Byzantine Gold by Chris Karlsen (review & chance for GC & ebook)
Review, Chance to win a GC – a Goddess Fish Tour
A sunken warship from the Byzantine Era carrying an unusual cargo of gold has been found off the coast of Northern Cyprus. News of the valuable cache has attracted the attention of a terrorist cell. They plan to attack the recovery team’s campsite and steal the artifacts. On the Black Market, the sale of the relics will buy them additional weapons.
Charlotte Dashiell, an American archaeologist, and her lover, Atakan Vadim, a Turkish government agent, are scheduled to be part of the recovery team that brings up the artifacts. While en route to Cyprus, they find themselves caught in the crosshairs of Maksym Tischenko, a Ukrainian contract killer bent on revenge. Charlotte, Atakan and Tischenko share a grim history. As a result, Tischenko is a man who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal—seeing them both dead.
I had a hard time trying to write the review for this book mainly because I really try to pick tours with books I will more than likely enjoy and can give a more or less positive review. I just cannot give it a high rating, and I hate to do this to a tour book but I cannot candy coat this without being dishonest about how lacking this book was for me. The story seemed like it could not decide what it was about at all. Was it a love story? A story about an archaeology dig/dive.. a terrorist group? A throwback to the sexist writings of the James Bond era? I have NO CLUE! It was all over the place and jerked me back and forth between a the two, wait three.. wait … many different story lines going on and at the very least three specific ones.
The couple, who had come together during the previous book Golden Chariot continue their growing relationship. Charlotte; our nautical archaeologist and the female protagonist, and Atkan, a Turkish government agent, continue their romance and move on to a new dive site to excavate. But before they can, the antagonist from the previous book; Maksym Tischenko, a Ukrainian contract killer, reappears and, as the description states, is bent on revenge. Oh and to make it messier we have an apparent terrorist group decide to target the treasure Charlotte and her team are bringing to the surface during their dive. The stereo-types are thick and even with the bad guys I flinched at the extremely negative caricatures, especially the terrorist group members.
I hate being negative, and I do not want to be at all but I really was taken back by the errors and lack of direction. I kept being drug into something that showed promise only to be yanked right back out and thrust into another scene. It was jarring to read. A relatively short book which should have taken me a few hours to finish took me over 10 days to go through because of this. There was no segues, no sense of movement from one scene to the next. I had to double back and re-read many times to make sure I knew who I was reading about.
The sex scenes were numerous to the point of being gratuitous. However, this being said, these were very well written. I would say this was the best part of the book, the actual relationship between Charlotte and Atakan. The character development is pretty good also. I guess after reading reviews on this I expected so much more. I expected it to be the “Dan Brown underwater”. Though we do not want to get me started on Brown’s writing it still led me to believe it was going to be a good read.
If you are looking for scientific procedural style writing, much like James Rollins you will really be disappointed. This was also presented as a standalone, and perhaps if I had read and enjoyed the first one I would have gotten more out of this one. I respect many of the reviewers I read and am wondering if we read the same book! I would like to say perhaps my review copy was not the final copy edited version, which if this is the case I strongly urge someone to correct this. I fear, however this is the not the case. Perhaps there are folks that would like this, for me? This was not the book I set out to read after reading the description Oh and the Byzantine Gold? Ummmm no clue, because THIS was NEVER addressed! So many threads were started and never followed through. In the end the book raced to finish and wrap up and in doing so most of the stories seemed cut off. I won’t be reading the first one or reading any of the others. I am not rating this at this time because of the tour. The author has another series that are not my cup of tea genre wise but are the ones she is well known for.
I was provided a copy of this to read for a fair and honest review. I hope you can understand I did my best to do so.
Chris is a retired police detective. She spent twenty-five years in the law enforcement with two different agencies.
The daughter of a history professor and a voracious reader, she grew up with a love for history and books.
She has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and Northern Africa satisfying her passion for seeing the places she read about.
A Chicago native, Chris has lived in Paris, Los Angeles, and now resides with her husband, and five rescue dogs in the Pacific Northwest.
Chris will award one randomly drawn commenter at every stop an ebook copy of Golden Chariot, and one randomly drawn commenter will be awarded a $50 Amazon gift card during the tour.