Friday, March 12, 2010

The Lost Labyrinth - Book Review

The Lost Labyrinth
by Will Adams
Harper Collins 2009

This book is the third adventure of Daniel Knox and his fiance Gaille. This book was somewhat extreme and tries to cash in on current world events. If you remember during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, the country of Georgia (in the Caucasus Mountains north of Armenia and Iran) was at war with Russia over the status of break-away republic South Ossetia.

Georgia and South Ossetia have always had an uneasy relationship. The current armed conflict has its roots in a dispute that goes back almost one hundred years.

During the night of August 7, 2008, coinciding with the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, Georgia's president Saakashvili ordered an all-out military attack on Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia. The aerial bombardments and ground attacks were largely directed against civilian targets including residential areas, hospitals and the university. The provincial capital Tskhinvali was destroyed.

What does this have to do with this specific book? Plenty. Will Adams has used the Georgia Mafia as the villains of his latest adventure.

The basic story is this. Ilya Nergadze is running for presidency of Georgia in the upcoming elections. The Nergadze family are into drugs and gun running and other mafia type activities. Ilya wants to have some kind of respectability and he thinks being President will give him the respectability that he craves.

One thing Ilya wants to do is to find the Golden Fleece (that Jason and the Argonauts stole from Georgia millenia ago) and other ancient Georgia treasures and bring them back to Georgia. He beleives that this will help him get the respectability he is looking for.

Twenty years after vanishing without a trace, French archaeologist Roland Petitier makes a dramatic reappearance at a major Athens archaeological conference, promising an astonishing find - the legendary Golden Fleece. This claim is based on several ancient clay seals with the ancient greek words for golden and fleece on them. But before Petitier can give his talk, he's found dead in a hotel room.

An out-of-control greek policeman attacks and beats up Petitier's onetime protege Augustin Pascal, putting him into intensive care. The Greeks later accuse Augustin of Petitier's murder. Only Augustin's two closest friends, Daniel Knox and Gaille Bonnard can prove his innocence.

However, rumours of the fleece's rediscovery have spread, and the Georgian Mafia in the form of the Nergadze family, is determined to get it first. Ilya Nergadze sends his psychopathic grandson Mikhail to Athens with orders to bring back the fleece. Mikhail quickly becomes convinced that Dan Knox has it, and slowly moves in for the kill.

There are three searches going on in this book - and in my opinion, they dont exactly tie in very well together.

The search for the Mysteries of Elysium
The search for the Golden Fleece stolen by Jason and the Argonauts from Georgia
The search for Atlantis

I did like the explanations for the location of Atlantis in this novel - they were well thought out and logical and the research tied together Platos dialogues with the geography and history of the Mediterranean.

I did not like the torture that Mikhail Nergadze inflicted on one character and another character was killed for absolutely no reason at all (that I can see) other than Mikhail loves to kill people.

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