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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 June 2011
Other Readers seem to have slated this book heavily, however after reading it i really have no idea why. ok, the book may not be some amazing piece of literature which is going to go down in history, but it was definately worth the read.

i like reading books like The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, The Gaudi Key, i like the chase and the puzzle that the character is trying to solve. This book has been described below as an imitation of some of Dan Brown's work, they called this a bad thing, however its exactly what made me buy it, i like Dan Browns books but i wanted more books to read like his, life would be pretty boring if i only had Dan Browns books to read, and thats what i felt this was, another book in the Dan Brown/puzzle/treasure hunt kind of genre. i found it thrilling, exciting and i struggled to put it down. let me stress i never felt like i was rereading a dan brown novel it just ahd a similar style.

other reviewers have also stated that you could tell exactly what was going to happen, ifind alot of books, movies, tv programs all follow a similar path of here is a character - here is a problem the character faces - here is the solution - the end. this makes elements of most plots predictable, its very rare the main character dies, it rare that some sort of solution is found, but i find its how you get to the solution that is exciting and i felt that this book did this very well. what i like about this book and others in this genre is they the characters hit many problems you never know if there going to hit a dead with one clue and have to go another way etc

other reviewers in my opinion were to harsh on this book, i really enjoyed its fast paced, exciting, thrilling hunt for atlantis.

(sorry i didnt go into much detail in the plot but i felt that would spoil the read for someone else)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2010
It compares with Dan Brown in that it's pretty much an imitation.

It starts as a classic quest-with-menaces, to find the five lost instruments of Atlantis. Then it degenerates into a BCS* shoot-em-up with glowering sexual overtones, and culminates in a flood-in-a-cave rescue-the-artifacts fest.

There *is* no real denouement - you need some serious imagination and insight to be able to produce an ending that's worth all the fuss. Eco does it by turning it into a shaggy-dog there-is-no-secret-after-all exercise in bathos. Dan Brown does it by digging out some Masonic speculations which are overdue for hitting the mainstream. Brokaw does it by making his protagonists Not Read The Book.

A plus point: he makes a damn good effort at English idiom, for an American, and even uses English versions of expletives, which delighted me - so few bother to learn the language.

A minus point: his sexual politics are tedious and stilted and so tiresomely puritanically distracting. Makes you want to shout: "Grow up!" to the protagonists.

But never mind. It moves swiftly enough, and the scenery's attractive. I wasn't expecting something deep, and it kept me from getting bored on the bus.

*BCS: Baddies Can't Shoot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2014
Yet another Dan Brown spinoffs, with a bit of James Bond thrown in (except that the Bond-like figure here is female). Unfortunately the plot is very pedictable, there are no real surprises from beginning to end, and the ending is lame to say the least.I struggled to finish it, but continued to the end hoping for some original twist... in vain, it turned out.
If you really enjoy these ancient-document-that-could-change-the-world type of stories, try it, but I think there are much better alternatives out there. In particular I found the characters uniformly weak, especially Lourds, the 'linguistics professor' as he is constantly described - as a linguistics professor myself, all i can say is that this character does not know much about linguistics, and nor apparently does the author, who seems to imagine linguistics is concerned merely with learning as many languages as possible and deciphering new ones on the basis of a few words. I think the reseach for this book could have been more thorough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 September 2011
I've never written a book review before, but feel strongly enough to write this one - this book is dreadful.

The core plot could have been the basis of a good book (some elements of the plot were a bit far fetched though- generally in relation to decisions made by the characters).

The characters are terrible and so poorly developed that I found it very difficult to form any sympathies or attachment to them .

Neither is the ending of the book very good and it manages to make the experience of reading this book seem a bit pointless.

I wouldn't recommend.
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on 16 September 2013
Brokaw inhabits somewhat the shallower end of the pool in which writers like Kuzneski and Boyd Morrison swim. There's nothing wrong with the book. The underlying archaeological mystery is as inventive as any I've read and the key research has been well carried out. It just falls a little short of being unputdownable, gets a little turgid in parts and doesn't have a feel that you would want to re-read it at a future date. But it is certainly not wasted time and is definitely worth reading once.

So what to say? The action scenes lack a bit of impact. The writer relies rather too much on verbal lecture mode to unfold the background information. Characterisation appears to be rather thin, with new ones introduced by name and a brief description before being slotted into place. They tend to adapt to the needs of the author rather than being driven by their own personalities. The sadistically vicious baddie does his sadistically vicious act once and thereafter reverts to being a fairly average black hat. The female lead displays some ninja qualities early on based upon contact with 'special forces' but then slips into dumb, self-destructive blonde mode for the rest of the book except when the occasional light-bulb moment is called for. Other characters appear only to fade into a role as extras.

The sex has been mentioned and I didn't find that a problem. Other authors in the field seem to shy away from it like a nun in an orgy to avoid getting labelled sleazy, which is something of a failing in the way that the male and female leads in their books go to such lengths to avoid the inevitabvle. It isn't pervasive here either with one short but explicit scene and indications that it happened more often than the one time. But as has also been mentioned, the lead male seems to have to do little more than deliver lectures and stroke his beard to have every female within 100 yards ready to give her all. Frankly he isn't the type for whom we feel sympathetic enough towards to necessarily pat him on the back for his rather self-satisfied ease of conquest.

And if the book has a significant failing, perhaps that is it. The main character doesn't inspire and we don't care that much if he gets beaten up or even killed along the way. He may be driven but he is also just a touch too arrogant and full of himself for us to want to 'be' him. It is somewhat disappointing that the strongest female character should be used as conquest number two, seemingly more because the author needed an extra woman to set up certain plot points than for any logical reason. So buy it and read it for its take on Atlantis but don't expect too much beyond that.

Oh and his worst crime? He calls it 'soccer' instead of 'football' ;-)
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on 9 March 2013
An excellent Dr Lourds adventure trying to uncover the secrets of Atlantis ahead of a murderous Cardinal. Another reviewer has pointed out some geographical confusion regarding Senegal.
There are other errors p.34 "this writing should be in one of the Altaic languages.Turkic,Mongolic or Tungusic." "it's a family of languages that encompassed this area. It's where all language here(the Middle East sprang from. The language group stretches from Central Asia to Japan a thousand miles north and has absolutely no links to ancient Egypt,Anatolia,Iran or Mesopotamia.

P.55 has the evil Cardinal and this henchman(both Italians)talking in Rome. "A cymbal.""A symbol of what?" The Italian words cimbalo and simbolo are not so easily confused as in English.

P.227 "amusing to note how many land-locked South American countries hosted veritable navies"
There are only two such countries in the Americas, Bolivia and Paraguay to choose from.

Travelling in Yorubaland, Nigeria, p.385 "pointing out spider monkeys".P386 "spider monkeys leaped from treetop to treetop" and "the driver had to serve to avoid hitting a forest elephant."
These encounters are even more remarkable than discovering Atlantis, as spider monkeys are native to the Americas and the last Nigerian elephant died in 2005,hundreds of miles away to the east.
P.106"Russia,even these days,wasn't the hottest of destinations,the kind that had flights leaving every thirty minutes". I think this overstates the problem of travelling from Egypt to Moscow, which I believe has good connections. Lourds travels via London. Istanbul,Athens, Cyprus or Israel should have been quicker.Also on the flight p.114 "Lourds sipped the water" What water?

The book also paints the Yoruba as being the equivalent of the Phoenicians. Their society did not coalesce until c1000 C.E and there is no evidence that they were ever seafarers.
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on 2 June 2013
Good points in the book are: one of the heroines becomes a Lara Croft act-alike which was fun. Sharp, intelligent, motivated and deadly; the love triangle added spice and realism, and an extra layer to the relationships; avoided a cliche of a traitor in the group, at least not intentionally, which made liking the characters easier; the religious fervour was understandable and gave a stronger justification than mere greed; the chase, which occupies most of the book, is lively, interesting and exciting; the secrets remain secret until very close to the end, leaving you guessing what the secrets are.

Bad points include: overly sadistic violence at times, mercifully short and few, that leaves the soul depressing feeling of people willing to sink to any level of violence to help their cause along. At least at the end contra factions emerged that added a level of honour to the battles; the premise of the backstory was hard to swallow - similar books build a mystery around a nugget of truth but this was based upon weird ideas that I'd never heard of, and made a link to religion which seemed nonsense; Also, similar books often conclude with the mystery being hidden or destroyed so they are believable. In this, it is splashed all over the news which made it irritatingly unbelievable; the end is a little too much like Indiana Jones.

Overall, enjoyable and certainly pleasant to read but not overwhelming.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 9 August 2009
Hi
I am a fan of this type of book, lost Ark, Jesus tomb, Spear lost.
But after a good start it got lost in trying to be a James Bond rush around exotic locations, Russia, East Africa, Rome the ending in Spain, far to many gunfights to be taken as real without police involvment along the way.
Far to many villans and hitmen, plus of course the Catholic Church and secret orders operating in the Vatican, the end seemed rushed but of course we knew what was going to happen.
Sorry but this was a poor book, many others are offering a more solid story if not belivable...
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on 27 February 2014
I dont think this book compares to Di Vinci Code although it owes it quite a bit as other reviewers have said. Its more like Indiana Jones, except this Lourds guy is a big smarter and speaks all known languages.There are a few other characters some Jounalists and a Russian Police women with a vengence, all pretty 2 dimensional.
It does build up quite well and you start to wonder what big secret will be revealed - but in the last 50 pages it turns into an Indiana Jones adventure and then underwhelms. I was expecting a few big twists but there werent any.

Its worth a read but not as good as Da Vinci Code. Could do better
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on 1 April 2012
I thought this book was very enjoyable, yes it was full of stereotypes and a bit over the top at times, but overall i just could not put it down, although i've read alot better books than this i do not think i finished one as quickly. I Do think they probably escaped more often than they should of, and can understand some of the negative reviews but if you want a fast paced good action book then give this a try. First review hope its helpful
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