5) Rogue Angel: Destiny – Alex Archer (Adventure, though labeled Sci-Fi)
Okay, so… I saw this in the bookstore and picked it up for a laugh. The premise? A stunningly beautiful, conveniently large-chested woman – who also was raised in an orphanage by nuns – spends her days as an archaeologist. She’s well trained, brilliant, loves to read, but also knows how to kick some serious butt (how? did the nuns teach her???). Naturally, she’s unlucky in love. It also just so happens that Joan of Arc’s sword has “chosen” her to be its new bearer… and she can call upon it to appear and disappear at will.
Sound like a strange amalgamation of Tomb Raider & Witchblade??? Yeah, that’s what I thought too. In fact, I’m pretty sure Archer was reading his comic books one day and said to himself: “Dude… what if Tomb Raider AND Witchblade were like… part of the same PERSON??? Awwwwesome….”
That said… I liked the book. Really, really liked it. Yes, it was cliche/corny/predictable/ridiculous… but it was *fun*. As long as you were willing to suspend disbelief while reading, it was a great guilty pleasure read, full of action, fighting, silly history (though it was consistent!), and a villain that’s so one-dimensional you HAVE to hate him. And, perhaps most of all, I appreciated that Archer got one thing right that so many people fail to realize: archaeologists don’t make money doing archaeology. Our heroine has to write books, appear on TV shows about mythical creatures, and teach seminars to make the money she needs to live & fund her digs. THANK YOU, Alex Archer.
Anyway, I admit: I already have the next 2 books in the series lined up to go. What can I say? I like fun books.
Rating: 4 coffees out of 5
Interesting… I thought of writing a series based around the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World quite awhile ago, but hey, looks like someone beat me to it. But that’s alright! It wasn’t half bad, and it seems like Higley does her research well. I was mostly interested in reading this to find historical errors (I’m horrible, I know, but being trained in Classical Studies does this to me), and was pleasantly surprised when I didn’t catch any that detracted from the story.
The novel is set in ancient Greece – the island of Rhodes, to be specific – and focuses on one particular hetaera and her situation. The story keeps the action moving forward most of the time, with the occasional slowdown for us to gain insight into Tessa’s thoughts and world, which keep her under strict social regulations (though she – and the hetaerae in general – had much more freedom than any other Greek woman, historically speaking). There is a love interest, but it isn’t forced, which I appreciated. There are several pages where a Jewish man shares his faith in Yahweh with the main character that may seem slightly contrived to some, but it seems to work with this story in particular. It would have been rare and unlikely, but not impossible.
The novel was an easy read, not particularly complex, but held my interest enough to finish it in an afternoon. A worthwhile diversion.
Rating: 3 coffees out of 5