Monday, October 11, 2010

Lost Relic of the Gods: The God Conspiracy (Volume 1)

Jeffrey A. Friedberg
Jeffrey A. Friedberg (2010)
ISBN 9780615384924
Reviewed by Marty Shaw for Reader Views


I wasn't sure about 'Lost Relic of the Gods" at first. The prologue takes place in 950 BC, 150 miles outside Jerusalem, and I started to think I misread the copy on the back cover. Fortunately, the prologue merely sets the stage for the actual story, which quickly moves to modern times. The prologue also provides some very useful information that comes to light later in the book.

Once the story shifts to modern times, we're introduced to Jack Vane, a seemingly washed up private eye who is quite happy to accept what life has to offer so long as he lives that life with his beautiful wife, Diana, at his side. An attorney friend contacts Jack and talks him into meeting with a client that wants to hire him. The client, a mystery woman named Charmant, offers Jack a deal she believes he can't refuse… but he refuses the job offer, anyway. Shortly after that, Diana and her unborn twins are killed. Jack is convinced that turning down the job of hunting for an ancient relic is the cause of the deaths so he begins a quest to find the relic and get revenge against the murderers. He soon finds himself entangled in ancient legends and prophecies, fighting against two powerful organizations determined to use him for their own purposes. Jack is a man with a destiny. Now he just has to figure out if that destiny is to save the world, or destroy it.

The character of Jack Vane appealed to me almost instantly. He's a hero not forged in the typical 'hero' mold. He has morals, but his moral code is strictly his. Immoral acts are acceptable as long as there is justification for those acts in his mind. He's a knight with slightly tarnished armor that believes that getting one's hands dirty is just a part of the job. A stubborn streak and a mouth that has a talent for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time have the ability to frustrate his enemies, while entertaining the reader at the same time.

There's a lot going on in the story, but the author does an excellent job of balancing the information out. We learn things as Jack does and that allows the tension to build as the action keeps you turning the page at a brisk pace. While the powers at play are cosmic in size, the real-world settings and the humanity of Jack and the other main characters keep things grounded, and it's easy for us to place ourselves within the story and experience the adventure through Jack's eyes.

"Lost Relic of the Gods" is packed with tons of suspense, plenty of action, a few graphic deaths, and one mildly graphic sex scene. Readers who enjoy themes along the 'Indiana Jones" and "The DaVinci Code" storylines will enjoy this book and will be looking forward to the next chapter in the story as anxiously as I am.

Read interview with Jeffrey A. Friedberg