Review: Book of the Dead by Grieg Beck

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Publisher: Momentum

Publishing Date: December 2014

ISBN: 9781760082437 

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.5/5

Publisher Description: When a massive sinkhole opens up and swallows a retired couple from Iowa it seems like a freak occurrence. But it’s not the only one. Similar sinkholes are opening all over the world, even on the sea floor. And they’re getting bigger. People living near the pits begin reporting strange phenomena—vibrations, sulfurous odors, and odd sounds in the stygian depths. Then the pets begin to go missing.

Review: This seems to have been written for a “Made for TV” movie deal. The formula is evident: 1) Start novel with foreboding historical passages and the genesis of the horror to come by following the main architects demise 2) shift to present day and begin series of similar gruesome occurrences happening around the world beginning with a retired couple in Iowa. 3) Cue the investigators (civilian and military) with more missing people and other strange occurrences (swirling flocks of birds dying over sinkholes/cockroaches everywhere).  4). Cue the hot chick military investigator and Mr. Goodlookin’ Professor of ancient blah blah blah that has character flaws in all the right places that I am sure he will overcome throughout the course of the novel.  5) Cue Mr. Super Evil that tortures and maims his way in pursuit of our intrepid heroes but is just a pawn to his evil master(s).

IF, you can wade through that for the first 35% of the novel then good for you as it finally starts to get interesting without the formulaic shtick.  But that moment is brief. While this convergence of Dan Brown’s Langdon meets the “Thing” meets Indiana Jones is tiresome in the beginning, the story line picks up as the characters are carried by the movement and develop a little out of their one dimensionality. There are some comical additions of un-believability that put the novel in retrograde movie deal mode. Like the trained Mossad assassin super girl that can disarm a Navy Seal and take out 2 four man teams of terrorist ambushers with just her knives and a bad attitude (without breathing hard). But she’s hot and sassy with a tender core. She will tell you just how dumb you are while turning her back and striding confidently into the desert. So you better follow. Oh complexity where is thy sting? So, it turns out that hunky and rumpled Professor D-bag KNOWS our trained Mossad assassin as his buddy was banging her in the Appalachians  of all places. Really? This must referent some other novel starring Professor Fugtard.

The novel had some compelling moments yet were few in instance.  Get this if you like some good writing and thinly built characters that put on a show.

 

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