Friday, August 17, 2012

Rogue Angel: Destiny - by Alex Archer

Rogue Angel: Destiny by Alex Archer, intrigued me when I first saw it on an end-cap at a bookstore. What's not to like? A hot chick with a sword! The back cover made it sound even more interesting.

The main character, Annja Creed (pronounced "Anya"), is one of those characters that can, and has, done it all. She's a young, somewhat experienced archaeologist, has studied martial arts and can hold her own in a brawl, can free-climb a rock face, knows how to use guns, etc. Oh, and she hosts a not-quite-respectable TV show called "Chasing History's Monsters." Her producer on the show, Doug Morell, is a recurring character, usually phoning her at inopportune moments during her chase scenes.

Annja also has an unusually strong fear of fire, which hints at some history of the character. In her first adventure, this book, she gains control of a legendary, almost magical sword. She's frequently helped and/or hindered in her pursuits by two men who have been trying to claim the sword for themselves for centuries. Both of these men, Garin Braden and Roux, have plenty of money and power and often use both to either provide subtle assistance to Annja, or to hinder her efforts for their own respective benefits. Braden's and Roux's interests are often at odds with each other, and Annja is frequently caught in the crossfire.

If you combined Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider series and Sara Pezzini from WitchBlade, you'd get Annja Creed. Great combination of action, the supernatural (or at least some hints of it), and a little history.

This is purely fluff reading, nothing literary or thought-provoking here. And I'm fond of it because it's just so much fun. Be warned though. This is the start of a series - a very long series approaching 40 books. The good thing about the series is that you do not have to read them all. They're stand-alone adventures, but there is some subtle character development and underlying sub-plots going on that carry through the series - but it doesn't read like they have an overall plan for the characters, just continuing adventures. I've read several more in the series, with their own mystery for Annja to solve or artifact to recover, and plots sometimes straying into the paranormal or supernatural, but only just so.

Alex Archer is a pseudonym for the various authors that are writing the series, which has also been adapted into a comic book miniseries.

Stories featuring archeology and conspiracy interest me. When I read the blurb below, I knew I had to try Rogue Angel.
From the Publisher
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.

Rogue Angel did not disappoint.

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