The anthropology expedition to the Peruvian jungle that interested me was facilitated by funding from a pharmaceutical company helmed by a CEO who was rather improbably portrayed as a saintly idealist in an industry that is widely considered the most shameful example of corporate greed. Naturally, he had a stereotypically villainous employee who was conspiring against him. This employee is the one who provides the conflict that makes The Cloud Warriors a thriller.
I thought this improbable CEO was a great character even though I didn't believe that he could exist in the real world. He cared more about people than profits. That's a lovely idea.
Other readers might consider the medium Carrie Waters just as improbable because she isn't a fake practitioner. Since most mediums in novels turn out to be fake, I often avoid books that contain mediums. Those fake mediums are a predictable plot element. Carrie had some predictable traits, but she was also honest, loyal and caring. I enjoyed Carrie's gift. It allowed her to be in contact with both the spirits of the dead, and living characters who were in a shamanic trance.
These characters were shamans of a fictional indigenous people who were lighter skinned than other indigenous groups in Peru. They were referred to as a "lost white tribe". Adam Starling, the head of the anthropology department at the university involved in the Peru expedition, was apparently obsessed with light skinned indigenous peoples in parts of the world where the majority of the population are non-Caucasian. I found this disturbing because his focus on finding these "lost white tribes" seemed likely to be based on an unconscious belief in white supremacy. I do need to point out that Adam Starling is not portrayed as a sympathetic character. He is described as being motivated by fame rather than expanding our knowledge of human cultures. He is considered unsavory, but I think he may also have been a racist.
Cloud Warriors is a novel intended for adults. There are some explicit sex scenes included. There was one that bothered me because it was a breach of professional ethics, but that scene illustrated the immaturity of the male character involved. He goes through a process of growth during the course of the narrative.
This fusion of anthropology and the paranormal with a somewhat standard thriller plot kept Cloud Warriors engaging and suspenseful. This is a very credible debut novel for Rob Jung. I will enjoy finding out what he does next.