My rating: 3 of 5 stars
3 stars to Will Adams‘s The Lost Labyrinth, the third in his Daniel Knox archaeological/adventure thriller series. For fans of Adams and this genre, you will enjoy this release but there were a few times when I felt like it wasn’t substantially different than his first two novels.
Daniel Knox and his girlfriend Gaille are visiting long-time friends Augustin and Claire prior to a conference in Greece when they find a twenty-year missing archaeologist dead in Augustin’s hotel room. The police believe Augustin had something to do with it and a physical altercation puts him in the hospital for most of the book. Daniel takes over the speaking engagement but through some additional research, he starts believing the historical Grecian Golden Fleece may actually exist. Meanwhile, a [European] Georgia crime family with a plan to takeover the Georgian presidency wants to get their hands on the Golden Fleece to look like the heroes who can save their country. Capture and torture ensue. A few other sub-plots help move the story along, but in the end, someone finds the Golden Fleece and there’s also a tragic death that alters the course of the story.
1. Adams is quite knowledgeable of Greek, Egyptian and Eastern European history. He is adept at creating drama through words to help readers better imagine history and understand the basics of historical conflicts. He is also quite strong at alternating points of view chapter by chapter creating many small and large pockets of suspense where you just can’t put the book down.
2. There are so many good characters and individual sub-plots to keep you entertained. It’s not just about the quest for the Golden Fleece but you get caught up in the reporter’s revenge, the psychopath’s blood lust, the business man’s romance, the politican’s protection of his family, etc. You get enough breaks from major drama to find some more natural and relaxed complexity in the secondary characters’ stories.
1. At times, the descriptions are so detailed you find yourself skipping large sections of text just to get to the action pieces when in the middle of a conflict. I thought on several occasions “yeah, i get it… there’s a cliff and a gun is shooting at him and he’s gotta escape, so get to it. Don’t tell me what the cliff looked like for the last two thousand years!” In some places, it works well. In others, I found it a bit indulgent.
2. The story wasn’t as interesting as the first two books. The Golden Fleece is important, and it has a lot of tragedy and drama associated with it, but I didn’t feel a deep connection with it like I had in prior books. I understand the crime family wants it so they look like heroes and win the election, but other than that, what about the historical significance of the find? What will this change about how people think of ancient Greece? Who would be against someone finding this artifact? It seemed to be missing a piece of the puzzle this time.
It was a good book. I breezed through it in 3 days at about 2 hours per day, and it was over 500 pages. I didn’t lose interest, but I also didn’t feel a major connection this time. I will give book 4 a chance as it’s the last in the series but may hold off until next year. I also want to pick a few new authors in this genre with a story that maybe I have a larger connection with… but overall, still worth the read for anyone who likes the author, the genre and has an interest in ancient Greek and Egyptian history.