Book Review of False Horizon (Rogue Angel, Bk 29)

False Horizon (Rogue Angel, Bk 29)
reviewed on + 108 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1

For an archaeology-based adventure story, this is remarkably boring and has very little to do with archaeology. I'm really miffed. *Every* time I try to read an archaeology-based adventure story I'm dumbstruck by the lack of intelligent storytelling, decent characterization, or even witty dialogue. At least James Rollins or some of the other more prevalent adventure authors have decent plots that attempt originality even if their characters are one-dimensional and half the storytelling is devoted to whatever cool gadgets the heroes have to help them on their adventures. But I really found this book to be a veritable snooze. Even the "action" was boring!

Admittedly, it is my first in the series so it is possible that, due to the fact at least four different people churn these out every month, I stumbled upon one of the bad ones. Maybe earlier books are more inspired. Judging by the fact that Amazon reviewers gush about how the heroine is like the love child between Lara Croft and Indiana Jones, I can only assume at one time this series actually kicked butt. For these same reasons I have to say I was expecting more wit, more archaeological savvy, and more excitement from the cast of characters, especially the main heroine. But what I got was a group of interchangeable characters.

Seriously, not one character has any characteristic that makes him/her stand out from the rest. Okay, one Nepali man, Tuk, is really really petite and we have his diminutive size forced on us every time he is mentioned (and he is mentioned more than Annja Creed!) lest we forget. I think this was the author's heavy-handed attempt at foreshadowing. Annja has a sword and is really attractive. Her friend Mike is a large man who played football and may be dying. And that is about it for characterization. They all speak the same and they all are so freaking polite to each other that, again, it makes you want to fall asleep. There is absolutely no friction in this story. Even the bad guys are polite when they threaten our heroes. The inhabitants from Shangri-La are really polite. And Annja, Mike, and Tuk are super nice to each other even though Mike got Annja into a rather stupidly dangerous situation and Tuk was a stowaway on their crashed plane. Furthermore, all 3 main characters are more naive than their reputation or previous work experience would make possible. I think one cross word or a bit of suspicion would have been warranted somewhere in this story. And since the plot is so bland and full of happy coincidences, the characters really needed to be better drawn out in order to make something about this book worthwhile.

The only saving grace of this book is that it is an easy and quick read. But it reminds me too much of a Saturday morning cartoon with simple plots and poor characterization. The only way I could see this book working at all is if a really great cast and crew turned it into a movie and fleshed out the characters and some crucial scenes better. Unless, you are a diehard Annja Creed fan, I'd suggest skipping this book.