Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I wanted more...

Black Sun
Graham Brown

More Mayans, more details, and definitely more sharks!

***Extremely Minor Spoilers***

Black Sun starts a few years after Black Rain ended: it is nearing December 21, 2012, the world is obsessed with the end of the Mayan calendar, and McCarter and Danielle can't stop thinking about the stone they found deep in the jungle that has mysterious properties. McCarter is convinced that there are three other stones just like the first, all hidden by the Mayans, and together they will either protect the world from the end of the Mayan calendar.....or be the cause. Together, he and Danielle - along with Hawker as a tag-along - once again head into the history of the Mayans and the future of civilization to save the world!

I really enjoyed Black Sun: I am not wild about the end of the Mayan calendar theories but I do find them interesting and introduces an excuse to talk about the Mayans; I love how the author ties together ancient Mayan history in the form of their calendar and creation myths with futuristic societies and advanced scientific theory, seriously fantastic; and any book that mentions the ampullae of Lorenzini is a sure-fire win!

However, many of the aspects I overlooked in his debut novel I feel should have been improved upon in his sophomore publication:

The characters lack depth - we know a little bit about their past from the first book but I really wanted to see them confront their pasts and grow in this book. They didn't. I like the action-packed nature of this book but action from characters I can not connect with is monotonous.

Details are sparse and, therefore, the story doesn't fully come to life - there is so much information in this novel but the details aren't there to make the story pop. Yeah, we learn about some Mayan stuff and some science stuff but I wanted more details. The way it is written, it is hard to get too excited about some of the aspects.

The coincidences got a little out of control - when you magically crash land in the exactlocation you have been desperately searching for and there is a man there who has all of the answers to your questions (and all of this happens in the span of about 10 pages), it is a bit too coincidental for me. The author works so hard to build suspense and a sense of urgency and then it's like he didn't have a good idea on how to make it all come together so he throws it into a convenient, yet improbable, action.

Overall, a fast-paced and entertaining read. I will definitely be picking up Mr. Brown's next book but hope that he improves on some aspects while retaining the awesome intersection of anthropological history and scientific future!

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