Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Kingdom of the Serpent's Eye (Malla Duncan)

Kingdom of the Serpent's Eye
(A Barry Philpot book)
Malla Duncan
Amazon Digital Services
Fiction, Adventure/Fantasy
**+ (Bad/Okay)

DESCRIPTION: Barry Philpot's no stranger to adventure. Still, when the gorgeous Laney sashays into his office and demands his help finding her father, lost in the Amazon, even he hesitates. She claims he was simply seeking specimens of the rare Diamond-Toed frog, but rumors of a lost city and unknown natives abound. Despite himself, Barry and his loyal associate, Finch, accompany Laney into the jungle... and into the heart of a legend older than civilization.
A Kindle-exclusive title.

REVIEW: A freebie download, it looked like a fun little read, an adventure in the vein of Indiana Jones. Unfortunately, it plays out like a cheap, direct-to-DVD knockoff. Barry and his associates never become more than cardboard cutouts: he's the generic hero, Finch is his educated (and occasionally comic) sidekick, and Laney's a bothersome yet beautiful woman who creates far more trouble than she solves, deliberately endangering the entire expedition by holding back vital secrets until they're in the thick of danger. The book tries to bill itself as a romance, but, aside from Barry ogling Laney's oft-described curves at every opportunity, there isn't so much as an atom of chemistry. It goes through the motions of a wild adventure, what with superstitious natives and jungle secrets and the obligatory legend or two, but with little genuine suspense and no real heart. It ends much as it begins, with a tired cliche. On the plus side, at least it read fast, and it was free.

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