Monday, February 25, 2013

The Death Relic Review

The Death Relic by Chris Kuzneski

(from the back of the book)
After being vanquished by the Spanish empire, little remains the Aztec and Mayan civilizations.  From the ashes of their cities emerged a unified legend: Their conquerors possessed a mysterious artifact so powerful – so deadly – that it was universally known as the “Death Relic.”  Despite its infamy, little else is known about it.  Like the lives of the men who carried it, the object was lost long ago.  Or was it?

When archaeologist Maria Pelati’s research team disappears in the rugged terrain of the Yucatan Peninsula, she contacts Jonathan Payne and David Jones to help track them down.  Following the clues left behind, the duo discovers a link between the research team’s work and their recent disappearance.

As Payne and Jones embark on a perilous mission to find the lost archaeologist, they realize that Maria’s research may be the key to solving one of the darkest mysteries of the New World.  But their quest may end up costing them their lives as they unearth the secret of the Death Relic.

Maybe if I had some history with the characters I might have enjoyed this more.  As it was I didn’t connect with them much.  I liked the idea of the long standing relationship between the two friends with all sorts of history that leads to friendly banter.  Unfortunately it didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped.  The banter was odd and forced and sounded awkward and ended up taking away from the story instead of adding to it.  And unfortunately there were long passages of it.  There is some good action and mystery with people who are not who they seem, plots and schemes, fire fights and ancient puzzles.  And you get to learn something about the Maya.  But after all the action and mystery, just when it seems to really be picking up, it just sort of ends.  Abruptly.  It felt like the book was leading us somewhere and then decided at the last moment not to go there.  And I was left feeling that the ending didn’t really deliver what the rest of the book promised.

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