Thriller Review: The Valhalla Prophecy by Andy McDermott

adventure, andy mcdermott, archaeology, book review, suvudu

q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00JI4ZS88&Format=_SL250_&ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=beautyinruins-20 Although I've had The Hunt for Atlantis and The Tomb of Hercules loaded up on my Kobo for ages, and have been eagerly anticipating my first adventure alongside Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase, The Valhalla Prophecy is actually my first encounter with the world of Andy McDermott - and I'm pleased to say it definitely won't be my last.

Yes, it's formulaic and predictable, falls prey to pretty much all the clichés of the genre, and belongs to that catastrophic excavation side of archaeology, but that's precisely what we come to enjoy. If you're a fan of Clive Cussler, David Gibbins, Will Adams, Thomas Greanias, Matthew Reilly, and the lot, then Andy McDermott is going to be another author you want to make room for on your shelf.

What sets The Valhalla Prophecy apart and makes it more than just another archaeological, treasure hunting adventure is the depth of the backstory. Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase are partners in every sense of the word, both a romantic pairing and professional colleagues. There's chemistry there, personality, and the kind of genuine conflict anybody who has ever been in a long term relationship with recognize. In this volume (their 9th outing) we also get a significant look into Eddie's past, with a mission from the days before becoming the hero we know today, including an earth-shattering secret that threatens to unsettle his marriage when it's revealed.

The use of Norse mythology is both educational and entertaining, with some interesting suggestions as to how those myths sprang to life. There's a definite Dan Brown sort of element to the archaeology there, with each piece of the puzzle leading Nina and Eddie closer to Valhalla itself, but it works. Like I said, the story falls prey to the usual Indiana Jones type clichés, with discoveries coming fast and easy, and with the need to save the world taking precedent over the desire to preserve precious historical artifacts, but it does make for one heck of an adventure.

There's also a deeply unsettling element of government conspiracy, human experimentation, and biological warfare to the story that ties the search for Valhalla to Eddie's past. It's dark and it's grim, and almost seems out of place in such a 'fun' sort of popcorn adventure, but it lends some real credence to the end-of-the-world scenario. The god and monster slaying eitr is real, and it's been used to breed horrible atrocities in the past - with at least one clandestine government agency anxious to take those experiments to the next level.

No surprises here. The good guys win, the world is saved, treasures are revealed . . . and historical sites are destroyed. It's a fast-paced adventure, full of beautiful scenery and interesting history, populated by characters you can cheer for (and against). Whether you've yet to meet Nina and Eddie or are old friends, The Valhalla Prophecy is well worth the read.

Kindle Edition, 512 pages
Expected publication: September 30th 2014 by Dell
© 2014 Beauty in Ruins All Rights Reserved


Books Posts

Sep 30, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday: City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett

By Beauty in Ruins

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett...

Sep 14, 2015

Fantasy Review: The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher

By Beauty in Ruins

I thoroughly enjoyed The Aeronaut's Windlass, no doubt about it. It was a fast-paced, action-packed, imaginative bit of fiction with a lot of elements that appealed to me. Where Jim...

Sep 14, 2015

The Martian Reviewed, Godzilla and King Kong, America’s Got Talent, Iron Maiden and Muse Album Reviews, and Ninja News!

By Alex J. Cavanaugh

Entertainment News The upcoming film, The Martian, was just reviewed at the Toronto International Film Festival. According to JoBlo’s site - As such, The Martian really is terrific family entertainment....

Sep 09, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday: Servants Of Hell by Paul Kane

By Beauty in Ruins

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. Servants Of Hell by Paul Kane Expected...

Sep 04, 2015

Horror Review: The Crimson Corset by Alistair Cross

By Beauty in Ruins

Falling somewhere between paranormal romance and vintage horror, The Crimson Corset is a tale of small towns, family ties, and vampires. Alistair Cross puts just enough of a spin on...

Aug 26, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday: The Last Mortal Bond by Brian Staveley

By Beauty in Ruins

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. The Last Mortal Bond by Brian Staveley...

Aug 24, 2015

RiffTrax Live! Plus Movie Reviews, Trivia, and News; Dragon and Cassa News, Battle of the Banned, and Ninja News

By Alex J. Cavanaugh

Back from vacation! I’m starting to really enjoy those… RiffTrax Live! Two more shows remain in this year’s RiffTrax Live line-up – Miami Connection and Santa and the Ice Cream...

Aug 17, 2015

Urban Fantasy Review: Daring by Elliott James

By Escape Reality, Read Fiction!

My Review: Although I read Daring before Fearless (review here), I’m posting it after. I’ll be packing for WorldCon in Spokane when this posts, and frankly, I needed to have...

Aug 14, 2015

SF Review: Doctor Who: The Drosten’s Curse by A.L. Kennedy

By Escape Reality, Read Fiction!

My Review: Tomorrow, Saturday August 15, has been declared Doctor Who Comics Day by Titan Comics, who, of course, publish Doctor Who Comics. While I didn’t have a Doctor Who...

Aug 13, 2015

SF Review: The End of All Things by John Scalzi

By Escape Reality, Read Fiction!

My Review: If Doctor Who is the story of a “madman with a box” then The End of All Things is at least partially the story of a brain in...