February 26, 2009

Inca in Excavation

The latest report from correspondent DMarks on the novels of James Rollins. First, a summary of the book from Rollins's website:

ExcavationHigh in the Andes, Dr. Henry Conklin discovers a 500-year-old mummy that should not be there. While deep in the South American jungle, Conklin’s nephew, Sam, stumbles upon a remarkable site nestled between two towering peaks, a place hidden from human eyes for thousands of years.

Ingenious traps have been laid to ensnare the careless and unsuspecting, and wealth beyond imagining could be the reward for those with the courage to face the terrible unknown. But where the perilous journey inward ends--in the cold, shrouded heart of a breathtaking necropolis--something else is waiting for Sam Conklin and his exploratory party. A thing created by Man, yet not humanly possible. Something wondrous...something terrifying.
Hmm. Sounds terrifyingly and wondrously derivative. Here's DMarks's mini-review:"Excavation," heavily Inca-involved, is the last one I completed. It is a cut below all the others. The plot, characters, and scientific McGuffin don't measure up to the other ones, and the Inca and Indian characters aren't as good as the others and come closer to being stereotypical than in his other novels.Comment:  I gave Rollins's Black Order a 7.5 of 10. DMarks says Excavation is worse.

I rarely read books that I think will be a 7.0 or less--because so many books are better. Therefore, I'd say give Excavation a pass.

For more on the subject, see Indiana Jones and the Stereotypes of Doom and The Best Indian Books.

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