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Posted January 15, 2013
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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.
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Posted November 8, 2013
I have read all the Blaine McCracken novels, and this does not disappoint. After what seems like forever, it was fun to read about him, Wareagle, and Belamo again. The plot of dark matter ending the world and us with it is most interesting. If you liked the early McCracken novels, I feel you will enjoy this one.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 19, 2013
Posted February 15, 2013
I really liked this book alot once I got further into it and the only thing I was sad about was that our heroes are in their 60's and 70's and I was like, what? I guess the younger generation just don't know how to get it done in this book!
There are alot of twists and turns and some really suprising reveals and upsets that I did not see coming. I usually am pretty good at spotting who the "real" enemy or killer is in books, but this one had me stumped.
I wasn't too crazy about how it ended with the supposedly green space person but I guess it was poetic justice for all the people that was killed in the years that they were active, including the death of the mother and brother of this person.
I did however, get a great kick out of the Indian and the Captain. I think without them, the story would have just been another spy/terrorist/end of the world kinda book. So, for coming up with those 2 characters, I thank you because even though it was very serious what they were doing, I really got to laugh some too at the both of these amazing characters.
But, did you have to make them so old??? That means not many more books about them afterwhile I guess because how much longer can men of that age go on being super heroes and saving the world?
This one is a keeper, guys, so you really need to read it!
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Posted February 11, 2013
Jon Land in his new book, "Pandora's Temple" Book Ten in the Blaine McCracken series published by the author gives us a new adventure of Blaine McCracken.
From the back cover: What if Pandora's Box were real? Blaine McCracken finds himself facing this very question--and the greatest threat to mankind--in his long-awaited return to the page
Rogue special-operations agent McCracken has never been shy about answering the call, and this time it comes in the aftermath of a deepwater oil rig disaster that claims the life of a onetime member of his commando unit. The remnants of the rig and its missing crew lead him to the inescapable conclusion that one of the most mysterious and deadly forces in the universe is to blame: dark matter, both a limitless source of potential energy and an unimaginably destructive weapon.
Joining forces again with his trusty sidekick Johnny Wareagle, McCracken races to stop two deadly enemies who want the dark matter at all costs. A powerful energy magnate and the leader of a Japanese doomsday cult both seek the ultimate prize for their own nefarious reasons, and McCracken and Wareagle's mission to defeat them takes the duo on a nonstop journey across the world and thousands of years into the past where the truth lies in the ancient Pandora's Temple, built to safeguard the world's most powerful weapon.
McCracken's only hope to save the world is to find the mythical temple. Along the way, he and Wareagle find themselves up against Mexican drug gangs, killer robots, an army of professional assassins, and a legendary sea monster. The hero of nine previous bestselling thrillers, McCracken is used to the odds being stacked against him, but this time the stakes have never been higher.
For all the books I have read I am sorry to admit that I have never read anything by Jon Land before. My error and something that I am going to have to catch up on in a big way-there are nine other previous Blaine McCracken novels out there. "Pandora's Temple" is one huge action-packed thriller from page one. The world is in deadly trouble, Greek mythology is involved and there is a reclusive billionaire who wants to control the world's energy supply. Johnny Wareagle and McCracken are up against it this time as their skills are really put to some outrageous tests including a sword battle in a restaurant. This is pure excitement. Mr. Land obviously likes to tell a good story, never mind all the flavors that he puts in it from Science Fiction to Ninja warriors this one has it all. You will not be disappointed with "Pandora's Temple". It is a roaring adventure from start to finish.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Partners In Crime. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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Posted February 7, 2013
This is the very first McCracken novel I have read and I'm hooked! John pens his plot with strong characters, mystery, thrills, twists and turns with mythology and history woven in. A really nice paced story that hooks you in and doesn't let go. Highly recommended for all readers!
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author which was provided for an honest review.
Posted January 20, 2013
It was one weird book!
Pandora's Temple was the first book written by Jon Land which I have read, so I was not familiar with his writing before Pandora's Temple. It was action-packed, fast-paced and easy to read. what was confusing for me, was the mixture of genres used and I was in trouble with deciding if I liked that or not. I usually enjoy when genres are combined, but Pandora's Temple could be categorized everything between Thriller and Mystery to Science Fiction. One thing is sure - it was definitely not a romance :)
With that said, I have to admit, it was entertaining read, even though a tad too much out there - almost like a Fantasy. Since it is fiction and as mentioned I do like combined genres, I could live with that, but it did confuse me. I will come back to it little later in my review.
Blaine McCracken is an ex-special Forces agent pushing sixty years who is about to save the world. He fights with giant squid, deals with a mysterious dark matter, disappearing people, he searches for Pandora's Jar and Temple, travels the world and saves it. Yes, he does all that plus many other things in one story.
For me the plot was not very believable. I had severe difficulties with imagining two guys closing their sixties fighting like young untouchable and unkillable James Bonds. I really could not buy it. The other problem I had was mixing the mythology of Pandora's Box with Homeland Security and that is the reason why this book could easily be a Fantasy. It also had way too many story lines for one story, at least for my taste. I was probably expecting more of a thriller than it really was. I do enjoy both military and political thrillers, but I can't say that Pandora's Temple was that. It wasn't Fantasy either. The plot had way too many weird things happening for my taste and I am not usually very picky.
Now to the strange part. Even though the plot was confusing, I still liked it because it was captivating. I liked the weird characters and strange and unworldly things happening. I liked the humor which was very visible in the writing and for me reading Pandora's Temple was like reading a comic book of A-Team, just the main characters were slightly older. It was corny and funny reading. I could not take this book too seriously due to far-fetched plot, but I did enjoy it because it was entertaining.
Characters were the ones who saved this otherwise surreal story. They were original and funny. I kind of liked Blaine McCracken and the way the author developed him throughout the whole book. He was a kick-butt characters who was easy to understand. He did have features I did not like, but he was funny. My favorite character was Johnny Wareagle, Baine's long-time buddy. Johnny is an Indian warrior who could do things and see things others aren't able to. The villain was the second favorite character of mine, because he was so stereotypical and evil, so his characters seemed to be taken out of a "How-To-Write-A-Perfect-Villain" handbook.
If you like books which are not ordinary which do not have to have a clear story line, but entertain you, then Pandora's Temple is definitely for you!
Posted January 16, 2013
Pandora's Temple by the fabulous author Jon Land is fabulous! What an exciting, action-packed book! I especially love the way Jon Land develops his characters, making them come to life as the story progresses. Few authors have his unique ability to do that. Mr. Land has a fascinating mind to be able to tell such wonderfully detailed and believable stories. I have read almost all of his books and it would be difficult to determine a favorite story or character since all are so well done and so different. Jon Land is truly a gifted writer and I look forward to reading his next book, Strong Rain Falling.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 13, 2013
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.
Posted January 8, 2013
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.
Posted December 18, 2012
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.
Posted December 11, 2012
I will start by saying I have not read any other "McCracken" books. But I think I am hooked. There are very few serial type books that I can really stay focused on but I can definitely see these being part of that elite company. There are so many different relationships going on in this book. At the beginning I found it odd that I just could not see the relationship between them all and how they will eventually become intertwined. As the story moves farther along the relationships begin to come together and form an intricate web of adventures. Pandora's Temple is an adventure packed, intricately thought out, web leading up to a defining moment where it all comes together. If every one of John Land's book are this elaborate - count me in! This book had mythology and history interwoven into its plot making it even more enjoyable and captivating. Definitely a five star book.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Posted January 23, 2013
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