Friday, May 31, 2013

Archeology, Philosophy, Mystery, and the Atlantis Myth

Nicholas Pedrosa leaps at the chance to join an archaeological dig on Santorini although he is only marginally qualified for the position. It appears to be the experience of a life time, but when he arrives things are more complex than he envisioned. His first encounter on the island with his new colleagues is at the funeral of his predecessor, Benja. His death appears to be an accident, but was it?

Nicholas is both drawn to and repelled by his boss, Marcus Huxley. He can't figure out who Huxley is and why he selected him as a replacement for Benja before Benja died. The archaeological dig is going slowly. There is opposition from outside archaeological sources, the military government and the local people. The workers have a love hate relationship with the dig. They want the work, but fear uncovering the lost city.

Nicholas can't escape the parallels between the lost island of Atlantis and the city they are uncovering, but is it only his imagination? Huxley won't give him a straight answer and his distrust grows daily.

This is an engaging book although the plot seems rather fragmented. We start the book thinking we're dealing with a murder mystery, then the book veers toward the growing distrust between Nicholas and Huxley and the way the other staff members seem mesmerized him. Finally the book makes a third turn and we're drawn further into the Atlantis myth.

Unless you enjoy philosophy and character exploration, you may find this one tough going. I enjoyed the discussions of the Atlantis myth and found the ending fascinating. However, the middle of the book was mired in the deteriorating relationship between Nicholas and Huxley. It takes some perseverance to get though it. However, the ending is fascinating and does pull together the themes of the book.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.