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The best book I've read in a long time!
The Hunt for Atlantis - Andy McDermott
Member Name: nykied
The Hunt for Atlantis - Andy McDermott
Advantages: You won't be disappointed...
Disadvantages: ...unless you're an archaeologist!
This is the first book of Andy McDermott's that I've read, but it was recommended to me by a friend and to be honest, it had been sat on my bookshelf for a while before I actually started to read it.
~ About The Author~
Andy McDermott is 35 and originally from Halifax, in Yorkshire. He now lives in Bournemouth and 'The Hunt for Atlantis' was his debut novel. He's since written five more books based around the same characters, the last of which is due to be published this year. He started his career writing for magazines before he turned his hand to writing novels.
~ The Characters ~
*Nina Wilde - an archaeologist /historian who dreams of finding the lost city of Atlantis
*Kari Frost - the daughter of a billionaire who hires Nina to try to find Atlantis
*Eddie Chase - the ex-SAS that has been hired to protect Nina
*Giovanni Qobras - the head of the sinister Brotherhood of Selasphoros, who will stop at nothing to stop Nina finding Atlantis
~ The Plot ~
The lost city of Atlantis has been unfound for over 11,000 years, but Nina thinks that she knows where it is. Her parents thought that they knew where it was too, but they both died whilst on an expedition to find it. When Nina applies for a university grant to fund her mission and gets turned down, she's approached by Kristian Frost and his daughter Kari, who've put many millions into searching for Atlantis, including funding Nina's parents' expedition. They hire Eddie Chase to protect Nina and their search starts.
Unfortunately, the search also starts for Qobras and his men, only they're searching for Nina and her companions. Qobras doesn't want anyone to find Atlantis and he's prepared to stop at nothing to get his way.
The hunt for Atlantis is on!
~ My Thoughts ~
The book was extremely easy to get into, as the action starts almost from the very first page and continues from there. It really is an action-packed book and for a debut novel, it's fantastic. Everything moves along at a rapid pace and drags you, the reader, into the story. The fact that the action moves between Iran, France, Gibraltar, New York, Norway, the Gulf of Cadiz and Tibet only adds to the speed of the book. It's definitely the way that action adventure books should be written.
The characters were believable and I felt that I could relate to them and their interactions brought a lot of humour to the story. Eddie Chase's character reminded me of an Indiana Jones-type, both from his speech and his actions. The whole book in fact has an Indiana Jones/Lara Croft theme running through it, with neither of the two main female characters getting at all flustered even whilst staring in the face of death. This I found a little hard to believe, but there wasn't a huge amount of character analysis in the book, which meant that the reader doesn't get to build up a whole picture of the characters. Maybe that's something that comes out in the subsequent books?
One thing I particularly liked was the way McDermott kept the Atlantis mystery theme going throughout the book, something that it would have been easy for him to have problems with. 11,000 years is a long time in the world of Chinese whispers and there are so many different theories that it would have been simple to be distracted. McDermott didn't, and his Atlantis theories don't waver throughout the book. To someone with no archaeological background, I found it very easy to buy into the theories, but I feel that someone with more of a history/archaeology background might have found things harder to believe. I read this book looking for an action adventure and I certainly wasn't disappointed.
Two things detracted from this book for me. The first was the slight lack of description. If a character in a book enters the lost city of Atlantis, the reader should be treated to more of a picture of words than was provided in this book. When I read books, I expect to get a complete picture of the scenery and the characters in my mind and that just didn't happen in this book, although to be fair, the action moves along so quickly that that may have been difficult.
The second thing that brought this book down for me a little was the language, mainly in the first half of the book. Parts of it seemed to be written as though it was a comic. Things like:
'He made a desperate leap at the back of the loco as it pulled away, clawing for the handrail...
And caught it.'
It just felt a little contrived to me and didn't fit with the rest of the book. Thankfully, that style seemed to die out mostly in the second half of the book, but it would have been better for me had the whole book been devoid of it.
This is a book that could easily be made into a film. It seems to be begging for it in fact. The book is over five hundred pages, but scenes and characters could be mapped out very easily on film. I wouldn't be surprised if this was made into a film and that would be a film I would most certainly go to see. Think Indiana Jones/Lara Croft/ The Da Vinci Code and you're there.
So for me, this book was fantastic, despite those few things that I didn't like and I would recommend it to anyone who likes adventure books. I'll be reading the second one in the series as soon as I can get my hands on it.
The Hunt For Atlantis by Andy McDermott is available from Amazon for £4.99