Saturday, 8 October 2011

The Jaguar's Heart - James Morgan Ayres



Title: The Jaguar's Heart
Author: James Morgan Ayres
Genre: Adventure
Published: 2009
Formats: Ebook

Available at:
Amazon
Apple iBookstore US
Smashwords
Amazon UK
Apple iBookstore UK

When I first started reading this book I really wasn't sure what genre to describe it as: at times I would have said thriller, then I would think it was more fantasy. Finally though I have settled on describing it as a fast paced exciting adventure story that reminded me of the Indiana Jones franchise. For example, the book is set in an historical setting and there are exotic locations, archaeological discoveries, political intrigue, occult sorcery & some really enjoyable action scenes.

The story itself follows Jesse J. Rideout, a former covert operative who is hiding in Mexico after an altercation with his US governmental employer. His amateur interest in archaeology leads him to uncover a secret society full of politicians and criminals who believe in the sorcery once practised by the pre-Columbian natives in Central America. The reader then gets taken on an enjoyable journey across Mexico as Jesse attempts to get revenge for the death of a close friend and understand what this secret group are really up to and why they seem determined to get a hold of an artefact he has uncovered.

I have to say that I really enjoyed this book; it was delivered brilliantly with a superb mix of thrills, mystery, fantasy, action and drama. More importantly though, it had a gripping plot that was fun to read: I struggled to put it down several times and found that it really was a page-turner. In addition, it really felt like the author knew Mexico, it was wonderfully detailed and there was a love and warmth for the country that really came through in the novel.

The characters were well defined and quite memorable with Jesse himself really coming across like a mix of Indiana Jones and James Bond. But it was more than just him, all the characters seemed to have clear motivations that made sense with everyone having a purpose and specific drive. There were no ornamental characters; the female characters especially were strong, independent women who knew what they wanted and how to achieve it which was nice to see as sometimes I have seen adventure books use the women screaming, moaning side-kicks.

In summary, this book was an enjoyable, entertaining, fast paced adventure story that has me turning the pages with anticipation. In addition, the writing itself was decent and the author has crafted some superb characters. Simply put, if you like adventure stories then I think you would love this book and should therefore pick it up for a read.