Originally published July 16, 2006 at 21:37.
I'm going to be trying to write less-formal reviews so that I can write MORE reviews, which is really the entire purpose of this exercise in blogging.
So first up for that idea:
The Queen Jade by Yxta Maya Murray.
I have to say that this book has sat on my shelf for AGES without being read. I also have to admit that I skimmed large portions of it.
That said, I think I could recommend it to people with a larger attention span that I had when I read it today. I just wasn't up for such a detailed storyline I guess.
The basic idea is that of an archaeological adventure, and it succeeds very well on that score. The main character, Lola, is searching for her mother. Her mother was searching for The Queen Jade, a legendary artifact with very fascinating history with betrayal, sorcery, mazes, and all that good stuff.
With just enough real history to provide the backdrop, the entire book seems very plausible. I liked the characters, I wanted them to succeed. And the very basics of the story, from the secret locations to the tromping through the jungle, are well done and interesting.
I don't think it'll ever be considered "high literature" but I don't like most of those stories anyway. This is one I'll probably pass on to friends of mine that like their books a little more intelligent than the average modern fiction.