Nancy Oakes's Reviews > Excavation

Excavation by James Rollins
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's review
Feb 12, 08

bookshelves: escape-reading, gave-away
Read in January, 2004

If you like adventure stories with a few supernatural/outer-spacey elements thrown in, you're really going to like this book. When I started the book, for some reason the theme to Indiana Jones started floating in my head.

A group of archaeologists are excavating a newly-found site in Peru under the guidance of their mentor, Dr. Henry Conklin. Conklin is not at the site, but back in the US where he is overseeing the delivery and analyses of a mummy from Peru which he hopes will bolster his claim of a Pre-Inca civilization. His hopes are dashed when the mummy goes into the CT scan machine and its head explodes, spewing some bizarre substance all over the room. He makes it his business, along with another scientist, to find out what this substance is and why it was drilled into the mummy's head.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch in Peru, one of the guards who had been hired to keep watch on the dig gets it in his head that with all the gold he knows is in the recently-discovered temple, he should take his chances, steal the gold and kill all of the archaeologists in the dead of night. He enlists two compadres to help him. Armed with guns & grenades, while everyone else is sleeping, the three unseal a temple door, creep into a chamber where the floors are marked in a pattern of silver and gold tiles. The ceiling is marked the same way, reflecting the tiles on the floor. They begin to cross the room toward a gold statue with jewels & other priceless objects, when suddenly a trap springs and one of the men is slowly tortured to death.

Yada yada yada (I won't give it away)...eventually 4 of the archaeologists and a guide who is there as translator realize that something is wrong and make their way to the temple site. They descend to the level of the temple opening, and an explosion from above literally seals them in. Their mission: to get themselves out of the temple and fast.

The two story lines come together and make for a very very fun read.

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