High 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.
This book transports you back to the days of the Incas and the cities they built – some that last even through till today. Though the story is told in real time – the history of this long ago culture kept the story flowing as the group make their way from trap to trap – monster to monster. I like the bit of extraterrestrial that goes into the story though it would be hard to do the story without it for no other explanation could fit.
After an explosion traps Sam’s team in the underground pyramid, they find that to live they must use everything they know about the Incas and neighboring tribes to solve the riddle and reach the surface. Once at the surface, things are still not as they seem as Henry rushes to save what they have found from the rest of the world. The story is pretty action packed and fast moving.
OK, what I liked about the story was the archeology aspects, the monsters, the bit of supernatural, and the characters all made the story fascinating – a history lesson interlaced with fiction. Though scientists, the group doesn’t fit the mold of being the pompous, arrogant geeks that too often grace the halls of academia. I’m glad they don’t all have some sort of combat training either because that is getting to be a tired, old storyline both in movies and books. I get so tired of there being a monstrous situation but oh, wait, the main character has somehow gained near superhuman status because they were military. Please! Instead the groups in the book use scientific analysis to find their way out of grim situations.
The imagery is magnificent – I could so see the entire route in my mind which, unfortunately, fed into my subconsciousness and infiltrated my dreams. It isn’t much fun running through caves being chased by ugly monsters in one’s dreams.
So what didn’t I like? It did drag just a wee bit halfway through that made me feel like I would never get back to the good stuff but it does make it back before I lost interest. I found the ending a tad bit cliché so was disappointed that the author went there when the story was going along so well but I guess he felt it wrapped stuff up better and left a bit of wondering to the reader. If one stops before the Epilogue, the story ends better.
One of the better Rollins books I have read – I liked how it was a bit similar to “Deeper” but kept true to the storyline without wandering off down paths that were too stupid for words as “Deeper” did. I easily give the book an A and think it would make a great movie if done properly.