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Legend: An Event Group Thriller Hardcover – August 21, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Golemon's second thriller fails to deliver on the promise of his first, Event (2006), which introduced the exploits of a supersecret U.S. government agency, the Event Group. The author, a former U.S. Army Special Ops member, draws the reader in with an intriguing prologue: in 1534, explorer Francisco Pizarro and his men, in their search for El Dorado, encounter a vicious creature determined to guard the legendary treasure trove; in 1876, at Custer's last stand, Capt. Myles Keogh takes to his death a secret from hundreds of years in the past. In the present day, the intrepid men and women of the Event Group follow the trail of Pizarro's expedition in an effort both to find the lost Incan gold Pizarro was seeking and to rescue the U.S. president's daughter, who has disappeared while on the same quest. A shortage of well-developed characters and plausible scientific speculation, however, makes this a less satisfying adventure than its predecessor. (Aug.)
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“Sure to satisfy fans of The X-Files.” ―Publishers Weekly on EVENT
“A tale worthy of the giants of the genre like Clive Cussler, James Rollins, and Matthew Reilly, Legend is a definite must-read for action and adventure fans. Don't miss it.” ―Megalith.com
“The Roswell Incident--whether legend, fact, or some combination of both--has inspired countless novels and movies over the years, but David Lynn Golemon's Event peels back the layers of Roswell with refreshing originality. The action is spectacularly cinematic, the characters compelling, and the story is a flat-out adrenaline rush that pits real-world, cutting-edge military technology against a literally out-of-this-world threat. Even better, the Event Group itself is one of the best fictional agencies to arise in the literature of government conspiracies.” ―New York Times bestselling authors Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
“Golemon puts his military experience to good use in this promising debut sure to satisfy fans of The X-Files….the plotting and hair's-breadth escapes evoke some of the early work of Preston and Child, and the author's premise offers a rich lode of materials for the inevitable sequels.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Fans of UFO fiction will find this a great read, and fans of military fiction won't be disappointed either.” ―SFSIGNAL.COM
“Imagine mixing in a blender a Tom Clancy novel with the movie Predator and the television series The X-Files….readers who enjoy nonstop action and lots of flying bullets will enjoy Golemon's first book in a projected series.” ―Library Journal--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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After Golemon's page-turning first effort, "Event," I had high hopes for this novel that soon fizzled. It was obvious before I was even halfway through that the same amount of effort had not gone into this book. First, and most glaring, were the numerous misspellings and bad grammar. Publishers these days have obviously decided to cut corners in the proofreading department, and nearly everything I read is littered with typos, but this book took it to a whole new level (a "vile" of liquid?) that was distracting, to say the least. But that is not the only way in which this book, or those reading it, suffered. It was very hard to keep all the characters straight because there were simply too many protagonists who all had too much in common. History and science were given less than respectful treatment, as well. Probably the biggest problem with this book, though, was the convoluted mess of a plot.
In "Event," the story stayed with the action, and touched lightly on behind-the-scenes politics in Washington. Unfortunately, this book took an opposite approach, and wasted page after page with the president, the secretary of state, and a whole bunch of people in offices pulling strings when what it should have done was stick with the team in the Amazon. I can barely tolerate political machinations in real life and absolutely detest them in fiction. It's simply not believable in any small way, and I don't really care which one of these fake people carries the most weight in an imitation Washington. When I pick up an adventure thriller, I want action. This book delivered precious little of that. Instead of battles with the bad guys, or even having issues with the Amazonian flora and fauna, our heroes simply drift down the Amazon in their supposedly state-of-the-art boat while the bad guys watch them from a few miles downriver and talk about their evil plans. I was expecting some great action scenes where the bizarre lagoon creatures wreaked havoc on good guys and bad, and instead, the creatures in this book only made a couple of cameo appearances before simply disappearing. The most exciting "action" scenes seemed to consist of patching holes in the boat after they ran some rapids. There simply wasn't enough plot to drive the book, so rather than taking the time to develop a more interesting storyline, the author attempted to flesh it out with ridiculous subplots and the oh-so-boring situations in Washington. Several times throughout the book, I found myself rereading paragraphs I had already read, simply because I could not focus on what was happening because it failed to engage my interest.
Had this been the first Golemon book I had picked up, I probably would not have wasted my time on another. However, I know he's got the stuff because his first book was an absolute page-turner of an adventure. This felt more like a thriller-by-numbers that attempted to copy the works of several other second-rate adventure writers, and even descended into the realm of last-minute rescues with blithe explanations that I just didn't buy. Perhaps I would not have been so disappointed if Golemon hadn't set the bar so high with his first novel, but I'm really hoping his third book will be a lot better than this.
So...why four stars and not five? Same reason as Event I'm afraid. I found the middle of the book to be a tad slow for my taste. And again, the cast of characters is absolutely massive. I'm catching on to who the main characters are, but this is after two books. So it seemed like an improvement, but I think that simply because it was book 2. I think Golemon's EVENT books are comparable to Rollin's Sigma books, but Jim has a tight cast of characters. EVENT is a huge organization and a lot of people get lost in the mix. When the good guys started dying I was actually very pleased because then I could figure out who was who. And I think I have the main characters squared away now, so the next book should be an easier read.
That said, I AM looking forward to the next one and will pick it up right away. For fans of Rollins, Reilly, Preston/Child....and me :) the EVENT series will be enjoyable reading. Legend is my favorite of the two published. Keep them coming, David!
-- Jeremy Robinson, author of Pulse (A Chess Team Adventure) and Kronos
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