Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Inca's Death Cave: An Archaeological Mystery Thriller - Bradford G. Wheler

Summary: Adventure, archaeology, technology, and mystery mix to form a breathtaking action-packed tale. INCA'S DEATH CAVE An Archaeological Mystery Thriller A 500-year-old puzzle catapults an archaeology professor and his brilliant grad student into the adventure of a lifetime in INCA'S DEATH CAVE, a new mystery thriller from author Bradford G. Wheler. What happened to a band of Inca rebels who journeyed north in Peru to seek the fabled cave of the true gods - and escape the disease and destruction brought by Spanish conquistadors? They were never heard from again. Did they just melt back into their villages or was something more sinister involved? What trace or treasure did they leave behind? The ingenious plot of this thriller is full of twists and turns, excitement and adventure, archaeology and technology. Readers will meet fascinating characters they'll never forget: a high-tech billionaire, a quick-witted professor, his beautiful young student, and her still-tough grandfather, a retired Marine gunny sergeant. Cornell University professor Robert Johnson and his star PhD student are hired by a billionaire entrepreneur to solve a 500-year-old archaeology mystery in northern Peru. But first, they will have to survive corporate skullduggery and drug-lord thuggery. And why, 6,700 miles away in Vatican City, is the old guard so upset? What dark secrets could centuries-old manuscripts hold? This assiduously researched, fast-paced novel brings the Incas and their ancestors to life against the backdrop of the Peruvian Andes. Along with riveting action, INCA'S DEATH CAVE contains 22 illustrations and photos. Wheler draws on his own expertise in engineering, technology, and business to help readers feel that they are living the adventure. Mixing the action of David Baldacci's The Hit, the tech thrills of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park, and the dialogue of Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels, INCA'S DEATH CAVE is a true pleasure to read. (Summary and Pic from goodreads.com)

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

My Review:  We’ve all had that professor who wrote and published a book and then required their students to buy it for class. Or maybe that was just me and my budget conscious professors. Anyway, I had several professors—especially in grad school—who wrote their own books and then we, the poor put upon students, had to buy them.  Some of them were really good, actually, and some of them, even though written by a professor who was the top of his field, weren’t that great.

I have a point.

This book was written as if by a professor who was doing archaeological work. In a good way. He was mild-mannered and studious and had kind of a nerdy professor-like sense of humor. He interacted with his students in a very professor-like way. He was chummy and enjoyed being ironic in a way that the students probably rolled their eyes at but still liked. I mean seriously. It’s like this book was actually written by a real archaeological professor. And I’ve read books by archaeological professors.

The good thing about the way this is written is that it feels authentic. It has a day-to-day feel even though there are some dramatic things that happen. They are taken in stride as a mild-mannered professor might do. It’s written conversationally, which makes for an easy read, and the author obviously did quite a bit of research, which made it feel realistic as well.

The downside of this style, unfortunately, is that it made the ending somewhat anti-climatic. It builds up to this really cool place and then just kind of skips past it. I thought that was somewhat disappointing. Don’t get me wrong—there is action and drama and all that—but the actual BIG event is alluded to, and then the book just kind of ends without discussing it.

I enjoyed this book and although it wasn’t heart-pumping all the time, it was interesting and the characters were enjoyable.

My Rating: 3.5 stars

For the sensitive reader: There is some language, although it is not excessive. 

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