Indy and a couple friends go on a trek into Mongolia to find Dinosaur Eggs after a Nun brings him the horn of what appears to be a living Triceratops on Halloween 1933.
Before going any further, here is your ***OFFICIAL SPOILER WARNING***
If you’ve listened to the Main Show or Book Club, you know my love for this series of novels well.
This entry into the series is par for the course in that I love it as well.
This is the 10th (of the 12 published in the 90’s) I’ve read and, while overall I still vastly prefer the 6 Rob MacGregor novels to any of the 4 that have come after, I have to say this is the one I’ve probably been able to zip through the easiest.
The writing is so strong and engaging that I couldn’t help but read 30-40 pages at a time…which leads me to something worth mentioning that is normally a HUGE complaint for me that I barely noticed in this book.
Including the prologue & epilogue, this 281 page novel has just 12 chapters.
Meaning the average chapter is 23ish pages.
Normally chapters that long are a major turn-off for me and make reading the book an uphill climb, again not the case here.
So Max McCoy gets huge points for that.
The Nun mentioned above turns out to be a Reporter for the Kansas City Star that duped Indy with a Halloween costume into finding her Professor father that went missing looking for further evidence of Dinosaurs.
They find the Prof, after a long journey that included battles with Shanghai gangster and Mongolian tribal warriors, in a monastery that guards/protects a hidden valley untouched by time and evolution, basically a not so literal portal back in time, that recently lost its final living Dino and the 3 eggs it laid.
The whole story is Intricately woven and characters come and go in mostly logical ways.
The mythical references are great as well.
Case in point, Indy saves a 1 eared dog that is chained to a wall (made of rock) from abuse and names him Loki.
Fans of Norse Mythology will remember that Loki was also chained (well, actually tied with his son’s innards, but why quibble) to a rock.
The ending could have come a bit quicker, at one point Indy and his good buddy Granger leave behind the Prof, the Reporter, and the valley where the last of the eggs surviving has just hatched into a Triceratops.
That felt like the end to me…but the book went on for another 30 pages.
The Lieutenant of the vilest of the Tribal crews comes back as Indy and Granger are heading home through the harsh desert giving Loki yet another chance to save them.
It’s not criticism so much as a head scratching cherry on top in that it tied up a sort of dangling thread, but if cut wouldn’t have left you wondering what happened.
The last 2 things I want to mention are Granger and the Pro and Epi louges.
1st comes Granger.
This is a character that, as far as I know, has never shown up or been mentioned in anything Indiana Jones, I even checked the 2 wikis I could find, but he and Indy are such good friends.
Now that stuck out as weird to me as between the Young Indy series, these novels, the comics, and the movies we have seen the vast majority of Indy’s life yet this dude is such a good friend.
I’m sure there are many other characters that could have fit the bill for this one.
Moving onto the Prologue and Epilogue.
Both involve the Nazi scum we all love watching Indy cold cock, but the more interesting thing is that both involve Indy chasing down something mentioned in McCoy’s previous Indiana Jones novel, “The Philosopher’s Stone”, and the Mcguffin of the 4th movie!
McCoy has this great little thread of Indy chasing down a Crystal Skull, man!
It’s slipped through his fingers twice before (as I recall), but the novel ends with him in an old diving suit down in the wreckage of a recently sunken German U-Boat.
The 2nd time the Skull got away from him was because Belloq snatched it away for the Nazis who eventually screw him over.
So when the ship sinks, Belloq gives Jones the coordinates in what Indy believes is a little stab of revenge.
Fun stuff, gang.
So, all in all, I loved it!
There is so much more in here that I barely scratched the surface on, so it is well worth checking out on your own.
I highly recommend everybody that loves this franchise pick up all of these novels and enjoy the great pulpy adventures within.
And if more folks get them it could encourage Del Rey or whomever has the license these days to do more, which is something I desperately want!