I remember, back in the day, being rather excited that they were making a movie based on the Tomb Raider games. I had never played them, but knew the basics: good-looking treasure hunter running around exploring tombs and shooting things. I figured it was going to be Indiana Jones with a dame. Of course, about half-way through the movie I realized how wrong I was. It was awful. Weird time-travel shit and Jon Voight’s ghost. Angelina Jolie and her twin pistols (oh grow up…you know what I mean!) notwithstanding, Tomb Raider was two hours of my life I would honestly like back.
That brings me to Rogue Angel–a new series of action/adventure books starring archaeologist Annja Creed. These books, written by Alex Archer (a pseudonym for a couple of blokes), follow Annja’s adventures as she travels the globe, hunting for priceless (and potentially dangerous) artifacts. To amp up the weird, Annja also happens to have become the heir of Joan of Arc’s sword–a mysterious weapon which only she can wield. Along with the sword, Annja inherits Joan’s mentor, a 500 year old cad named Roux (and Roux’s equally long-lived nemesis/apprentice, Braden).
With the exception of the first book, Destiny (which tells the story of how Annja gets Joan’s sword), the other books are all stand-alone adventures, ranging from China to New Mexico to Africa. I’ll be the first one to admit that they’re formulaic (which explains how they can publish 2 or 3 books a year): a mysterious treasure or artifact is discovered, Annja somehow gets roped into finding the dingus, a nefarious third party wants the dingus, Annja has to face an army of heavily-armed goons to protect the dingus. Formulaic? Sure. Fun? Hell yeah! I can’t remember the last time I’ve read anything with this many car chases, helicopter chases, or speedboat chases, not to mention this many AK-47s, M16s, and M9s.
Pure, unadulterated fun. ‘Nuff said.