Annja Creed, heroine of Alex Archer’s new series Rogue Angel, is an intelligent, beautiful, city wall-scaling, crack-shot archaeologist who can kick ass, “heal” relics of antiquity, and serve a gourmet breakfast to shady men in black without a single “wardrobe malfunction.” (No that last bit isn’t a shout-out to Super Bowl XXXVII’s half-time show).
While pursuing a mythological creature called La Bete in her capacity as an occasional correspondent for the television show Chasing History’s Monsters, Annja unwittingly stumbles into dangerous territory and unimaginable destiny among the hills of Lozere, France. In addition to our heroine, the rocky hills are being searched by a mysterious old man named Roux and the menacing Corvin Lesauvage, all the while secretly protected by the Brotherhood of Silent Rain.
This novel reads like a movie, playing across the reader's mind with quick, clean, spare descriptions, especially during the many action sequences. Ms. Archer has obviously done her research when it comes to fighting and self-defense techniques, swordsmanship, and guns. Her eye for detail is further evidenced in the accuracy of the archaeological, historical, and mythological data that infuses the entire book, allowing the reader to sink into Annja’s life as a passionate seeker of the world’s antiquities.
Two small points of contention on my part: First, I felt Annja’s detour trip home to New York City disrupted the novel’s overall flow without adding anything pertinent in terms of plot or character development. Secondly, Archer’s use of The Wild Hunt/Avery Moreau subplot(s) felt somewhat forced and out-of-place when juxtaposed with the rest of the novel’s themes. Either one (or both) of these elements could have been dropped in favor of fleshing out the main characters, back story, or a single cohesive subplot more in line with the major story line.
People looking for a deftly written, action-packed thriller with an über-woman at the helm won’t be disappointed with Destiny. It wraps this volume’s questions, while leaving the audience hungering for more information with regards to Annja’s destiny, what part Roux will play in that destiny, the history between Roux and his apprentice Garin, and the inevitable: will Annja and Garin ever hook up? As a reader I’m looking forward to all of the above; but as a writer, I’m looking forward to the outstanding work I expect will come from this promising new author.