It doesn't take long once you begin an Andy McDermott novel before the action starts--and once in motion, as we all remember from science--an object in motion tends to STAY in motion...and in the capable hands of Mr. McDermott, it RARELY lets up...EVER. The only author I can think of that stacks up favorably action-wise is Matthew Reilly--and believe me when I say a Reilly novel packs in more action in 100 pages than you'll find in ALL of Mr. McDermott's books COMBINED...but that's a debate for another review (but its TRUE). Long story short: you'll find a LOT of Indiana Jones-type adventure and action within the pages of anything by Andy McDermott.
Some criticise these books because they follow a 'pattern' or 'formula'...which it DOES, almost to a fault--almost. I am perfectly fine with formulaic novels, really I am. Clive Cussler has followed that plan for 40 years to absolutely amazing success, and he isn't the only author to do so--nor will he be the last. One may wonder why it is that the main characters, Nina and Eddie manage to pretty much ALWAYS be dead-center of some near international incident which in some way or another will (eventually) change events as we know it for almost all citizens of planet earth--but thats what happens, book after entertaining book. Again, if you are put off by novels that utilize formula's, you may wanna give this one a pass...otherwise, sit back and buckle-in for a thrillfest that is nothing if not FUN.
Right off the coast of Indonesia, an amazing discovery is made: evidence of a civilization that pre-dates ANY previous known culture by as much as 100,000 YEARS. Big news indeed. Funny thing about Nina and her discoveries, they seem to almost ALWAYS be known in advance by SOME shadow organization, group or individual--who as part of the 'formula' that continues here, wants to keep the discovery either for themselves or out of the hands of ANYONE else entirely. While I am not a globe-trotting individual, thanks to Andy McDermott, I certainly feel like I am as each of his books takes us to amazing locations. From the hottest desert to the coldest frozen areas of the earth, one thing you cannot say about these novels: they don't sit quietly, nor do they play well with others. I cite as an example the expenditure of ammunition, 'nuff said. While we can to some degree predict what will happen next, we don't necessarily know the full details about what that twist will take (read and you'll understand). Why is it this group wants to keep Nina's incredible discovery not just secret, but erased from existence? Finding out what each 'secret' happens to be is all part of the action-oriented journey we get to undertake alongside Nina & Eddie. The humor exhibited by Eddie--sometimes during extreme firefights--reminds me of Schwarzenegger's short quips during his acting days. Some may be put off by this show of inappropriate humor, but personally I LOVE it...it reminds me of, well, me. NOT that I find myself in even remotely similar situation, but I DO find that I spout out spontaneous comments (not necessarily as funny, though) when many feel they do not exactly fit during the moment. Oh well, my bad.
Sometimes I wonder what else IS there for Nina to discover next time around? I suppose it doesn't matter, because whatever it is, you can expect that I'll have it and read it the day it hits store shelves. While I wouldn't place Andy McDermott in the same echelon of writers as say some who write literature, but I kinda have the feeling that he isn't TRYING to be that kind of author--which I can appreciate and admire. Oprah can tell us forever what books stretch our imagination and enlighten our souls, but guess what? Almost all of that is pure drivel if you ask me. I prefer to be entertained by what I like to refer to as Fine Brain Candy, and were Andy McDermott's novels sold in a candy store, it'd be some of the more expensive available. You may disagree, and many probably will...but as I like to remind people: Opinions Vary. I LIKE these books, and while overall I wouldn't place The Covenant of Genesis as good as Excalibur (my favorite of his--so far) it is most definitely a worthy addition to his growing list of fun, adventure-filled action tales...and yes, I DO plan on reading the next installment...I can hardly wait.