Solomon's Jar (Rogue Angel Series #2) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Priceless artifact sparks a quest to keep untold power from the wrong hands...

Rumors of the discovery of Solomon's Jar--in which the biblical King Solomon bound the world's demons after using them to build his temple in Jerusalem--are followed with interest by Annja Creed. An archaeologist intrigued by the arcane, Annja pursues the truth about the vessel and its ancient origins.

Her search leads her to a confrontation with a London cult driven...

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Solomon's Jar (Rogue Angel Series #2)

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Overview

Priceless artifact sparks a quest to keep untold power from the wrong hands...

Rumors of the discovery of Solomon's Jar--in which the biblical King Solomon bound the world's demons after using them to build his temple in Jerusalem--are followed with interest by Annja Creed. An archaeologist intrigued by the arcane, Annja pursues the truth about the vessel and its ancient origins.

Her search leads her to a confrontation with a London cult driven by visions of a new world order; and a religious zealot fueled by the insatiable desire for glory. Across the sands of the Middle East to the jungles of Brazil, Annja embarks on a relentless chase to stop humanity's most unfathomable secrets from reshaping the modern world.

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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
In the second installment of Alex Archer's Rogue Angel saga, which features protagonist Annja Creed (spiritual descendant Joan of Arc and her fated successor as "champion of the good"), the intrepid archeologist sets off to find Solomon's Jar, an invaluable biblical artifact that King Solomon allegedly used to entrap the numerous demons he used to build his temple in Jerusalem.

With the help of her enigmatic mentor, a centuries-old man named Roux, Creed sets off to verify if the Jar -- believed to be forever lost at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea -- was in fact recovered. Following leads from Peru to the Netherlands to Israel to Brazil, Creed struggles to stay one step ahead of gun-toting factions (including Russian mobsters, English cultists, and the fanatical followers of a charismatic kabbalist) bent on finding and exploiting the Jar's supernatural powers. But once Creed locates Solomon's Jar, will its intrinsically evil powers influence her resolve to do God's will?

Gold Eagle's Rogue Angel series is an adrenaline-inducing blend of historical thriller in the vein of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and archeological adventure à la Indiana Jones, with over-the-top plot twists and bombshell cliffhangers around every corner. Victor Milan -- who, along with Mel Odom, constitutes the pseudonym Alex Archer -- aptly describes the Rogue Angel novels as "groovy globe-trotting contemporary action/adventure yarns with an ultra-cool heroine." Readers who enjoy their literary escapism fast and furious should definitely check out Annja Creed, whom Milan calls "a major babe and a major ass-kicker." Paul Goat Allen
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552546055
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 12/1/2007
  • Series: Rogue Angel Series , #2
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 110,555
  • File size: 223 KB

Read an Excerpt

On long tanned legs Annja Creed ran through the hard-wood forest. Rays from the sun hanging precariously above the great mountains slanted like pale gold lances at random between the boles. They caressed her sweaty face like velvet gloves as she ran through them.

Despite sweating in the heat, she breathed normally, dodging thicker stands of brush, crashing through the thinner ones. Late-season insects trilled around her and in sporadic spectral clouds tried to fly up her nose and into her mouth. The birds chattered and called to one another in the trees. The woods smelled of green growth and mostly dried decayed vegetation, not at all the way she imagined a true rain forest might smell, lower down in the Amazon basin proper. Up in the watershed of the Amazon's tributary the Río Marañón, in eastern Peru, the early autumn was drier and cooler, the growth far less dense.

Her heart raced as much as any person's might have after running at high speed for over two miles, up and down steep ridges. It had little to do with the exertion, though.

She ran for her life.

DAYLIGHT CAME LATE and evening early to the small

Peruvian village of Chiriqui. The sun had rolled well past the zenith. Though shadows weren't yet very long, it wasn't far from vanishing behind the tree-furred ridge to the west when the blast of a diesel engine ripped the calm air.

Beyond the ridge loomed the mighty peaks of the Andes themselves, looking close enough to topple and crush the little village into its dusty hillside, their blue tinge hinting how far away they really stood. The hills were mostly covered in patchy grass, dry as the hot SouthernHemisphere summer ended. Stands of hard-wood forest rose on some of the heights, interspersed with tough scrub.

Chickens flapped their wings in annoyance and fled squawking as a big blue Dodge Ram 2500, battered and sun faded, rolled into the small plaza in the midst of the collection of a couple of dozen huts. A tethered spider monkey shrilled obscenities and ran up a pole supporting a thatch awning as the vehicle clipped the edge of a kiosk and spilled colorful fruits bouncing across the tan hard-packed dirt. The owner remonstrated loudly as the vehicle stopped in a cloud of exhaust and dust.

Men began bailing out of the truck's extended bed. Men dressed in green-and-dust-colored camouflage who carried unmistakable broken-nosed Kalashnikovs and grenades clipped on their vests like green mango clusters.

They were gringos, unmistakably, who towered over the small brown villagers. The vehicle sported a powerful Soviet-era PKS machine gun mounted on a roll bar right behind the cab.

The people of Chiriqui knew better than to call attention to themselves when such visitors came to town.

"Gather 'round," the apparent leader commanded in clear but norteamericano-accented Spanish. He wore a short-sleeved camo blouse, a similarly patterned baseball cap atop his crewcut red head, and carried a black semiautomatic pistol in an open-top holster tied down his right thigh like a movie gunslinger.

Unlike people familiar with such things only from watching television from the comforts of their dens, the villagers knew well the difference between semi and full automatic.

The villagers stared, more as if their worst nightmares were coming true than from any lack of comprehension. Because, of course, that was exactly what was happening. The gringo soldiers with their hard faces grinning mean white grins spread out in pairs with rifles at the ready to enforce their leader's command.

IN THE RELATIVE COOL of her hut Annja Creed sat straining to read by the light coming in by dribs and drabs through gaps in the hardwood-plank wall. A bare bulb hung by a frayed cord perilously low over her head at the table on which she had spread the ancient book. It was unlit. The people of the village of Chiriqui had already done more than enough for her; she had firmly but with effusive thanks refused their offers to burn up more of their scarce, precious fuel to run the generator to provide artificial illumination. She could smell hot earth outside, the thatch, the sun-dried and splitting planks of the walls.And most of all the familiar musty odor of an ancient volume.

"...herb has most salubrious effects," she read, "particularly with regards to ye falling sickness, the effects of which fit it serves to ameliorate most expeditiously..."

That was how she would have translated it into English, anyway. The Jesuit Brother João da Concepção's seventeenth-century Portuguese gave her no problems; modern Portuguese had changed less in the intervening centuries than most languages. Even other Romance languages, which if translated literally tended to sound archaic and formal even at street level to English ears.

She knew her Romance languages. She knew the majors, Spanish, French, Italian and, of course, Portuguese. Plus she was rudely conversant in some of the minors, such as Catalan. Of the whole group she knew little of Romanian. She read and wrote Latin superbly; it had formed the core of her language study since she had learned it in the Catholic orphanage in New Orleans.

What gave her fits was Brother João's crabgrass handwriting. The ink had faded to a sort of faint burgundy hue on the water-warped pages of the ancient journal. In some places water spots or mold obscured the text entirely. In others the words faded entirely from visibility as of their own accord.

"This would probably be easier if I went outside in the direct sun," she said aloud. She had a tendency to talk to herself. It was one of several reasons--that she knew of--that the villagers called her la gringa loca, the Crazy White Lady. That she spoke Spanish and was willing to share her medical supplies or give impromptu English lessons to the local kids--or their elders--helped keep the inflection friendly when they said it, so all was well.

As for going out in the sun, she'd had about enough of it in the weeks she'd spent tramping the hills looking for the tome. It wasn't as hot there as it was down lower in the Selva, the great jungle of the Upper Amazon. But to compensate, the high-altitude sun was more intense, with less air to block the UV rays that punished her fair skin. And it was hot enough. Even in the shade of the hut she had to keep constantly on her guard to prevent sweat from running the line of her chestnut hair, tied back with a russet bandanna, and dripping off her nose onto the priceless pages.

"Anyway," she said, aloud again, "I'm just being impatient. I could just wait till I'm back at the hotel."

Having searched a month to find the book, she was eager to confirm its contents. However, she was still a day or two from any kind of reliably illuminated, not to mention air-conditioned, surroundings; she was meeting a farmer from up in the hills about sunset. He had agreed to give her a lift into the nearest town of consequence in his venerable pickup.

Annja's impatience was rewarded. It seemed that the hints she'd been pursuing had been correct. The long-dead friar had cataloged a wealth of herbs of the Upper Amazon and watershed, along with a remarkable accounting of their observable effects on various maladies so systematic that it prefigured the scientific method. She wondered if an early stint in China, with its extensive materia medica assembled over millennia, and its own tradition of systematic observation and trial and error, had influenced him.

Excitement thrilled through her veins as she carefully paged through the book, reading passages, looking at the pictures Brother João had drawn in almost obsessive detail. She knew nothing about botany, and even the mid-seventeenth century was straying beyond her actual scope of formal training, which was medieval and Renaissance Europe. But since she had taken on this new life, she'd found herself constantly expanding her horizons.

She was barely conscious of the outlaw-motorcycle rumble and snarl of the diesel truck pulling into the plaza. None of the villagers possessed a motor vehicle, but a few, mostly pickup trucks, wandered through Chiriqui almost every day.

"Senorita," a childish voice said, low and urgent behind her. She turned.

"What is it, Luis?" she asked the tiny figure who stood in the door, a tattered T-shirt hanging halfway down his bare brown legs. His eyes were great anthracite disks of concern beneath his thatch of untamed black hair.

"You must go," he said.

He looks so innocent, she thought, not overly concerned despite his apparent urgency. She knew how kids tended to dramatize.

"Why?" she asked.

His eyes grew bigger and his voice more grave. "Bad men come," he said.

From outside came the sudden, unmistakable clatter of automatic gunfire.

THE VILLAGERS CROWDED into the square and stared as one at the man who lay writhing on the slope across the stream, guts and pelvis pulped by a burst of steel-jacketed rifle bullets. The stink of burned propellant and lubricant stung the air.

"My, my," the intruders' leader said, wagging his head reprovingly. "You people are slow learners. Don't you know by now that when we come around you don't run, because you'll only die tired?"

For a moment there was no sound but the pinging of the truck as it cooled and the groans of the mortally injured man. "Don Pepe, front and center," the redheaded man in the ball cap commanded.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    Boring!

    I was disappointed. I like Annja as a character, but this particular plot was not compelling.

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  • Posted February 7, 2013

    Love the the series and the main character, but the writing styl

    Love the the series and the main character, but the writing style of this particular title, Solomon's Jar, is horrible. The writing is cluttered - an example - "The beach smelled of hot sand, salt water, seafood somewhat past its sell-by date, semirandom petroleum fractions." I have read 100 pages and can't believe I was able to wade through that much. Solomon's Jar is a great example of a badly-written book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2006

    Her evolution continues in Soloman's Jar!

    I got an early copy of this book and I was wowed by the character's natural progression- Annja seems to be feeling out her destiny and clearly doesn't have black and white answers. Or does she? In the first book I really felt like she was just taking in her whole calling, so to speak, with more then a bit of shock. In this book, it feels like she is progressing into her role while still questioning it- some amazing fight scenes that I could see unfolding right in front of my eyes. And some timely street scenes in Israel that seem to reflect the headlines quite well- reading this story felt like it was happening RIGHT NOW. The mystery of Soloman's Jar unfolded at a great pace, and one of the best scenes? Supermodel catfight. But these ladies are to cool to fight like girls at recess. All and all, a sweet follow-up that any reader could walk into without having read the first.

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