Adventure Review: The Lost Scrolls by Alex Archer

The Rogue Angel series is one I've been curious about for years, but somehow never quite got around to starting. With some time to kill on the weekend, I picked The Lost Scrolls at random from my pile of Alex Archer books and got to reading.

My first impressions were that of a cheesy, formulaic read, a paint-by-numbers adventure. Book 6 of a 57 book series (and the third ghost-written by Victor Milán, from whom I'm really expected better), it feels like it's already exhausted its potential.

The writing itself is somewhere between poor and serviceable, forcing me to reread multiple scenes to understand who did what. The fight scenes are decently choreographed, although they suffer from the genre's Stormtrooper affliction, whereby a roomful of trained mercenaries with automatic weapons can't hit one woman, who has time to leap, twist, cavort, and kick them in the face while they inexplicably pause their trigger fingers.

I won't even touch on the laughably bad technology details. Instead, I'll give that a pass, assuming that readers weren't so savvy or sophisticated twelve years ago.

Where the story really fell flat for me, though, was in the adventure aspect. Annja Creed is a world-famous archaeologist. The title speaks of lost scrolls. The cover illustrates pyramids and hieroglyphics. The blurb promises the "charred ruins of the Library of Alexandria" and "astonishing texts that detail the wonders of Atlantis." Despite all that, the amount of actual archaeology and tomb raiding here is negligible, with two scenes hundreds of pages removed from one another.

I skimmed most of the second half, more because I felt obliged to finish than because I really cared what happened. I'll give one of the Mel Odom, Jean Rabe, or Joseph Nassise ghost-written entries a chance, but I fear my Rogue Angel relationship will be a short one, which is massively disappointing.

Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 8th 2007 by Gold Eagle