Saturday, September 29, 2012

Book review: Beautiful Sacrifice by Elizabeth Lowell

This was one book that left me disappointed despite having a real interesting premise and combining factors that I normally enjoy reading about, such as academia and archeology.

This book was written in a way that left me wondering whether the author could not quite make up her mind as to what she wanted to write. Was this book supposed to be a romance novel with historical references to the Mayan culture or a nonfiction book on Mayan culture and archeology? I am not clear and I suppose that the author kept shifting between these two styles as she was writing this book. When I read the description of the book, it really did sound interesting and I was looking forward to getting to know an author that combined romance novels with a historic twist. But I was very disappointed and had a hard time finishing the book. I kept finding myself trying to flip through pages to find a continuous thread in this book and get away from the self-reflective ruminations of the protagonists.
I should state that this was my first book by the author E. Lowell. So if you are fan of her books, you will likely feel more at home with her style and the way in which she incorporates facts and fiction. I was also surprised by the degree of violence in this book. For a non-thriller, the description of violent acts is fairly graphic. Again, for readers familiar with E. Lowell the degree of violence will likely be expected and may be the twist in the romance story that endears the author to them.
The story in brief deals with the romance and adventure of a university professor researching Mayan antiquities, Lina, and an adventurer and former customs enforcement agent, Hunter, who pair up to help out a friend of Hunter’s who needs to clear his name, when accused of stealing antiquities that were recovered in a drug bust. In the course of the story, the protagonists become closer to each other and their romance heats up as they uncover the brutal world of drug smugglers on the southern border. If you want to know the degree of brutality that is touched on in this book, the title gives some of it away. As predictable as the romantic entanglement is from the first chapter of the book, the historic angle is equally translucent and as a reader I quickly lost interest in the story. I managed to get through the whole book, but the book is written in a style of that is reminiscent of telenovelas and soaps with an overload of drama and the attempt to captivate the reader by drawing out the obvious outcome over several episodes / chapters.
While the premise of the book was interesting, the author does not live up to expectations. For a summer beach book when one is trying to kill time while being in the sun, this will do. But it is not the interesting and thrilling read that I expected when I heard of a book mixing Mayan history and archeology with a protagonist who is a university professor. 

available on

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely my own and have not been influenced by or any other third party.

No comments: