Tuesday, June 3, 2014

REVIEW: The Escalante Enigma

The Escalante Enigma
Author: Rod Lewin
Pubisher: Outskirts Press
Publication date: 1.7.2014
Genre: Action & Adventure
Pages: 302

Date read: 5.21.2014
Recommended by: Bostwick Communications, Read 2 Review

When Ronnie McCall, Mitch Blaine's long-forgotten love, shows up out of the blue begging for help to locate her lost husband and brother – both US Air Force special ops officers who have disappeared in Texas – Mitch, an ex-Australian Air Force and airline pilot now living a sybaritic life on his own WWII PBY flying boat in Sydney Harbor, agrees to come to the rescue. Mitch and Beyer, his retired physicist partner, decide to literally fly to Ronnie's aid in the PBY, the Wayward Wind. Their flight across 8,000 miles of Pacific Ocean and into the vast, rugged, and unexplored canyons of the Escalante River in Utah is harrowing enough. But their attempts to trace the missing airmen turn dark and dangerous as they stumble upon something sinister and supernatural in the heart of the Navajo Nation. What they discover in that maze of mysterious Canyonlands turns out to be far more eerie, bizarre and deadly than they could ever imagine in their wildest dreams … The Escalante Enigma is an action-packed novel set in the heart of the American Southwest. Filled with high drama, the book is both gripping and beautifully rendered.

I really enjoyed reading this book, though it took me much longer than usual because I was reading it as a physical book (after 2+ years reading mostly on a Kindle, I have been ruined haha). It was fun, exciting, informative – the heart-stopping moment out over the water when the engines and electronics of the Wayward Wind suddenly stopped, yeah, riveting (you know you want to read it now, just to find out what I'm talking about, don't you?).

US Government and military (Air Force), two missing men, attempted murder, aliens, a lot of questions unanswered and information withheld, secret places no one knew of, people purposely trying to stop them – and others trying to help them along their way – plus all of the edge-of-your-seat moments lead to an awesome book that I didn't want to put down when I had to. And I was so unhappy when I got to the end of the book – not because it was bad or even that the ending wasn't good, but because the story was, in fact, over. (Thankfully, he is working on book #2 as I write this – and I have been lucky enough to have read the first two chapters).

No matter how much I loved this book, there were a few things that I disliked that stopped me from giving it 5 stars, but instead only a 4-4 ½.
  • I would have liked it a lot more if it weren't for the romance garbage. Put your tomatoes away – I have realized that not all romance is bad. But here, well … Mitch and Ronnie had been involved at one point (though it's mysterious how much) and she had failed to inform him that she was married at the time. Mitch had fallen in love with her and there is a part of him that still is. BUT she is married and he knows it. They are LOOKING FOR HER HUSBAND and yet he feels a couple of times that he is "falling in love with her all over again." I just felt it was disrespectful, though they never actually did anything, and his feelings, his leering, they just got in the way and became a little annoying.
  • Also, my favorite character in this book is Beyer – he is awesome – intelligent, engaging, mysterious, interesting – and he does go off on his little tangents, giving information that I guess could get annoying after a bit (though I was excited every time he did). He's also British – and some British people are a little … flamboyant, dramatic … with their way of speaking (and I LOVE it). I didn't like that Blaine KEPT pointing out that he was poking fun of the way Beyer talks (more than five times when, after the first time, we already knew) and KEPT getting so irritated with all the information that Beyer shared. Without Beyer, without all of his information, Blaine would have been completely clueless to solve the mystery, to even know where they needed to go. And Beyer was the one who provided all the money.
  • Another problem that I had was that the end was great, but maybe a little too easy.
Now, I have brought these issues to the attention of the author and he has assured me that there is no "romance garbage" in the second book AND that he will definitely rethink the way that Blaine reacts to Beyer – and that is all I can ask for.

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