Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead Mass Market Paperback – 29 Sep 2009
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About the Author
Steve Perry wrote for "Batman: Ther Wars: Shadows of the Empire," and wrote the bestselling novelization of the blockb Animated Series during its first Emmy Award-winning season, authored the "New York Times "bestsellers "Star Wars: Death Star" (with Michael Reaves) and Stauster movie "Men in Black." Perry has sold dozens of stories to magazines and anthologies, and has published a considerable number of novels, animated teleplays, nonfiction articles, reviews, and essays. He is currently the science fiction, fantasy, and horror book reviewer for "The Oregonian."
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Top Customer Reviews
It took me almost 2 months to read this ( i could not manage more than 10 pages or so a night) and the best part about it was managing to get through to the end. (Bit of an Indy freak so i had too).
Instead of this, check out the mass market paperback Indiana Jones books by Rob MacGregor, Max McCoy and Martin Caidin - titles such as Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx, Indiana Jones and the Genesis Deluge, Indiana Jones and the Peril at Delphi - i think there are 6 by MacGregor, 2 by Martin Caidin and 4 by Max McCoy.
Indy himself is reduced to a serious, dull husk of a man, with none of the charm of Harrison Ford. Besides the fact that Indy is almost reduced to a side character he's barely mentioned, when he is on-page, as it were, he makes dumb decisions, lacklustre comments and comes across as a coward. The love interest appears to make Indy come across as a shy teenager. This is not the Indy we know.
The story makes a very simple - and dull - trek across a jungle to stop an army of Zombi's (and yes, they are annoyingly spelt like that, and in italics, throughout the entire novel). But the magic included in the book is poorly explained, the enemies motives, or even what the main enemy actually is, is barely described. Plot "twists" are overly convenient, don't make logical sense, and are so easy to see through, that many twists are hardly worth the meaning of the word. When it takes Perry multiple pages to explain a simple double cross, it gets very tedious, and feels very padded.
And these are just the start of a myriad of grammar and writing issues. Since when has using a dash counted as full stop -
So many sentences -
End like this -
Or like this...
As if it drives up the tension. No, it just gets tedious. There's a general lack of thought going into the confusingly worded sentences, and it is not an easy book to read thanks to its muddled character motives and ill-explained plot devices.
Why did I read this?Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Did you enjoy Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?
Are you interested in reading this because it's Indiana Jones, or are you simply looking for an adventure story?
Indiana Jones. Zombis. Sounds great, right? Sadly, no.
I will be straightforward with my biases. As far as the films go, I despised Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Not only was the story profoundly unsatisfying, it focused far too much on peripheral Indy characters (I'm guessing if Indiana Jones had his own version of Entourage, it would look like KotCS).
That said, this book is an inferior story to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I certainly mean no disrespect to the author, Steve Perry, and I admit I have never read his other work, but as an Indiana Jones novel, this fails on multiple accounts.
1. You could easily substitute some other name for Indiana Jones (and a few cliched references to adventures past), and you wouldn't notice the difference.
2. While it might make a decent, general adventure story, it doesn't follow the tried and true formula for a good Indiana Jones story - the initial adventure the viewer/reader sees the tail end of which is not or little related to the rest of the story, the reveal of the MacGuffin, the globe-trotting to exotic locations and piecing of clues, the unusual and intense action scenes, and the big finale. Similar to KotCS (and also largely Temple of Doom), this breaks from the Indy Formula and focuses on simply one linear story in one locale. The sense of adventure definitely hurts as a result.
3. There is far too much focus on the villains and peripheral characters. Every two to three pages followed the same pattern of: Indy & Mac, the German team, the Japanese team, the Haitian bokor (wizard/priest). The constant break in narrative was quickly tiresome. While we gained unique insight into the villains, their thoughts, and even felt sympathy for them (like learning Yamada's family lived in Nagasaki, which we all know had the bomb dropped on it shortly after the events of this book), an Indiana Jones novel is not the place for such lofty aspirations in exposition. It works far better to follow Indy through the adventure, learning the twists and turns as he does.
4. This is an annoying Indiana Jones. Whereas KotCS made him more professorial (i.e. annoying) in explaining things at awkward moments, this book takes it to new heights. And it was particularly grating to keep reading Indy think about how he'll have to get his fedora fixed. We all know that the chances his hat survived all these adventures in one piece is ridiculous, but do we really need the mechanics of how he has a hat guy and how much it costs him? The nonchalant, cool Indy of Raiders and Last Crusade is conspicuously absent.
5. This is probably more a criticism of Lucas, but the Mac character found here and in KotCS is a flimsy, one-dimensional character.
So, while Steve Perry clearly has a decent understanding of Haitian pagan religious practices and Japanese culture (and actually you learn a few interesting tidbits as a result), it just doesn't work for a novel like this.
This book should be a very quick and entertaining read. Instead, I found myself laboring to finish it. Not once, did the Raiders March ever pop into my head. If you want that kind of experience, you would be better off reading the earlier Rob MacGregor books or Max McCoy.
The story is the main problem. There ain't much of it, and what there is moves in predictable patterns. Indy and Mac walk in the jungle. The Japanese walk through teh jungle following them. The German's walk through the jungle following them (or was it the other way around... ?). A Haitian voodoo man follows all of them astrally. The McGuffin is lame and is easily found once all the walking is done. Then the bad voodoo guy kills almost everybody. Something happens and Indy is triumphant... I guess.
When Indy tells Sallah, "I don't know. I'm making this up as I go," it's a great and funny line. Indy may have been making it up, but Lawrence Kasdan wasn't. It was an intricately plotted story. I got the feeling that Steve Perry was making it up as he went along, throwing in some interesting facts about archaeology to give it verisimilitude, then throwing in needless crap about Indy's hat to make it boring.
This is the seventeenth Indiana Jones novel I've read (James Luceno's Young Indy novel included) and it's probably the biggest disappointment. It won't stop me from reading Steve Perry, or future Indy novels, but I never will get that time back that it took reading it, so...
I give it three stars because it's Indy. Otherwise it's two stars at best. Let's hope they do more books, and let's hope the author has a story to tell. And let's hope it's nothing lame, like zombis.
Okay so now onto the review of the book. So the reason this book is labeled as "bad" is not because it's really all that bad it's just very slow. So the sad thing about this novel is that it's not really an Indiana Jones novel. This novel probably would've been better had they used a different or original treasure hunter specific to this novel rather than Indy. This novel while it has some action doesn't have the level of action that Raiders of the Lost Ark has or any of the other films. Now since this is a spoiler free review i'm going to refrain from really describing any events as to not spoil the book. The book is a good read but it is slow pacing at times and there were times when I got a bit bored with it. One reviewer summed a lot of it up by saying "Indy walks and walks and walks through the jungle" and a lot of that is true. However I did like the introduction of Mac and it was fun to see him in this adventure before the events of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. All in all it's a decent but flawed Indiana Jones novel. I personally prefer the ones that were released back in the 90's like Peril At Delphi rather than this one. It's a skippable read and if you don't read it you won't be missing out all that much. However if you do decide to read it I would ignore the hate as the book really isn't as bad as it's made out to be. A so-so Indy novel through and through.