Customer Reviews: Pandora's Temple (The Blaine McCracken Novels Book 10)
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on November 23, 2012
Having read and reread all of Jon Land's novels with rogue agent Blaine McCracken I was thrilled when after 15 years Blaine is back with a vengeance! This eBook did not disappoint and am looking forward to more reads with Blaine, Johnny Wareagle and Sal. Hopefully; they are back to stay!
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on November 30, 2012
When I first found out in early November that a NEW Blaine McCracken book was finally coming out after 14+ years, I was:

Happier than a witch in a broom factory.
Happier than a bodybuilder directing traffic.
Happier than an antelope with night vision goggles.
Happier than Gallagher at a fruit market.
Happier than a slinky on an escalator.

Okay, I think you get the point. Finally! After a 14 yr absence, a thriller featuring the return of Blaine McCracken & Johnny Wareagle. These two action heroes were last seen saving the world back in 1998 with Dead Simple. Jon Land was writing these over the top, end of the world, super-villain deluxe, pure action thrillers since way back in the 80's and 90's. Blaine was featured in 9 previous titles, and Jared Kimberlain (aka the Ferryman) was featured in another two.

Jon's last several books have dealt with a female Texas ranger, Catlin Strong (Strong at the Break: A Caitlin Strong Novel (Caitlin Strong Novels)). While I enjoy the Catlin stories very much, as I did the 7 novels featuring Ben and Danielle (for example: The Walls of Jericho (Ben and Danielle)), for me, the books that I REALLY wanted to read were the Blaine McCracken & Jared Kimberlain action novels. If you enjoy reading Matt Reilly thrillers like Ice Station: A Scarecrow Novel 1, or the Chess Team stories by Jeremy Robinson like Threshold (A Jack Sigler Thriller), or any of the Sigma Force stories by James Rollins like Sandstorm then you will enjoy this action thriller. But, keep in mind that Jon was there before these 3 excellent authors I just cited. In fact, it is because of Jon Land that I became hooked on this type of story and took chances on those 3 authors listed above when they FIRST came out with their titles. Jon paved the way for these guys. Pandora's Temple is a return to this type of thriller for Jon Land. I was in 7th Heaven when I first heard the news about this. I got hooked on reading Jon Land thrillers back in Sep 90 during Operation Desert Shield when I came across The Eighth Trumpet (Jared Kimberlain) in paperback (just picked up this thriller on Cyber Monday for only $2.02). That was it! I instantly became a Jon Land fan and have read all his thrillers since then (going on 21+ years now).

Did I like the book? You bet! I loved every minute and certainly want more! It was like James Bond on a sugar rush....Pure action all the way. Over the top? Yes and I loved it even more for that! Can Johnny Wareagle shoot 2 M-16s at the same and hit the bad guys? Heck yes he can! Go Johnny Go! A rollercoaster of thrills and action all the way. I pre-ordered this thriller at $9.99, but was really pleased when the priced dropped to $2.99. At this low price, I would suggest you RUN, not walk, and jump at this thriller as well.
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on November 21, 2012
Pandora's Temple By Jon Land

Reviewed by Russell Ilg

Jon Land keeps the heat up with the best thriller writing you can find today. He has taken a break from the best series out there, featuring female Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, to go all the way back to his roots by bringing back the legendary Blaine McCracken and Johnny Wareagle who'd appeared in nine previous tales that ended with 1998's Dead Simple. The McCracken series was the first Jon wrote, featuring the rogue agent the government goes to with impossible missions no one else would even think about taking on. Just another day at the office for McCracken who makes great use of the skills that made him an icon in his return to the page in Pandora's Temple.

I'm not sure if I've ever read a book with so many twists and turns and classic action sequences. Make no mistake about it, this is a huge-scale thriller with nothing less than the fate of the world at stake and nothing less than the most powerful force in the universe posing the threat. This as the ever-vigilant McCracken faces turning sixty and beginning to question his skills, not so much because they've eroded as the phone has stopped ringing. It's been two years since the government came calling, when all of a sudden Homeland Security approaches him with a mission to rescue four Brown University fraternity brothers from the clutches of a drug lord with hundreds of well-armed man guarding his compound in Mexico. The impossible rescue Blaine and Johnny undertake opens the book and sets the stage for all the equally redoubtable action to come. But all is not well, because one of the hostages dies in the process leading McCracken to further wonder if he's lost his edge.

That question is swiftly answered when McCraken, and Wareagle, learn that the lone other surviving member of their Special Forces Vietnam A-Team is missing from an offshore oilrig; the whole crew is missing thanks to some inexplicable phenomenon the same Homeland Security that sent Blaine to Mexico dispatches him to investigate. What he and Johnny find on the remnants of that rig lead to a global chase for the most powerful force in the universe somehow connected to the mythical Pandora's box (a jar actually, we learn). It lies in the equally mythic Pandora's Temple, the search for which McCracken and his team undertake in order to save the world while battling two groups of adversaries with limitless resources hell bent on getting their hands on the "dark matter" first. One is led by a billionaire energy magnate and the other the leader of a Japanese doomsday cult. Both are hiding terrible secrets that have long scarred them. Both will stop at nothing to gain the ultimate prize. But neither will McCracken who sees in a young female eco-terrorist an oddly kindred spirit. She too harbors scars and secrets, clearly a dominant theme here in a tale that's as much about healing as anything else.

Pandora's Temple takes off like a rocket and keeps speeding along at a breakneck pace right up to the climactic mountaintop battle that comes in the wake of confronting killer robots and even a giant squid that pops up to take a bite out of a mini-submarine McCracken has commandeered for the cause. The result is as close to a perfect thriller as you will ever read, immensely satisfying in pace as well as scale, as Jon Land proves beyond any doubt that he is one of the greatest authors of our time and the best action writer in the world today. Less than a year after penning a non-fiction book on Mob kingpin Whitey Bulger (Betrayal) and his best entry yet in the Caitlin Strong series (Strong Vengeance), he's back with the long-awaited return of Blaine McCracken in a relentlessly entertaining tale that's everything a thriller is supposed to be.
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on January 1, 2014
Like an old reading hound, I lift my nose to the wind here and whiff the odor of Indiana Jones meets H. Rider Haggard meets Von Daniken. This is a strange but interesting tale with plenty of violent confrontation between ex-military types. McCracken and "Indian," resurrected after a few years, are feeling their age but, like Indiana Jones, they don't ride quietly into the sunset. As usual, it's good that we can count these two among the good guys. They win even if it's a tremendous struggle. In this case, a family feud adds a different wrinkle and a tragic protagonist/antagonist. Land's twists and turns in the plot from Ciudad Juarez to the Mediterranean keep you sitting on the edge of your chair. In a few places, I almost spilled my Jameson's. A fun read for all who read in this genre. Hopefully, we haven't seen the last of McCracken.
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on January 28, 2013
Pandora's Temple is my first experience with one of Jon Land's books and I am impressed! This is a classic tale of high stakes adventure where the hero is literally fighting for the fate of the world. The book is the latest is a series that features Blaine McCracken, now approaching the age of 60. But the man hadn't lost a step. I give Land credit for writing a book that features a protagonist that some might consider past his prime. As part of the plot, McCracken wonders himself if he might have outlived his usefulness. That only adds to the adventure as he faces his personal concerns and looks back at the eventful life that brought him this far.

As McCracken contemplates some of his past experiences, the reader gets a hint at the history this character has experienced throughout the series. But Land doesn't dwell on McCracken's back story. He drops just enough references to make things fun for fans of the series. And his references have me thoroughly hooked. I can't wait to start the series from the beginning. Land's writing is just that that engaging and his McCracken character is so richly nuanced that I want to experience the series from the start.

If you are a fan of the series, you have to read this book. If you haven't read any of the McCracken books, this is a fantastic place to start. It was my first exposure to the series and I am nothing short of impressed!
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I think the test of a great book involves losing track of time while reading. Well, this one passed. I couldn't believe I'd spent four hours reading last night. Wow! I'm not even finished yet, but I just had to post this review. This is my first McCracken book, but it won't be the last! Cheers to Mr. Land!!
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on August 22, 2014
Besides the fact that Jon Land is a good writer, I found this book to be fascinating and interesting. Jon always fills his stories with interesting historical facts even though the book is a work of fiction. As well, his books are always a fast read due to Mr. Land's writing style. All his books, including this one is action-packed with all kinds of interesting tools and machines.
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on December 19, 2012
Reading this book was like getting back together with old friends that I haven't seen in a long time.
I knew that I've missed Blaine McCracken and company, but until I started reading this book, I didn't know how much.
Blaine, Johnny and Sal haven't missed a step in all these years.
The action, the banter, I couldn't have asked for more.
The only downsides to the book were the plot itself and Captain Seven.
Don't get me wrong, I like the good Captain. But after this, he should be a side character. Not a main. Too many "joint" and "high" references for my taste. It just got old after a while. Also, early on in the book there was too much answering a question without really answering a question. It almost seemed like he was never going to get to the point.
As for the plot. The search for Pandora's Jar and her Temple, it was okay. But as far out as some of the earlier books got, they were grounded for the most part, in reality. This one just seemed more out there. Almost as if it were written for another character.
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on April 1, 2014
I enjoyed this book but wish it had been "fleshed out" a bit more in places. There were a couple of spots that it took a jump and I had to go back and reread a page or two thinking I had missed something. It all came together, and I will definitely read more of this series, but there were some things that were just glossed over and I found my self asking, "How did they get past that?"
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VINE VOICEon January 18, 2013
Returning to the characters that made him famous in the thriller community over 25 years ago, Jon Land delivers his most entertaining book in the last 25 years. It's a return to pure action, adventure, and dialogue. It's a return to fun! Something Land seemed to have left behind when he became more highbrow. This isn't an intellectual thriller by any means, but it's well-written and could have been done by James Rollins or Preston and Child. There's a Carl Hiaasen type of character present, as well as old favorites Sal Belamo and Jonny Wareagle. This book was fun!
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