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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Book Review: Chakana: Encounter In The Sacred Valley by W.E. Lawrence

This is a fast paced and exciting ‘Indiana Jones’ style adventure with romance.
Chakana: Encounter In The Sacred Valley
by W.E. Lawrence
File Size: 2617 KB
Print Length: 346 pages
Publication Date: January 4, 2016
Genre: Action Adventure
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

In 1940, James Fleming, the original British secret agent, races on a high-stakes mission to track down the lost Incan treasure of King Huascar. Along with Kate Rhodes, a policewoman on leave from Ohio, he decodes clues and faces the challenges of the Chakana designed to allow only the most devoted to escape alive.

Among the ancient ruins of Peru, disaster hides around each corner as they battle Incan death traps and an international artifact smuggler who will do anything to acquire the hidden wealth. If James and Kate fail, the Nazi’s Third Reich could win WWII and take over the world. Intrigue, danger, adventure, and even romance abound in this quest to save the free world.

James Fleming was a young British Officer in training in America when he was rescued from a marshy bog by the lovely, young Kate Rhodes. Years later he is surprised when Kate shows up in Peru looking for her brother, a missing archaeologist. Kate has accompanied a professor of antiquities who is helping unravel the puzzle of an Incan decoding machine marked by the Chakana, an Incan cross shape. Such hidden instructions usually lead to a treasure of gold!

James isn’t in Peru for a treasure hunt exactly. He is undercover trying to catch a big time smuggler, Soros, who poses as a legitimate artifacts dealer. Solos is intent on finding gold to invest in the Nazi’s Third Reich so it is of utmost importance that James stop him from getting to the treasure. Soros is smart and ruthless. He will torture for information and kidnap parties of interest to get what he wants.

James and Kate make a good team hunting and collecting the clues needed to complete the decoding box. Many of the clues require two people and not just any two, but two lovers. James and Kate figure they can pretend or bluff their way through the challenge but the Incan traps have planned otherwise.

I greatly enjoyed the puzzle challenges and the dangerous escapes that James and Kate face and mostly conquer. I was a little surprised by the intensity of the sexual scenes in a story set in the 1940s, but what was I thinking? Twenty somethings are sensual beings whether in the 1880s, the 1940s or present day. Given Kate’s strong minded independence, standing up for herself as a police officer in a man’s world, I shouldn’t have found her liberated behavior that surprising.

The story moves at a good pace with Indiana Jones type of villains and dangers. The writing is crisp and flows well. The relationship between Kate and James is warm and I enjoyed how the ending left room for future development and adventures for the pair. There were several good history tidbits that I liked and found informative. This is worth the purchase for readers who enjoy action and adventure with romance.

(There was a glaring misuse of grammar that should have been caught in editing. Since I read a NetGalley version I will not note the specific phrase here but I will note it in my comments to the publisher.)

I received this from the publisher through NetGalley. It qualifies for NetGalley Challenge, TBR Triple Dog Dare, C on Alphabet Soup and March 2016 TBR Challenge.

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