"The Green Brain" by Frank Herbert
"Joao saw the pod's nose lift, slam down, saw white water and spume boil past where the canopy had been. He saw a sprayrifle jerk out that opening into the river, and he wedged himself more tightly between the seats and the dash. His fingers ached where he clutched the wheel. A wrenching motion of the pod turned his head and he saw Chen-Lhu's arms wrapped around the seat back directly above him."
"The Green Brain" first appeared as "Greenslaves," a story serialized in Amazing Stories as far back as 1965. It is one of Herbert's earliest stories, and shows him exploring avenues of inquiry which were later sacrificed to the more human, less ecological elements that comprised his landmark Dune novels.
It also forms an interesting pair of novels with "Hellstrom's Hive," another Herbert novel about the interactions between humankind and the insect world. While I think "Hellstrom's Hive" is a far better novel, "The Green Brain" adds a nice bit of counterpoint to that other story of hivelike humans.
"The Green Brain" is set in Brazil, where the International Ecological Organization is attempting to eradicate all manner of pests from the Brazilian rainforest. The local IEO representative, Chen-Lhu, seeks to further the IEO's plans for Brazil by using the lovely Rhin Kelly to seduce a local exterminator, Joao Martinho. These three characters quickly fall into the clutches the Green Brain, a newly evolved insect intelligence.
Most of this novel is a survival story, wherein Chen-Lhu, Rhin, and Joao spend several chapters trapped together in the above-mentioned pod, attempting to float to safety. In this respect, "The Green Brain" resembles other Herbert books such as "Destination: Void" and "Whipping Star." These books also feature characters trapped together in some kind of craft, forced to come to terms with an alien life form.
Unfortunately, "The Green Brain" also shares the weaknesses of these novels, in that the insect intelligence's motives are unclear, and the book seems to go on longer than it should. Herbert's characters engage in so much doublespeak, and in so many kinds of meta-analytic acrobatics that the story becomes muddled, leaving the reader to wonder why anyone is doing anything, and to what higher purpose. The chapters with the Green Brain are interesting, but the rest of the novel seems a bit thin.
I would only recommend this book if you are a die-hard Herbert fan. Otherwise, there are better books out there. It isn't the worst of his books (that dishonor might go to "The Dosadi Experiment"), but it pales in comparison to his more famous novels.