Friday, August 12, 2011
Addison Black and the Eye of Bastet by M.J. Walker
Publisher: Blue Feather Books
In Addison Black and the Eye of Bastet MJ Walker has returned to the characters she introduced in an earlier book, Black's Magic. Super agent Addison is now joined in British MI5 Special Ops by her lover Dr. Skyler Tidwell, who has been trained to be an "eyes and ears" or the brains to Addison's brawn and ingenuity. Their first assignment has them investigating the murders of archaeologists in Egypt, breaking into ancient tombs and pursuing the killers to the tropical jungles of Sierra Leone. Along the way, what was supposed to be a recovery mission for ancient artifacts turns into a desperate attempt to save the world from a megalomaniac bent on using artificial intelligence and computers to achieve total domination. If the women can't stop him, failure could cost a lot more than their lives.
Addison Black fits right in with current stories about super agents and dangerous women. Combine James Bond and Emma Peel, throw in a dash of McGuyver and a touch of Rambo, put it in a Xena-like body and you have the feminine hero for every adventure lover. Skyler Tidwell provides a perfect counterbalance, supplying unbelievable bits of information from out of her head to solve problems and appearing to be the quieter member of the partnership until something ignites her fuse.
The story is engaging from the beginning and doesn't let up until the end. Crisis builds on top of crisis and the adventure mounts, keeping the pages turning. Black's motto should be, "Things may be hopeless, but there's always a way out." For the technology lovers, there are all kinds of handy little gadgets that look nothing like what they really do, but make Addison and Skyler a force to deal with. As in the movies, the characters are painted with a broad brush. The evil guys are really evil and the good guys are really good. Reading this book is similar to watching one of those movies and just as much fun. If there is any danger in the book, it's that the characters and story are too stereotypical, but fans of the genre will say that's ridiculous and they're probably right.
For pure escapist fun it would be difficult to top Addison Black and the Eye of Bastet.