Indiana just got pwned

20Aug08

(Subject line inspired by this t-shirt.)

This has been a long time coming, and again, I apologize.

After I found out I was getting this book free from LibraryThing.com’s Early Reviewer’s program as an advanced copy, someone asked me, “Does that have anything to do with the new Indiana Jones movie?”

Yeah, it kind of does. Both the new Indiana Jones film and this book—The Crystal Skull by Manda Scott—deal with the Maya and the thirteen crystal skulls. But unlike Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Scott’s novel actually tells you why you should care about pretty sapphire-blue crystal skulls and what the hell they have to do with the Maya.

If the Maya or crystal skull stuff in Indy 4 interested you at all, then this book is perfect.

I received this book free, so hey, of course I’m going to read it—and it seemed pretty cool, anyway. Usually nonfiction isn’t my thing, but the way Manda Scott writes this isn’t boring at all. It’s smart.

So the novel’s two main characters are Stella and Kit, newly weds who opt for a more unconventional honeymoon by going caving together. It’s in this cave that they find Cedric Owen’s blue heart-stone (aka one of the thirteen crystal skulls). But someone is following them, and things go horribly wrong. Throughout the book, Stella and Kit gain allies as they endeavor to decipher Cedric Owen’s ledgers and find the truth about the crystal skull, which is tied to the Mayan prediction of Armageddon: December 21, 2012 (oh, we’re screwed).

There’s a lot of academic stuff involved in this story—aka, it’s more discussion and the characters researching stuff and trying to figure things out than it is action. It sounds like it would be mundane, but it’s not, trust me. It’s very character-centric, and to mix things up, once the novel gets going half the chapters are devoted to telling Cedric Owen’s story of his journey back in the late 16th century with the same crystal skull Stella finds in the future. These flashbacks are great, because not only do they mirror Stella and Kit’s adventure in a lot of ways, but they help the reader to understand the legend of the crystal skulls and what’s going on in the present with Cedric Owen’s ledgers.

Not to mention Cedric Owen meets one of the coolest characters in the 16th century, EVER. ;D Fernandez de Aguilar is freaking awesome. (And I can only imagine that he’s really, really hot. Rofl.)

So there you go! Read this book because de Aguilar is hot! Haha, so kidding. This book was pretty good, and it fills in the gap of the whole Mayan thing in Indy 4. Manda Scott does her homework and incorporates her research into the novel in a fun and interesting way. Is it a mind-blowing novel? No, and it has its problems (it was kind of anti-climactic the way the “bad guy” was revealed). But still, it’s a nice, touching book with a cool mystery.

Indiana Jones, eat your heart out.

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