Merrimon Book Reviews

From Merrimon Book Reviews
Serpent's Kiss (Rogue Angel)
Serpent's Kiss Rogue Angel by Alex Archer
by Alex Archer     

Modern day pirates, Archeology, and ancient curses unearthed

As the tenth book in the Rogue Angel series, Serpent's Kiss combines action and suspense with ancient curses and myth brought into the modern world through archeology. Easily read as a stand alone, this action-packed read is both entertaining and one that sparks the imagination with curiosity about ancient cultures.

In India in 509 BC, a man's love for a woman leads to a daring plan of escape, to take her from a secret village. Carrying with him a book in snakeskin leather and jewels, Sahadeva escapes only to find worse trouble. Today, Annja Creed joins the archeological dig of Professor Rai on the southern coast of India to investigate a burial pit of the Shakti, a culture known for human sacrifices. When a tsunami hits, the sea opens up the secrets of the past, as ancient relics emerge from the ocean's depths. Nagas, figures with one part human and one part snake that have been hidden for centuries, indeed millenia, now come to the surface. Pirates, the most ruthless pirates now doing business in the waters around India, have turned their aim on Annja Creed's find. Can Annja discover the archeological significance of these relics before the thieves can stop her? Will an ancient curse, the curse of the nagas, follow all those who touch or hunt for these relics? A relic with writing in a language unknown to the world's linguistic experts tantalizes with its hint of a lost culture. What strange mix of legend and reality will archeology unearth? What is the relationship between natural phenomena and science and ancient myths and cultures?

This author's writing is breathtaking. Fine details create an aura, a level of suspense and myth, that make this read intriguing from start to finish. From the snakeskin leather in the prologue to knowledge of skin diving and linguistics, this novel is written with a firm underpinning of detailed research. Never heavy or pedantic --- these details just seems to flow from his pen (or keys) as part of the story, creating layer and layer of intrigue as ancient myth encounters current day events. Characterization gives Serpent's Kiss both humor and depth. The antics of the college students on the dig leave the reader laughing. Annja Creed is magnificent --- intelligent, dynamic, sassy and downright funny at times. The father and son relationship between the pirate Rajiv and his son Goraksh is emotionally moving as well as suspenseful. From the very prologue, the reader feels invested in the characters, wanting to know their histories and future.

From previous books in the series, the reader learns that Annja Creed discovered the last remnant of Joan of Arc's sword. Now re-assembled and available to her through destiny and willing its appearance from another dimension, Annja Creed can do battle with the most fierce opponents. Working for a television show, Chasing History's Monsters Annja makes a living to support her archeological digs while coming head to head with producer Doug Morrell and his need to sell television. Does Doug ever have a new twist, humorous in its baseness, in this Rogue Angel! As an archeologist, Annja Creed leads the reader into ancient worlds through her hunt to unearth relics. Her respect for her discipline creates a richness in her character that combines intelligence with an ethical code.

As Serpent's Kiss explores an ancient myth of sea legends and snake legends, the author's exquisite use of imagery draws past and present together, creating new twists as legends become reality in modern times. Myth and legend mix with history and even science. Ancient curses, archeology and science finely interwoven together lead to a stunning ending! Serpent's Kiss fascinates the imagination long after the last word is read.

Publisher: Gold Eagle (January 2008)
Series: Rogue Angel
Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
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