Monday, 16 January 2017

Review: The Smoke Hunter

The Smoke Hunter
Rating: 4/5 
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

London, 1898. Archivist Eleanora Mallory discovers a map to a legendary city . But is it the key to unravelling an ancient mystery or a clever hoax?

Compelled to find out, Ellie journeys to Central America - with a merciless enemy hot on her heels.

In a race to uncover the map's secret first, Ellie is forced to partner with maverick archaeologist Adam Bates, a man she's not sure she can trust. Together, they venture into an uncharted wilderness alive with smoke and shadows, where an even greater danger awaits them.

For what lies there whispering to be unearthed has the power to bring the world to its knees. 

Okay, I jumped at the chance to review this because, history nerd that I am, it sounded right up my street! But I had no idea exactly how up my street it was! The opening is intriguing, pulling you in to the world and the mystery. I found this book incredibly hard to put down and stayed up to a ridiculous time reading half of this in one go! I got completely lost in the book, and I was disappointed to finish it! I'm really hoping that the author will write more books with these characters! 

I loved Ellie, I completely rooted for her. She's educated, and she's living in a man's world where woman aren't expected to do more than marry and sit at home. She was bold, courageous and had so much determination it was inspiring. I LOVED that she didn't wait for Adam to come to the rescue but went about rescuing herself. She was such a brilliant MC. While I understand her prickliness to Adam on certain subjects, because she's fought to get where she is, and fought for everything against prejudice, but it did reach a point where it was like, "okay enough" Adam wasn't exactly like every other man of the time, he had no problem with Ellie being educated. Plus the lying thing went a bit out of proportion to drag the angst out. It was a smidge cheesy at times, but I don't have a problem with that, because sometimes it's just what you need! 

Adam was such a brilliant hero. He was badass, but also kind of a little bit adorable. He was well aware that Ellie was just as educated and intelligent as he was, and he always tried to put himself between Ellie and danger. He's quite a sweet adventurer, and he was a lot of fun to read about! I also really liked the character of Constance, who's only response to Ellie saying she stole the map was "Oh fantastic" I'm SO hoping for a book about Constance, who's last seen heading off for Egypt (You know I love Egypt you guys!) or Constance featuring more in more adventures of Ellie and Adam! Not to mention Neil, Ellie's cousin who is mentioned quite a few times! Seriously, the end has left a thread dangling for another book or two, and I'm really hoping the author will give us some more adventures! 

I loved Ellie and Adam, the romance between the two of them brought the warm and fuzzies and I was rooting for them the entire time. I mean at the end I wanted to knock their heads together because it was SO obvious they liked each other but still. I liked how authentic the book was, and as a nod to the time, our two MC's did nothing more than make out. I liked getting different POV's we mostly got Ellies, but I loved getting Adam's as it gave us more insight in to him and you got to know him better. I really enjoyed the Central American settings, it was vivid and colourful and really created a vibe to the book. The mythology and the history where fascinating and I'd love to know how much of it was real and how much was twisted! My ARC copy had nothing more than the story, so I'm hoping the finished copy has an authors note! I just really enjoyed all of the history to the book, it awakened my imagination and also added a nice creepy vibe to the adventure! 

Now I have to say it, because it really was glaring me right in the face! You guys know how much I love The Mummy movie with Brendan Fraser? Like I watched it so many times when I was younger that I can quote it like it's my job. I still completely love the movie, and I watch it whenever it's on TV and after a relative died, I went through a phase of watching both movies on a loop because they cheered me up. The point is, I know those two movies. I really, really couldn't help but notice how similar this was to The Mummy. There where so many Mummy vibes. The boat, being pushed in to the water, the ending was similar to the second movie, and there where so many other things. Evie and Adam's romance was by no means exactly the same, but the general vibe of it, the bickering and everything, was similar. Ellie and Adam where like Evie and Rick, but instead of Egypt and Mummies, we had Central America and El Dorado! Asif I couldn't love the book anymore! That pretty much sealed it, I was loving it! 

The Smoke Hunter is a fantastic blend of history, action, adventure, romance and a quest with a supernatural twist. I was genuinely completely hooked and it had me laughing more than once. The characters where memorable and where ones you could root for, and the setting was vibrant and authentic. Not to mention the already mentioned and gushed about history and mythology! It was a lovely blend of things and such a fantastic debut from the author! Who I will beg again and again for more adventures with Ellie and Adam, and Constance and Neil! I could totally see Constance and Neil as a thing, just saying! 

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