Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

TylerDFC #CBR4 Review#6 Raising Atlantis By Thomas Greanias

I picked this one up at a library book sale. I think it cost a quarter. I would say I got my money’s worth. This is Clive Cussler lite, and I don’t intend that as praise because Clive Cussler is the very definition of “airport read”. Raising Atlantis is a decent adventure novel that will keep you occupied during a long layover. It’s not great, it’s not even all that good, but it’s serviceable.

After a series of earthquakes in Antarctica, Air Force satellites discover an anomaly in the ice. The apex of a giant pyramid is discovered and a secret mission is put in place by the military to examine the find. Enter Conrad Yates, brilliant archeologist and handsome rogue, to be called in to help navigate the find. Conrad is the preeminent expert in ancient cultures and his father, coincidentally, is the project leader on the expedition.

At the same time the Vatican calls in its own expert, Sister Serena Serghetti. She’s just your average stunningly beautiful ex-nun, environmental activist and the foremost authority on ancient languages. It will surprise no one to find out that she and Conrad once had a brief “encounter” way back when.

So after Conrad barely survives a plane crash on the secret Antarctica base, and Serena naturally lands her own plane with no problems despite a zero visibility blizzard, the group is taken in to explore the pyramid. And then all hell, and the narrative, completely breaks loose. The bulk of the scant 330 page book is one escape and action sequence after another as the explorers unwitting set in motion a chain of events that could destroy the world. The book is fun, and at times engaging, but villains and scenarios are introduced and then quickly discarded.

Our heroes raise Atlantis (actually it’s more like uncover it but whatever) and then run from one end of it to the other trying to return a mystical scepter to a special room and stop a cataclysm. Numerous other factions learn of the discovery and send their own teams to take control of Atlantis and a fabled unlimited energy source that it houses. First you think that Russians will be the bad guys, but they are all killed within 20 pages of introduction. Then an Egyptian general emerges as the primary villain, but he is so feather weight it’s hard to be too concerned by his evil machinations either.

The action is fast but unoriginal. A trio of characters vanish from the narrative after the first half of the book. I’m not sure if I just missed their demise or Greanias simply forgot about them. However, the biggest problem the book has is completely wasting the setting. The characters spend so much time running from floods, fire, bullets, and rockets that scant description is given to the temples and artifacts that they are blithely destroying as they progress through the city. Greanias attempts to explain who built Atlantis and why (I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with “faliens”) as well as why Conrad seems to instinctively know the layout of the city, but it is so silly that it even manages to undermine the go-for-broke lunacy of the finale and completely rips off the movie Stargate.

Look, Raising Atlantis is not a good book by any stretch of the imagination. It would make a decent enough story for the next Uncharted game but that’s about it. But for getting me through 5 hours of air travel last week it was just fine. If you have similar needs that can only be filled by a mildly engaging derivative adventure novel, look for it in your own library bargain bin.

NOTE: There are 2 more books in the series, The Atlantis Prophecy and The Atlantis Revelation. These highly imaginative titles can only hint at what wonders are in store I’m sure. I think I’ll pass.

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