17 October 2012

Book Review: The Hunt for Atlantis by Andy McDermott

Title: The Hunt for Atlantis Author(s): Andy McDermott
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Historical Fiction
Publisher/Date: Headline Hardbacks / June 12, 2008
Series: Nina Wilde & Eddie Chase (Book #1)

“Adventure stories don't get much more epic than this” – Mirror

Case Study
Archaeologist Nina Wilde has a theory, a theory that could finally prove the existence of the legendary city, Atlantis. But that’s not all—if Nina’s theory is right, she will be able to pinpoint the city’s actual location. Here’s the catch—somebody knows about Atlantis, a certain brotherhood that doesn’t want its location to ever be found. With the help of an ex-SAS bodyguard and a billionaire heiress, Nina and her team set out on an action-packed roller-coaster ride to find the lost city. It’s a race around the world and against time as they fight for their lives and for eachother. From the streets of New York to jungles of Brasil to the mountains of Tibet, the hunt for Atlantis leads them to an 11,000 year old secret that could destroy all of mankind as they know it. Professional pride is on the line but so are their lives. Who lives? Who dies? And moreover, who can be trusted? 

The Game's Afoot
Andy McDermott is one of those authors that I go to time and time again and The Hunt for Atlantis is one of my favourite books. I’ve read it, like, a lot. So much so that my paperback copy runs the risk of disintegrating at any moment. It’s that good. Now let me preface my review by saying, this isn’t one of those books with a lot of deep, philosophical musings. This wasn’t crafted by an otherworldly literary prowess. No. It won’t be on high school reading lists anytime soon, that I can promise you. The Hunt for Atlantis is without a doubt, none of those things. What it is, though, is an explosive, in-your-face adventure novel. It’s what I like to refer to as “awesomely bad.” As in, it’s so bad it’s amazing. I tend to save this classification for those special books/movies that don’t tend to take themselves too seriously. You know the ones—they won’t be winning the Oscar or Pulitzer anytime soon. They sit back, relax and suddenly punch-you-in-the-face with how amazingly, unexpectedly great they are. Yeah. They’re my favourite kind. So if you can get down with that type of reading then grab a brewski and pound it hard and quick because we're going for quite a ride! 

What I love most about McDermott’s writing style is that it’s high impact and cinematic. When I read his stories I can picture the scenes exactly as if I were watching them on the big screen. I can safely compare it to one of those big-budget summer blockbuster hits, like Transformers, only not sucky. The Hunt for Atlantis is a fast-paced thrill ride with non-stop exploits and insurmountable intrigue. McDermott does a great job of contrasting the action against the mystery behind the search for Atlantis. He’s woven enough historical fact into the narrative to provide wonder without letting the story become a dull history lesson, though it is important to note, his main focus is on the adventurous parts. If I had to put a classification to it, it would be something like Indiana Jones meets director, John McTiernan. And yes, while some of the more gratuitous action is a tad unbelievable (i.e.- a motorcycle driving out of the back of an airplane), the book’s quick pacing makes it easy to overlook the cheese-factor. I find it hard to be too critical so long as you pick it up and know exactly what’s in store for you. 

And then there are the characters. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a kick-ass heroine but that’s not Nina Wilde. Don’t worry! I’m okay with this. Sometimes I want to see a normal archaeologist who doesn’t know how to wield a whip for a change. Sometimes there’s a need for a damsel in distress. It happens. It’s perfect because this is where my favourite character, ex-SAS bodyguard Edward Chase comes in. Oh god, I love me some Eddie. He’s bullish, he’s tough, he’s crude and he’s English. That’s my kinda man. I’d cast a very strapping Jason Statham to play Chase. The man delivers god-awful puns (are there any better kind?) for god’s sake! He’s sooooo amazing. And the tension between him and Nina is so palpable it had me stopping to fan myself like a dainty Southern belle in heat. Oh, let’s be honest here. That’s exactly what I was sans the adorable Southern drawl. Eddie Chase melts me into a tingly puddle of not-so-ladylike-thoughts all the time and I just love him. And Nina too. Oh, buggeration and fuckery. Hugs all around! 

I could seriously go on and on about how crazy this book is but I’ll spare you all and sum it up in a few words: The action. Nonstop. The characters. Amazeballs. The story. Gut-punching. In short, this is like the Die Hard of the book world—utterly ridiculous but explosively fun! End scene. 

Summary Prognosis
While The Hunt for Atlantis isn’t scholarly writing by any means, it’s got enough energy to overlook that fact. If you want a quick read that’s full of action, adventure and unbelievably cinematic scenes, I guarantee you; this is the right book for you. It’s a gut-busting-explosive-moments kind of story and I totally dig that shit. 

Rating: ★★★★★

Read It: AmazonBarnes & Noble | Audible 
Discuss It:  GoodreadsAuthor's Website  


  1. Honestly, this sounds like it would be a lot of fun to read! Sometimes, it's just good to kick back with a good, high-paced adventure. Plus, it's Atlantis!

  2. The Hunt for Atlantis sounds like a must read. I love those kinds of books/movies that are so bad that they are GREAT. Eddie Chase sounds like quite the hottie. Sometiems I'm definitely in the mood for these type of high action, wild stories.
    Great review!

  3. Thanks ladies! This book was a blast to read and I think you'll really enjoy it so long as you don't take it very seriously. If you want something lighter and fast-paced, it's perfect. Not to mention, there is some SERIOUS tension between Nina and Eddie which gets my heart racing. I just can't get enough!


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