Tomes of Miscellany

Welcome to the land of danger and intrigue, where individuals are legion and non-conformity is the norm. Join me as I explore the many facets of humanity and meet the scum of the earth and its angels incarnate.

W A R N I N G !

This review does not represent the opinions of the general public. It reflects my personal thoughts and opinions on the book.

That said, on to the review!

Title: Excavation
Author: James Rollins
Publisher: AvonBooks
Format: Paperback
Copyright Date: 2000

Once, long ago, the Incans ruled a vast empire throughout the Andes mountains. Now little remains of their great civilization, and only archaeologists, historians, and mercenary treasure hunters continue their searches for the fabled wealth of the Incas. But there is one other group willing to kill to find a great and terrible Incan secret: el Sangre del Diablo--the blood of the Devil. And this secretive sect of the Roman Catholic Church will not stop until they have used the Devil's blood to bring about the Second Coming, and woe be to anyone who stands in their way. Naturally, Sam Conklin and his expeditionary group have no intention of being killed. But to escape, they'll have to avoid ancient Incan traps, a resurrected Incan King, strange, mutated beasts that combust spontaneously when touched with a certain substance, and the forces of nature themselves. Can they do it, or will the Blood of the Devil be too much for them to escape from?

Excavation is an intriguing blend of science fiction, adventure, suspense, and reality. Like Subterranean, this novel extrapolates an unexpected impossibility and presents it as a mystery that needs solving and resolving.

As much as I enjoyed the exciting quest over, under, and through the Andes mountains, there were some parts of the book that I found highly difficult to accept. The historical stuff was all right, mostly palatable and probable verifiable. The part that really bothered me was all the stuff about the Devil's blood. I can accept that there may be a strange substance that looks like gold but isn't, that reacts to temperature changes more readily than mercury, and defies all explanation. The part that I can't easily accept is that there could be substances capable of bringing a person back to life just from their head being preserved. That's a little too farfetched for me. Of course, for the sake of the book, I allowed myself to accept it. Still...

It would probably be best to think of Excavation as a sort of "paradise lost" novel. It isn't entirely accurate, but it is a somewhat appropriate description. At the same time, though, don't forget that paradise has a flipside and it might be best to walk only between the two. If you don't understand what I'm talking about, well, just read the book, I'm sure you'll get the point.

Rating: Thumbs up! Secret sects and resurrection theories abound!

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This page posted July 1, 2002.

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