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Book Review: Rogue Angel – Destiny by Alex Archer

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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.

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About catie

  • http://philobiblon.co.uk Natalie Bennett

    This article has been selected for syndication to Advance.net, which is affiliated with newspapers around the United States. Nice work!

  • http://catherinejames.blogspot.com/ cat

    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! I’m flattered! Thank you so much for letting me know Natalie. :)

  • http://www.melodom.blogspot.com Mel Odom

    Hey Catherine, would you like another book to review in this series? THE SPIDER STONE? Email me if you would.

  • know it all

    Umm, promising new author? Alex Archer is a house name used by Gold Eagle Books. Just like James Axler of the “Deathland” and “Outlander series.”

  • http://catherinejames.blogspot.com/ cat

    Well know it all, can’t argue with the accuracy of your “handle.” Perhaps next time you’ll see fit to leave your contact information…I’ll start holding my breath now.

  • http://www.gpb-katie.blogspot.com Katie McNeill

    I’m reading this one right now. I’m really enjoying it.

    I enjoyed your review.

  • http://catherinejames.blogspot.com/ cat

    Glad to hear–or read, rather–that Katie. :)

  • Robert

    Know It All wrote: “Just like James Axler of “Deathland” and “Outlander series”.

    Since Mark Ellis actually created Outlanders and has written more books as James Axler than anyone else, it’s more of his pen-name than a house name.

    Mel Odom and Victor Milan write as Alex Archer and the Rogue Angel series was created by a Harlequin executive.

  • http://thebayerfamily.blogspot.com Kev Bayer

    Nice review! I just finished reading this book and quite enjoyed it!
    I can’t wait to grab the rest.

  • kae

    Just started this series and really enjoyed it. I do agree with the reviewer that the sidetrip back to New York did through off the flow a little and would have liked more fleshing out of the main characters. I now have 8 books in this series so I’m on to the next, Solomon’s Jar.

  • gordon clason

    the historical absurdities are jarring. on page 68 she says Richeleu sent thousands to the guillotine. As prime minister of Louis XIII, Richeleu undoubtedly ordered the execution of many, but thousands? Not unless you are blaming him for the whole Thirty Years War. And Richeleu died in 1642 exactly 150 years BEFORE Joseph Guillotin invented his beheading machine.

  • http://callmecatie.blogspot.com/ catie james

    Three years have passed since this review was posted and the preceding comment is all you have to offer Mr. Clason? While it may offend your erudite sensibilities, I doubt many of those interested will be detracted from reading ROGUE ANGEL: DESTINY by the historical inaccuracies you’ve mentioned. I might join in your lament over the preference for entertainment above edification, if such attitudes weren’t so blatantly elitist and downright unrealistic.

  • Tianca

    My only complaint about the basis for this series is that the Sword of Heaven was made by extraterrestrials, of an alloy unknown to earth, by experts who know weaponry. It was/is stronger than anything made on earth as well. NO ONE on this planet would be able to break it, and certainly not that easy. Even if Joan herself didn’t use it in battle, the man she got the sword from certainly did. It never broke during his many battles.

    You need to read your history. Joan knew she was going to be captured, and got rid of the Sword of Heaven before it happened, hiding it in the only safe place. A higher dimension. No one can access that sword now, unless she is the reincarnation,or a blood relative, of Joan herself. This sword was tuned to her.

    No one else can use it. Same as Excalibur, being tuned to Arthur.

    Tianca

  • http://catiejames.blogspot.com/ catie james

    Um, okay Tianca. Not sure if your comment is directed towards the authors of this series or (me) the reviewer. Either way, the comment: “You need to read your history,” frankly strikes me as asinine. Authors take historical facts and “bend” them all the time for fictional purposes and it’s not a reviewer’s to research/verify an author’s historical accuracy. If one has a background/expertise in the subject, fantastic – but my job is merely to give an opinion on the novel itself, not the minutiae contained therein.