5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
one of the better ones out there right now,
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This review is from: Eternal Journey (Rogue Angel #17) (Mass Market Paperback)
Having followed the Rogue Angel series from the beginning, I've been disappointed in the overall decline of the series over the last few months. When I picked up "Eternal Journey" I wasn't sure how it would be. While it was a pleasant surprise compared to recent offerings, it still wasn't up to the standards of the better books in the series.
Annja Creed is finishing up a shoot on location in Australia for her TV show, Chasing History's Monsters. While the site she is covering - Egyptian relics found on Australian soil - is fascinating, everything else seems to be pretty routine... until her cameraman goes missing and she suspects foul play. With mysterious men on her trail, Annja finds herself in a race against time to save the professionals and students on the dig site, as well as the rest of humanity. Meanwhile, she must also solve the mystery of what - or who - she and her colleague saw while filming that could be so volatile people would want them dead to keep it a secret.
In "Eternal Journey" we finally see the intelligent, good-under-pressure Annja from previous books. Some of the recent releases (like "Polar Quest") had Annja acting way out of character - being belligerent, calling unnecessary attention to herself, making stupid decisions. The only "bad" decision Annja makes here is not talking to the Sydney police right away, but it's also an understandable move. The Annja in "Eternal Journey" is the one we're familiar with (and like) - the reluctant hero who usually tries to go it solo so she doesn't hurt any innocents in her quest for justice and the greater good.
Where I think "Eternal Journey" fails is in using the archaeology aspect as a backdrop instead of the main thing, which is usually what drives the series. In recent memory, the book that has been the best (for me, anyway) at doing that was "Swordsman's Legacy." Annja isn't pursuing some relic or even the site; it just serves as some sort background to fuel the bad character's motives. It felt a little weak to me.
One thing I did find intriguing with "Eternal Journey" was the author tried to deepen Annja's connection to the sword and her Joan of Arc legacy. A lot of times Annja just "feels" something is going to happen, and she has to be there to take care of it. It was a good thought, but since not every book does that, it felt like it came out of nowhere.
I don't mind if the books don't include Roux or Garin every time (although they are usually stronger when they do), as long as the overall story is solid. For what's been recently available, "Eternal Journey" is a better read, although as a longtime follower of the series, I felt they could have done a much better job with keeping in the usual Rogue Angel themes - mysterious archaeological "thing" that Annja must find/destroy/whatever to save the world. A phone call to comic relief Doug Morrell might have been interesting to put in, too.
Longtime fans will find this a welcome change from what's been put on the shelves lately. If you're new to the series, try "Swordsman's Legacy" or better yet, the earlier books in the series (Destiny/Solomon's Jar/Spider Stone).