I found myself challenged to find a flow with so many visual distractions, which is a shame because the story was quite enjoyable - so much so, in fact, I plan to give it a second, more leisurely read in paperback. Anybody who knows how rare it is for me to give a book a second read will appreciate the significance of that.
I've heard Jon Land most often compared to the likes of Clive Cussler, which is a bit of an unfair comparison. While both write formulaic adventures with charismatic leading men, Cussler has a more grounded, realistic feel to his novels. Anybody expecting the same from Land will find themselves severely challenged, if not disappointed. Based on what I've read (and I've cued up a pair of his other titles for a read), he seems to be more extreme in pushing the boundaries of disbelief, almost cartoon-like in his imagination, making a comparison to the likes of Matthew Reilly or James Rollins much more apt.
It is Blaine McCracken, the roguish hero who plays by his own rules, who makes the novel work. Very much grounded in the action hero mold of the 80s, he's an intriguing character with a wry sense of humour. Definitely eccentric, but immensely likeable from the start, he's the kind of hero who you can very well imagine having a few drinks with after a long, hard day of saving the world.
Surrounding Blaine is an action-packed, fast-paced story with some exceptionally well-choreographed action scenes. It's a novel that has big-budget Hollywood thriller written all over it - with the understanding, of course, that Blaine would likely be cast as younger and more physically attractive. From a hostage rescue south of the border, to a climactic battle high atop a mountain, Pandora's Temple offers a heady mix of ancient mythology, violent robots, sea monsters, and the requisite wealthy supervillain. It's an odd story, and definitely takes a while to become comfortable with but, like the craziest of rollercoasters, it is definitely worth the ride.
STRONG ENOUGH TO DIE, STRONG JUSTICE, STRONG AT THE BREAK, STRONG VENGEANCE (July 2012) and STRONG RAIN FALLING (August 2013). He has more recently brought his long-time series hero Blaine McCracken back to the page in PANDORA’S TEMPLE (November 2012). He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Mr. Land has generously offered a copy of his previous novel, The Omega Command, in which a space shuttle is destroyed during flight, and the CIA recalls disgraced agent Blaine McCracken to uncover the people responsible, to one lucky reader (in the ebook format of the winner's choosing).
Just leave a comment below to be entered, and I'll draw a winner Friday morning, with hopes (but no guarantees) of a Christmas delivery.