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    Review of ROGUE ANGEL: SOLOMON'S JAR by Alex Archer (see his Blog)

    GOLD EAGLE, September 2006

    It isn't easy for Annja Creed to come to terms with her strange new role. Somehow, for some reason, she's been selected as "champion of good," and equiped with the reconstructed sword of Joan of Arc herself. When Annja learns that a mysterious jar has been found, reputed to be the very jar in which King Solomon long-ago sealed dozens of demons, both her archeological background and her new role as champion compell her to investigate.

    What she finds is frightening. A trail of death an murder seems to follow the mysterious jar. The fishermen who originally found the jar have been slaughtered. At a curio shop reported to be the next location of the jar, Annja finds not only death--but danger. A group of Russian Mafiya is also intent on finding the rumored jar--and isn't reluctant to use their weapons when they think Annja and a mysterious English archeologist who turns up at the same time might be hiding something from them.

    Annja's search for Solomon's Jar takes her from New York, to Amsterdam, England, to Israel, to the Amazon basin--and she continually runs into the archeologist, the Mafiya, a mysterious group of Englishmen who are intent on reversing civilization and returning the Earth to its 'natural state' and to a Kabalist who has his own plans for the magic of the jar. Each of these groups have two things in common--they want the jar, and they don't care if Annja gets hurt in the process.

    Annja gets plenty of opportunities to practice her martial arts moves, her sword techniques, and heroic anchor-throwing as she tries to stay alive while minimizing the carnage her actions leave (the champion of the good can't be indifferent to the people she kills). Gradually, she comes to realize that the Solomon's demons are horribly real--and have their own agendas.

    ROGUE ANGEL: SOLOMON'S JAR is an exciting thriller. I found the action sequences especially well done--clearly author Alex Archer (see more reviews of novels by Archer) knows what he's talking about here. More so than the first book in the series, however, I found that SOLOMON'S JAR was occasionally slowed down by long narrative moments--as Annja worried about morality and what she was becoming. While such thoughts are clearly critical to the development of the character, I think they could have been better managed as a part of the action. Still, Archer starts the story with an action-filled scene and doesn't let up the pace throughout the book as Annja pinballs from danger to danger, from moral crisis to moral crisis. Good stuff.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 8/30/06

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