Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Oracle's Message by Alex Archer (Rogue Angel # 32)

*Genre* Science Fiction
*Rating* 3 1/2

In the Thirty-second release of the Rogue Angel series featuring archeologist Annya Creed, we find our heroine taking a much needed vacation from her duties as host of Chasing History's Monsters. She, naturally, returns to the Philippines where she previously had nothing but troubles and nearly died at the hands of a terrorist group.

This time around Annya runs into German divers lead by the 80 year old Joachim Spier who is looking for the Pearl of Palawan. The pearl is said to be a solid black pearl whose origins are a mystery. They may, or may not have come from the Moros Empire. It is also said that they who possess the pearl have at their disposal an object that can grant the owner incredible vitality and powers. Just the thing all megalomaniacs like Garin Braden would love to get his hands on.

Roux makes his presence known throughout this book, including some of the best quotes of the book clearly aimed at Annya and her disbelief of all things supernatural.

Anna gasped and looked at Roux. “That’s impossible.”
“See?” Roux shook his head. “Honestly, Annya, I don’t know why I bother with you sometimes. After everything you’ve seen in connection to the sword and after all the experiences you’ve had, you still cling to the ridiculous notions that the world is as the world seems to be.”
– page 102

"Stop using sex as a weapon, Annya,” Roux said.
Annya looked at him and broke into a grin. “What did you say?”
Roux waved his hand in the air, “Oh, nothing, I heard a song the other day and I’ve been dying to say it ever since.”
– page 220

Vic, the former Marine Corps sniper who Annya once worked with, now works for an unnamed secret organization. He makes his return to the series in a small role when it appears that a bomb, carried by Spier, is heading for the US and is targeting both the US president, and German chancellor on Martha’s Vineyard. It's nice to see Vic back as both he and Annya work well together.

George, the Hacker friend of Annya's, makes an appearance for the same reason as Vic. He also works for one of those 3 letter organization in DC and is a source of tremendous amounts of information. George has a mad crush on Annya. The only thing he has ever asked for from Annya in return for all his help, is one simple dinner that he pays for. Such a nice and simple guy.

The writer of this book is obviously the same one who wrote about Annya’s previous adventures in the Philippines, which is why he/she brought Vic back. It’s actually nice to see a reoccurring character other than Roux and Garin for a change.

Garin doesn’t appear in the book nor does he walk off with the Pearl. He has a tendency of showing up in the nick of time and then walking off with the artifact while Annya goes home empty handed.

While I continue to read this series, and wonder when it will end, I do have some issues with the whole idea of fighting underwater with a sword against knives and spear guns and the fact that the sword actually heals Annya from radiation poisoning. I also continue to dwell on the fact that Annya has had Joan of Arc's sword for several years now, and yet she continues to belittle the thought that not everything is as it should be. How can she be a non-believer after 32 books?

Roux definitely brings up some valid points in that Annya is really Joan of Arc reincarnated. That, would make a lot of sense. He also believes that if the sword ever leaves Annya's possession, it would most likely break into a thousand pieces and it would take centuries for someone else to come along and hold the sword.

One can only hope that one day the writers of this series will realize that they need to find a way to either end this series with dignity for Annya, or make her aware of how stupid she sounds she questions everything she sees around her.

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