New England. 1928.
Indiana Jones is back in the next novel by Rob MacGregor, but this one feels a little lackluster and doesn’t come up to snuff for either the film series, the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles or the previous novels.
Indy finds himself travelling from New England to Cortez, Colorado to investigate petroglyphs and rock art while getting pulled in to the hunt for an alicorn – a purported unicorn horn.
Half of the tale seems to see Indy, recurring character Jack Shannon, new friends, Smitty, Mara, and Aguila wandering the arid landscape, and areas surrounding the Anasazi ruins looking for each other.
There are betrayals, crosses, double-crosses, and not enough time talking about the Anasazi, which are an endlessly fascinating mystery. Instead, the landscape of Colorado simply serves as the backdrop for the eeriness surrounding the supposed unicorn horn.
Mara has a history with it, and is working on recovering it, but all of it seems fairly contrived. There aren’t a lot of Indiana Jones moments in this one, and tying it back into the spirit animal theme that MacGregor introduced in his first book. It’s resurfaced a few times, and doesn’t really seem to work in the context of the Indiana Jones universe. At least this one didn’t have the recurring mysterious mystical man.
That being said the Aguila stuff in this one is a little iffy, and doesn’t do any one in the book any services.
The story starts with a bit of a flashback to when Indy was still in Paris, and introduces both the baddie for the book, a nefarious, greedy professor, who is working for someone in Italy, and a romantic interest in the form of Mara.
This one just doesn’t have the oomph that an Indiana Jones adventure should have, and it feels like MacGregor tries to squeeze in too much mysticism and not enough action beats.
It’s sad that this one just doesn’t feel like it works for me. but hey, sooner or later there was going to be one that I didn’t care for. It’s too bad, because the location that most of this one takes place in is so great, and perfectly suited for an Indiana Jones adventure.
The adventures will continue though, when I join up with Indy for another adventure in a few weeks time, when I join him for Indiana Jones and the Interior World.
If adventure has a name, it must be… Indiana Jones.