Book One of 2014: ROGUE ANGEL: DESTINY by Alex Archer

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An ancient order tied to the Vatican . . . A blood fortune buried in the caves of France . . . A conspiracy of power, greed and darkest evil . . .
Archaeologist and explorer Annja Creed’s fascination with the myths and mysteries of the past leads her to a crypt in the caves of France, where the terrifying legend of the Beast of Gevaudin hints at the unimaginable. What she discovers is shattering: an artifact that will seal her destiny: a brotherhood of monks willing to murder to protect their secret; and a powerful black-market occultist desperate to put his own claim to centuries-old blood money. Annja embarks on a high-tension race across Europe and history itself, intent on linking the unholy treachery of the ages with the staggering revelations of the present. But she must survive the shadow figures determined to silence her threat to their existence.

First off, if you’re looking for an intellectual read with deep insight, this is not the book for you. Rogue Angel is a Science Fiction/Fantasy (more fantasy than sci-fi, but stores may place it in either section) serial. It is a bi-monthly type of book where you would most likely want to read it between hefty textbooks, in the bathroom, or on a trip where the traveling is in need of entertainment. For me, I needed a break from the fantasy book I was reading.

It may sound silly that I went from one fantasy to another, but Rogue Angel reads like an Indiana Jones movie(the goods ones, not Crystal Skull). In fact, the main character and heroine is Annja Creed who is, drum roll, an archaeologist. She’s a strong woman with a past that encompasses being an orphan, being raised by the nuns at the orphanage, and learning how to defend herself. I know, it may sound hokie, but remember, you’re not reading for some deep meaning.

The story begins with Annja Creed being in France for a side job between digs. She’s a television persona for a show that documents history’s mysterious monsters: think Nessy or Bigfoot or, in the case of the book La Bete. In case you don’t know what La Bete is, neither does anyone else, but the fact remains that this monster killed a lot of people in four years and then was never heard of again. True story.

Anyways, Annja is on the mission to find La Bete for the television show. What happens in the process are two dark entities after her and what she knows, a magic sword with an equally awesome history and a TARDIS like ability, and two men with aging problems and different motives towards Annja.

If you’re worried that there’s any crazy sex scene or love interest, no worries. The only “love interest” that pops out is not in the picture in this book and probably not in the future ones given the information that pops up later.

The characters are enjoyable. Each with their own motives and strengths. I have to say Annja is a great smartass. Garin is just hot. As for the story, it’s very easy to figure out what is going to happen except for the main mystery that the book has (remember La Bete?). There’s action, magic, history, a kick ass woman and equally kick ass men. You really can’t ask for more in a long drive or just for the in between mess of your life.

For the laughs and enjoyment of the book, I gave it a four in Goodreads. Sure, the writing isn’t the great and there was some stuff I scratched my head about, but I knew what I was getting into when I was choosing to read it. It’s very fun and I have many more of the series to read through.

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