style and an intruiging plot. I'm looking forward to finding out how Sam copes out in the Amazon forest. My only real criticism is that he seems strangely unaffected by his Dad's death at the moment it happens - I was expecting a burst of emotion from him at this point. Having said that, nothing will stop this taking its turn on my shelf.

Pat Brehony wrote 1810 days ago

I have read right through to chapter ten. You succeed in holding one's attention is what is a believable plot about surviving in the jungle etc. (everyone's nightmare!)
I do agree with one or two others who would like to see bugs and other creepy things introduced. The sights and smells are an important aspect of ratcheting up the fear.
I will return when more comes on line.

nillan wrote 1812 days ago

Your book absorbed me from the very first sentence and I have now read four chapters. I find it so thrilling and engaging that I have difficulty in separating from it. But there are other books that I also have to look at. Seems a very good story! Shelved. Good luck!
Blue-eyed in Luhya-land

Pat Brehony wrote 1818 days ago

Hi Paul,
That opening grabbed my attention! Looking forward to reading more.
Icaroz Rising

LittleDevil wrote 1827 days ago

All that hard work! Why didn't you just stick around to see it through? And when are you going to get the damn thing published? I want to know how it ends.

Bradley Wind wrote 1829 days ago

those description questions draw me right in.
First 2 chapters I'm right there with MC...very nice.
Not completely unbelievable but a minor stretch to believe that he'd considered the trees over the river in order to get his Dad to safety.
...still I'm with him in the excitement/fright.
not sure about the phrasing of 'juddering downward as a series of shuddering'. Maybe replace juddering?? just a personal taste thing maybe...sorry.
Way to go Paul...first three chapters = a captivating read
Only thing I somewhat wished for is a little more insight into what MC actually is interested in/ far all I know is what happened to him and what annoys him. possibly I have enough to care about him as he's crashing but part of me wants more...
A horror story with the death of his father - everything is so tight...
Great stuff here.
Glad I found it.
Best of luck Paul.
-=Bradley Wind (A Calculated Embellishment)

Chickers wrote 1829 days ago

what a fascinating story! I was drawn in by the boy and gripped by his dilemna. Was sorry when it ended and would love to read more. Perhaps you should consider posting the rest :)

alchemist wrote 1831 days ago

I read chapter one and I was not disappointed. Knowing you are a professional writer I was expecting flowing prose and well sketched characters. However I was surprised with the plot as it's unusual. I read quite a bit of good quality YA and it's usually about wizards, ghosts, witches and all sorts of mythical creatures. You obviously know how to build up the tension and end with a cliffhanger. I'm a bit behind with my reading but will read more of this. I'm happy to back you.

Robin Helweg-Larsen wrote 1831 days ago

Hi Paul, I'm down to the end of Chapter 7, with mixed feelings. Sam is a very real kid, and his experience of being wheelchair bound is very completely and believably presented. Well researched, or experienced.

However the jungle doesn't carry much conviction for me. I was waiting for the mosquitoes to show up long before dark, because I think they would have been the major sensory experience from the time he woke up at the river bank. And so maddening that he wouldn't have been able to think straight. I'm not sure how much the temperature would change with nightfall - but without some definition of what season it is, or how the seasons work, or which country (that wasn't Brazil) he was in, I don't have a sense of his environment. How broad was the river at that point? Why didn't he know which country he was in? (Kids always know that, at least.) Why didn't he consider staying with the log and floating on downriver until he ran across people? He might be days away from finding any, but there's no one where he is (for all he knows). Did he try shouting for help, in case there *was* anyone in the jungle?

About the last flight - he says if he'd known what was going to happen, he'd have kicked and screamed to be left behind. Surely he'd have tried to prevent his father from flying at all, rather than letting him go without him? Sam is great, and you have a fast and coherent storyline. I'm backing the book... but I think the jungle needs work.

Best, Robin

Creature wrote 1831 days ago

Love this!

readaholic wrote 1835 days ago

This is creative writing at its best. It takes the reader through a whole range of emotions; its compelling and very scary in it's vivid graphics. Paul's descriptive arial scenes -mountains, river etc.- are positively poetic.

Good Luck Mary

pialia wrote 1837 days ago


I was looking for a story of a non-typically challenged hero, and this is a great one. The beginning is heart-stopping and clever. I was immediately drawn in, and the pace stays strong throughout. This one goes on the shelf because the writing is tremendous.


Alexia wrote 1837 days ago

To quote the noter below: I'm hooked! Excellent story-telling, so simple and yet so compelling. For some reason I'm having trouble reading past chapter 5 (computer stuff) but I shall be shelving this as soon as I have some free space! Well done!

MadameC wrote 1839 days ago

I'm hooked! Awaiting the next installment - compelling and paced very well.

Vigorio wrote 1839 days ago

Awesome, fast-paced, incredibly interesting and compelling. Shelved!

John Booth wrote 1841 days ago

Well written, great fun. Can't wait to see where it goes.

Henrik Harrysson wrote 1848 days ago

The first three chapters are a strong beginning. You introduce the narrator and his predicament well - his complex and ambivalent relationship with his father – all that heavy baggage, his fight for recognition and dignity – one can really imagine this.

The description of flying over the jungle, the blue and the green, is brilliantly vivid. I just detected one (to me) off note. “Other than that, nothing else moved” – for me the “else” is redundant.

The description of the lead up to the crash, and the impact is bravura stuff , you really feel that you are there, along with the implied irony of his “returning” his father’s injury of him in kind.

And of course the dawning revelation that he is alone, and crippled in the jungle, and then knocked unconscious. Houdini would struggle to come out of that in good form.

This is all great stuff.


Ariom Dahl wrote 1848 days ago

This got me in very quickly, Paul. I'm backing it not only because I like it, but because I hope it will get back into the top 5 this month. The narrator's voice is excellent.
Regards and good luck,

Bruna Iotti wrote 1849 days ago

Dear Paul,

I just kept reading and reading it. I am glad your chapters are short. You describe Sam's emotions so well. The way he is trapped there in the Amazon, you keep the reader with him quite a while before Sam stops sobbing and resolves to do something about his life. You did the timing right, it takes a while for us to do something about our life and death situation. In Sam's case, he is always cared for because he is stuck in a wheelchair, so people will bend for him. He does not need to defend himself, he is always protected because of his disability. But, in the jungle, the fittest will survive! It does not mean the fittest from the gym, but the more intelligent at surviving.
I hope you can use the fact that this boy is in the Amazon to highlight the issues of nature against greedy men. Escobar is not a Brazilian name is more Spanish. Carlos and Ramos and Maria are ok, but not Escobar! I know because I am Brazilian and I wrote a Fantasy book in the Amazon.

Well done. You got my vote.

All the best.


tjlang wrote 1858 days ago

Wow, this is some good writing. I was hooked from the start and couldn't stop. I really can't wait until this one is finished - it deserves its top 5 spot for sure. The pacing is excellent and the language is very effective without being too preachy. I especially liked the introduction of TreeFace, and how it seems to change its expression as you move -- eerie but not spoonfeeding the symbolism.

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Please finish this as soon as you can, I want to read more!

Xavier wrote 1858 days ago

This caught my interest right away. The mix of the past, present, and future is natural, seems just the way our minds work in real opposed to the sequential way narratives usually present as the way we think. I'll be back. I want to know what happens next.