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Pandora's Temple (Blaine McCracken Series #10)

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  • Posted January 15, 2013

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    Action Packed!

    When I first started reading, I didn't know what to expect from Pandora's Temple, I knew it was an action thriller, but I had no idea I was about to read what turned out to be one of the most action packed, crazy in a good way books I've ever read. I'm actually sitting at my computer now trying to figure out how to get all this action into my review. This is the 10th book in the Blaine McCracken novels, the first books coming out in the late 1980's, but it can be read a standalone.

    This is my first time reading a book that had ninjas, a giant squid attacking a boat, an entire crew vanishing into thin air, a doomsday cult, the location of Pandora's Box and terrorists all in the storyline. But it's all in a day's work for Blaine McCracken, semi-retired CIA operative.

    McCracken is pushing sixty, but can still kick serious a$$. His nickname is "McCrackenballs". (That nickname cracked me up BTW)

    As the story starts off, Homeland Security hires McCracken to rescue kidnapped American college students who are being held hostage in a drug lord's mansion in Mexico.
    McCracken and his sidekick, Indian warrior Johnny Wareagle show up, armed to the teeth and they kick butt first and take names later. Missiles are being launched, explosions are going off, gunfire is poppin' off...the whole nine yards. The college kids are rescued and all is well for the time being.

    All the while, a drilling rig named Deepwater Venture is in the Gulf of Mexico doing a deep sea drill when the whole crew vanishes into thin air. Homeland Security declares a Level Six event, Level Five being nuclear war, and calls McCracken in for help. The world itself could be ending.

    Enter environmentalist Katie DeMarco who is currently in New Orleans who was on board the Venture before it went down. She is now being chased by bad guys who think she knows something about the whole thing.

    McCracken has a mystery to solve and the world to save and he will stop at nothing to get the job done.

    I liked the twists and turns the story took. I found the middle of the book lagged a bit as McCracken and Wareagle teamed up with scientists and a sea captain in order to figure out what was going on. But the reason I felt it slowed down is probably because of all the action in the beginning.The action picks up again once McCracken finds Katie DeMarco. She's got her own secrets and her own storyline, and I was curious about who she really was.

    There's some pretty cool scenes, including one with a deep sea dive and a giant sea squid attacking the group. Yes.

    The characters are over the top, there's stereotypical baddies, McCracken is sixty and still kicking butt. It's one of those books that is so outlandish, it's friggin' fantastic. McCracken wields a sword at one point. A samurai sword in the middle of a New Orleans restaurant. The action scenes and the sheer creativity of the story I think make Jon Land a fantastic writer. I've never read anything quite like this. The story goes from New Orleans, the Gulf of Mexico and Spain to Ancient Greece B.C. and Tokyo.

    Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any type of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers and authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2013

     Just as the blurb on the cover suggest Jon Land is a great thri

     Just as the blurb on the cover suggest Jon Land is a great thriller writer. this is a fast paced, action packed, thriller. This is the first I have read of the McCracken series and it will not be my last. Blaine McCracken is facing a milestone his 60th birthday. In the face of this milestone and the fact that he hasn't had a mission in two years leaves McCracken feeling that he no longer has what it takes. He is given a suicide mission and proves himself. Then the real test begins. McCracken and his long time friend and partner in crime find themselves up against formidable opponents.

    Land really made me thing about what our retired service men and women are doing with their spare time. I also wonder how many former special service persons contract themselves out for the safety and security of our nation? I'm sure many of them feel as McCracken does. I am also sure that their services can still be used today. 

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  • Posted January 8, 2013

    First let me say that I've never actually read a true thriller b

    First let me say that I've never actually read a true thriller before and have I been missing out! (I've read suspense-thrillers and psychological thrillers but never a true, action-packed thriller.) Pandora's Temple is a phenomenal read that incorporates Greek mythology, environmental terrorism, a Japanese Doomsday cult, dark matter, the US Government, contract government agents, an international energy company, and science fact along with science fiction. Amazingly, all of these elements (and oh such much more) are deftly handled by Mr. Land to provide a story that has as many ups-and-downs, not to mention twists-and-turns as the most elaborate roller coaster.

    Blaine McCracken and Johnny Wareagle are true comrades-in-arms. They've been buddies since Vietnam and have had numerous adventures over the years. An inexplicable event on a Gulf drilling rig followed by a kidnapping attempt on a young woman result in Blaine and Johnny being co-opted by Homeland Security to investigate. Their investigation leads them on a search for not only the young lady in question, Katie Demarco, but answers to the truth about the myth of Pandora and Pandora's Box.

    Pandora's Temple has action that takes place around the world, including the US, Mexico, Japan, Spain and Greece. Blaine and Johnny seem to be blends of James Bond, MacGyver, Batman and Robin, along with the Lone Ranger and Tonto. They are definitely the good guys and can always get the job done, no matter what. They are assisted in their quest for the truth by some interesting characters. My particular favorite was Captain Seven. A technology genius that is always searching for the next marijuana high (he insists it helps him to think more efficiently). The bad guys are just as awesome since they do not fear death but seem to embrace the idea of death and doom, namely the remnants of the Aum Shinrikyo or Japanese doomsday cult. The incorporation of science fact, science fiction (I hope it's science fiction), history and Greek mythology into the international intrigue and thrills was quite masterful. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading Pandora's Temple. This may have been my first action-thriller read by Mr. Land but it certainly won't be my last. 

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  • Posted December 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A fun, action-packed, rollercoaster ride of adventure

    I've heard Jon Land most often compared to the likes of Clive Cussler, which is a bit of an unfair comparison. While both write formulaic adventures with charismatic leading men, Cussler has a more grounded, realistic feel to his novels. Anybody expecting the same from Land will find themselves severely challenged, if not disappointed. Based on what I've read (and I've cued up a pair of his other titles for a read), he seems to be more extreme in pushing the boundaries of disbelief, almost cartoon-like in his imagination, making a comparison to the likes of Matthew Reilly or James Rollins much more apt.

    It is Blaine McCracken, the roguish hero who plays by his own rules, who makes the novel work. Very much grounded in the action hero mold of the 80s, he's an intriguing character with a wry sense of humour. Definitely eccentric, but immensely likeable from the start, he's the kind of hero who you can very well imagine having a few drinks with after a long, hard day of saving the world.

    Surrounding Blaine is an action-packed, fast-paced story with some exceptionally well-choreographed action scenes. It's a novel that has big-budget Hollywood thriller written all over it - with the understanding, of course, that Blaine would likely be cast as younger and more physically attractive. From a hostage rescue south of the border, to a climactic battle high atop a mountain, Pandora's Temple offers a heady mix of ancient mythology, violent robots, sea monsters, and the requisite wealthy supervillain. It's an odd story, and definitely takes a while to become comfortable with but, like the craziest of rollercoasters, it is definitely worth the ride.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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