Tuesday, November 27, 2007

book review: The Anasazi Series

Anasazi Series

I did the silliest of things with this series of books. Somewhere inside my fading brain I told myself that these three books were not a series but just happened to be set in similar times. I was half way between book three before I realised that there was obviously something to be read before embarking on this one. Do not take this as a statement on the quality of the stories. Do take this as my ability to be amazingly thick and completely stubborn. Having made that realisation, I then finished book three and went on to book two... have I mention thick-headedness yet?
Now that I have finished all three books [and have read the last book twice] I feel qualified to offer up my opinion to anyone interested in hearing it – one of my favourite things to do.
I loved all three books! Yes, there were a few things that stuck out, but I was prepared to lay them aside in favour of a good storyline and great characters. I do this a lot. For instance, I will watch anything that Brad Pitt’s in whether the movie is good or not [though Troy was hard to stomach at times, but hey, Brad took his shirt off so I was there!]. This probably doesn’t say a lot for me so I’ll get back to the Anasazi series.
I desperately want to go back to New Mexico now and I lay the blame for my increased wanderlust directly at the authors’ feet. The descriptions of past and present New Mexico are real, earthy, and mysterious. The archaeological scenes were interesting and did not go into info-dump land and the relationships – between characters, people and location, modern and past were all in-depth and very well-crafted. The unravelling complexity of the situations were mirrored and connected in such fine detail that they carry the reader through from start to finish. Minor characters have sufficient depth to carry their own weight in the story and the protagonists are sufficiently evil and twisted, and given enough thought that they do not come across as being entirely evil. After all, what appears as evil to one culture may be wisdom to another.
Storylines are also connected from one book to another with the occurrences in book one being the “backstory” for the final conflict in book three. Romantic tension between main characters comes to a satisfactory and not clichéd ending.
So, the things that stuck out – the characters from the past sounded too modern at times. I’m willing to believe that people from ancient times knew more about many things than modern humans often give them credit for. In most cases, with this story, the language allows for modern-seeming medical processes, assumptions and responses. Occasionally, however, it doesn’t and these instances, I at least, find jarring. But the story was too good to let those moments stop me from reading – don’t let them stop you either.
You can find out all about Kathleen and Michael Gear at their website and I encourage you to read their biographies and browse through their list of books. I’m sure that these two authors are as interesting as any characters they’ve dreamed up.

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