Tuesday 8 October 2013

Book Review: The Hunt for Atlantis by Andy McDermott

Archaeologist Nina Wilde believes she has found the location of the lost city of Atlantis and now she wants the opportunity to prove her theory. Someone else though wants her dead!

With the help of ex-SAS bodyguard Eddie Chase and beautiful heiress Kari Frost, Nina faces a breakneck race against time around the world, pursued at every step by agents of the mysterious - and murderous - Brotherhood of Selasphoros. From the jungles of Brazil to the mountains of Tibet, from the streets of Manhattan to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, the hunt for Atlantis leads to a secret hidden for 11,000 years - which in the wrong hands could destroy civilization as we know it... 

For the Eclectic Reader Challenge I needed to read an action adventure novel. Having never read this genre before, I wasn't sure what to expect. Luckily I was pleasantly surprised. The book I chose - Andy McDermott's The Hunt for Atlantis - was a thoroughly good read.

I've always been fascinated by the myth of Atlantis so I was intrigued to read a novel that involved a quest to discover the resting place of that extraordinary civilization. The Hunt for Atlantis follows Dr Nina Wilde and her bodyguard Eddie Chase as they travel the world and fight the many enemies who threaten them at every turn. Reading this novel was like watching a Hollywood blockbuster. The plot flies along at a rapid pace and the action sequences are similar to those in any James Bond or Indiana Jones film. Being a huge movie fan myself I found this style very enjoyable to read.

McDermott writes straightforward prose - he is definitely not trying to be literary here. But it doesn't matter. The writing is perfect for the kind of adventure the characters find themselves on. McDermott excels when he is writing the action scenes - he makes it easy for the reader to imagine every fight, every crash, every explosion. And McDermott has obviously done his research when it comes to Atlantis because as far as I could tell all the archaeological and historical aspects of the novel seemed plausible.

Something that also gives the prose an edge is its humour. Not only are the characters themselves full of witty remarks (especially Eddie Chase), but McDermott has also written a story that doesn't take itself too seriously. The whole adventure is preposterous - just like all the far-fetched scenes in a film such as The Mummy for example - and yet this is what makes it such a fun read. McDermott knows, just as moviemakers do, that the best action occurs when the audience can suspend disbelief and just go along for the ride.

The story gripped me. I read this book in just a few days as I couldn't put it down. I was desperate to find out how Nina and Eddie would fare against their enemies. McDermott succeeded in grabbing my attention and I really was lost in the adventure. When it all came to an end I found myself wondering what I'd do next. Lucky for me this is only the first novel in a series. I might just have to move on to number two!

The Hunt for Atlantis is a fun novel to read. It is full of action, humour, danger and explosions. McDermott writes like a screenwriter so each action scene is visually spectacular. I enjoyed the crazy ride and I can recommend this book to anyone searching for a dose of escapism.  

1 comment: