My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Review: Aztec Odyssey: Historical Action Adventure

Aztec Odyssey: Historical Action Adventure Aztec Odyssey: Historical Action Adventure by Jay C. LaBarge
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Performance: ***
Story: **

Nick, a presumed archeologist in Mesoamerican migrations (an apparent excuse to info dump historical tid-bits for the reader but little else) with his new indigenous girlfriend investigates the death of his treasure hunter dad.  A big bad drug runner dreams of restoring the Aztec empire beyond its historical boundaries.  A legendary Aztec treasure, long hidden from Conquistadors … this story has all of the elements for a fun and interesting diversion ...

I did NOT expect the drama (I was hoping for something more like a Cussler action story).  The historical POV was mostly as expected, with a little moral preaching that was a blatant appeal to emotion, but over all pretty decent if you don’t mind revisionist history.  The current day POV (the bulk of the story) was a frat party drama that was totally unexpected and didn’t really appeal to me much.  Not only was there way too much trivial detail and pointless dialogue … which made the story drag significantly (hard to skim over these as an audiobook, but you can tune out a bit).  Seriously … we don’t need all of that background for each character dumped on us all at once (and we def don’t need you to repeat it later).  I suppose that could be somewhat expected in what amounts to an origin story for the main protagonist, but there are enough tropes throw in that the story comes across as a mechanical paint-by-the-numbers piece that was interesting, but lacked any plot tension to really pull the reader/listener into it.

I was given this free advance review/listener copy (ARC) audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#AztecOdyssey  #FreeAudiobookCodes #KindleUnlimited

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.