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High in the Andes, Dr. Henry Conklin discovers a 500-year-old mummy that should not be there. While deep in the South American jungle, Conklin's nephew, Sam, stumbles upon a remarkable site nestled between two towering peaks, a place hidden from human eyes for thousands of years. Ingenious traps have been laid to ensnare the careless and unsuspecting, and wealth beyond ima High in the Andes, Dr. Henry Conklin discovers a 500-year-old mummy that should not be there. While deep in the South American jungle, Conklin's nephew, Sam, stumbles upon a remarkable site nestled between two towering peaks, a place hidden from human eyes for thousands of years. Ingenious traps have been laid to ensnare the careless and unsuspecting, and wealth beyond imagining could be the reward for those with the courage to face the terrible unknown. But where the perilous journey inward ends--in the cold, shrouded heart of a breath taking necropolis--something else is waiting for Sam Conklin and his exploratory party. A thing created by Man, yet not humanly possible. Something wondrous . . . something terrifying.


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High in the Andes, Dr. Henry Conklin discovers a 500-year-old mummy that should not be there. While deep in the South American jungle, Conklin's nephew, Sam, stumbles upon a remarkable site nestled between two towering peaks, a place hidden from human eyes for thousands of years. Ingenious traps have been laid to ensnare the careless and unsuspecting, and wealth beyond ima High in the Andes, Dr. Henry Conklin discovers a 500-year-old mummy that should not be there. While deep in the South American jungle, Conklin's nephew, Sam, stumbles upon a remarkable site nestled between two towering peaks, a place hidden from human eyes for thousands of years. Ingenious traps have been laid to ensnare the careless and unsuspecting, and wealth beyond imagining could be the reward for those with the courage to face the terrible unknown. But where the perilous journey inward ends--in the cold, shrouded heart of a breath taking necropolis--something else is waiting for Sam Conklin and his exploratory party. A thing created by Man, yet not humanly possible. Something wondrous . . . something terrifying.

30 review for Excavation

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shariful Sadaf

    Review Book:- Excavation Author:- James Rollins This book surprised me. I thought it would be a little 'fluff' read- i love history, archaeology, and ancient civilizations so this sounded like it would be a good palate cleanser. It was much better than i thought it would be! I mean the writing is a little redundant, at times too descriptive and others not descriptive enough. A few times i absolutely could not see what the author was trying to describe. But i loved the variying points of view. I Review Book:- Excavation Author:- James Rollins This book surprised me. I thought it would be a little 'fluff' read- i love history, archaeology, and ancient civilizations so this sounded like it would be a good palate cleanser. It was much better than i thought it would be! I mean the writing is a little redundant, at times too descriptive and others not descriptive enough. A few times i absolutely could not see what the author was trying to describe. But i loved the variying points of view. I loved the cliffhangerd, twists, and surprises. The book deals with an excavation in the Andes where a 500 year old mummified Spanish Inquisitor is found. He wears a gold cross etched with a warning and while on the examination table, his head explodes and some gold substance erupts out of it. This gold substance, which the scientists later coin "Substance Z" becomes the basis of the whole adventure. This is also where the fantastic comes into play. You see, a ruthless sector of the Catholic Church is after this stuff for their greater purpose, which is outlined in the book. Meanwhile, our scientist heroes are working their way through the ugly depths of an underground passage way and they stumble across an actual living breathing Inca tribe. And as is typical of a Rollins book- all hell breaks loose. The characters are basically likable. Henry and Joan are the ones dealing with the vicious priests while Henry's nephew Sam and his Irish love interest Maggie are dealing with the passage way and the Inca tribe. Very good fantastic adventure. This is an early James Rollins book and i have read all of his books. But it shows that even during his early writing career he had a knack telling a good action adventure story while throwing in a fantastic theme. I recommend this one but still prefer his Sigma Force books. Personal Rating:- 4.50/5 © Shariful Sadaf

  2. 5 out of 5

    Parvathy

    This is the first James Rollins book I have read and I can safely say that after this venture there are going to be more James Rollins books in my future. Never before had I experimented with a book like this which felt like watching a full length Indiana Jones movie. Kingdom of skulls was the first Indiana Jones movie I have watched and this book does go around a similar setting. The book opens with a Dominican priest almost 500 years in the past on the run form a group of Inca warriors and his This is the first James Rollins book I have read and I can safely say that after this venture there are going to be more James Rollins books in my future. Never before had I experimented with a book like this which felt like watching a full length Indiana Jones movie. Kingdom of skulls was the first Indiana Jones movie I have watched and this book does go around a similar setting. The book opens with a Dominican priest almost 500 years in the past on the run form a group of Inca warriors and his attempt to sent a message to the world about an unknown evil. Fast forward to the present where a group of archaeologists stumble upon a lost city of the Incas along with the mummified remains of what they believe to be an Inca warrior. From there on the story takes place in two continents where the pieces of the same puzzle are trying to be solved by two groups. One includes the veteran archeologist Prof Henry who is baffled by the discovery of an unknown gold like substance preserved within the uncovered mummy and it strange properties. The second group is headed by Henry's nephew Sam and deals with their startling discovery of a yet unexplored room with in the folds of the lost mountain city and the secrets beyond it. But in stories like this things seldom go as planned and certain unforeseen circumstances take Sam and his team through a race for survival which in turn takes them through the heart of the lost city and the mystery surrounding these ancient people. Meanwhile Henry has his own run in with a Dominican priest sect whose existence and the secret they guard could prove deadly. Extremely imaginative and immensely exhilarating this book is an action packed fun package that will leave you wanting more. Added to that this book is highly informative. This book is one of those rare books that manage to thrill you and teach you at the same time. It provides valuable insights into the Inca's and there customs while taking us through life threatening situations and there where quite a few such situations in this book. Altogether this is a good read and should be given a chance.

  3. 4 out of 5

    The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Excavation What about the action? Well, there was more going on than at a three ringed flea circus at the Westminster Dog show! And of course I can’t talk about them because it would spoil the fun. Yes, I heave a heavy sigh because there’s so much to talk about. In truth, as much as I liked this, and I liked it a lot, I found the action less exciting than some of the other Rollin’s reads. Don’t misunderstand me, I liked what was in the book, but compared Ice hunt, or Amazonia, it seemed more susp Excavation What about the action? Well, there was more going on than at a three ringed flea circus at the Westminster Dog show! And of course I can’t talk about them because it would spoil the fun. Yes, I heave a heavy sigh because there’s so much to talk about. In truth, as much as I liked this, and I liked it a lot, I found the action less exciting than some of the other Rollin’s reads. Don’t misunderstand me, I liked what was in the book, but compared Ice hunt, or Amazonia, it seemed more suspense to build tension, rather than intense action for the first half of the book. As all Rollins books seem to do, the intensity and action from the middle to the end, with a large action sequence coming up about the 80% mark and rolling to the end in typical Rollin’s fashion. Perhaps the difference here is that Rollins relied more on the suspense of what was happening with Henry and Joan, and the mystery behind the native temple. The situation with Henry and Joan was fine, but more of a mystery suspense leg and at the point where Rollins is usually working the clutch and shifting up, he brought in the secret tribe took them in and the action that had gotten going in the lower city/temple, inside the caves, bleed away back into mystery, adventure and suspense. I’m not saying it was bad. I actually enjoy the mysteries behind Rollins’s stories. I’m just saying that that where other Rollin’s books shift quickly through the gears to overdrive then run till the engine redlines and blows up, this one seemed to have a governor on the engine so it couldn’t get past the max. Sometimes I get the feeling that Rollins books get too revved up, to the point that it’s hard to remember or follow the mystery as it unravels. That wasn’t a problem in this one. I also think Rollins needs to redefine for us what he believes a “nanobot” is. This isn’t the first time I’ve read about some sort of micro-bot-like organism. I believe he includes a lot of different things and the term “nanobot” refers more to the micro-unit’s function, however (view spoiler)[, at the end of this one we find out that maybe these are the “Nano-bots” like those that came out in the series X-Files (of course they have been in science fiction books for a long time). (hide spoiler)] I also found myself going “and then…” as the ancient history mystery unfolded. I’m not sure what I was looking for, because what came out was exciting and fun. Strangely I found the Monks more interesting than the ancient Indians. We never seemed to get their story. I didn’t get the feeling that we ever got the bottom of the monk stories (Yes, I know there’s more to them than monks but I’m spoiler avoiding). (view spoiler)[ I also thought the monks were too easily dispatched at the end of the story. I mean, Maggie the Leprechan says, “Oh, you may like this drippin’ gold goopy stuff, but you’re missin’ the huge pot’ o’gold down on the other side of these feckin’ meat eatin’ cana’bo-listic, freak’s o’ nature!” Really? That’s all you had to do? Who is the leadership here, Larry, Curly, and Moe? … I mean these guys understand quantum physics, intricate molecular structure, energy fields, torture and actually “get” the nature of the “feckin Gold goop!”. Yet, they fall for the “Look over there, a pot o’gold” Dive back into the cave and roll to the right, Ploy? (hide spoiler)] Characters Start with the good. I loved Joan. It’s not often someone writes in a hot older lady who has enough confidence to seduce a Monk. She reminded me of the Queen classic song “Killer Queen”. She had the old boys fussing and posturing over here from the first day, knew which one she wanted, and still got one of the monks to forget the inquisition and contemplate his commitment to celibacy for a long enough moment she could pocket the stuff needed to escape. She did all her own stunts, used her brain and saved herself, no thank’s to Henry who got her into this. Henry? What a duefus when it comes to dating? I mean, come on Hank, it’s not like you’ve never gotten to first base with Joan, right? Other than that, he seemed abit like “instant crazy scientist uncle, break glass and add water.” Sam- can you say Freddy from Scooby-Doo with a Stetson? When it came to girls, I could tell he was related to Henry. I mean, how many times did he blow his chance at smooch? (This is Rollins, he might get more than that, but, not till the adventure’s over. What Rollins book ever takes more than couple of days of story time from start to finish? The Hero rarely gets more than a peck on the cheek and a doughnut. But we can only assume what happens after the epilogue, right?) Norman—Shaggy from the Scooby gang. Okay, I liked Norman. He had a sense of humor that was funny and never went to far or got on my nerves like Ralph's. I happened to like the way the relationship between Norman and Ralph worked for me. Sure, there it was a little cliché’ but, who the hell cares? I even liked the end…if you think about it, Ralph did the only thing he could do, given his religious beliefs about Norman’s life style, if one of them hat to sacrifice himself, it was Ralph, because, as Ralph would probably believe, Norman would go to hell, so he sacrificed himself…okay, maybe that’s reaching a bit, but it worked for me. Norman was also a hoot. I liked his sense of humor and I like that Rollins was content to let Norman be the comic relief and didn't let the other characters pile on the funny train. (Norman should have been on “The Big Bang Theory,” except he’d be the only one without Asperger’s Syndrome.) Maggie… aheeeaaah… yeah. (Danger Prone Daphne from Scooby) Where to feckin’ begin. This is one of the few characters I think Rollins just got wrong. He’s had some that I’ve had to stretch for to stay on the same page. Maggie, was off the chart. Where to begin. Well, first her language. I have no problem with a potty-mouthed Irish babe, who doesn’t? But, Maggie, should have been Molly, if she’s really from Ireland, probably says “Bloody” more than feckin’. I’m just feckin sayin’. And this business about “I’m from Belfast, I can handle guns and going to school in a war zone left me psychologically scared…she’s like a “fecken red-headed Vietnam Barbie.” And why write her accent in, and leave lonesome Sam the Dove Conklin’s Texas draw-aal out of it? Y’all might wanna think about that. I usually appreciate someone willing to take a chance to show PTSD and other mental illness. The problem here is, Maggie’s age. At the time she was growing up in Belfast it’s not likely that it was enough of a war zone to warrant the idea that any random child would grow up knowing how to use a rifle. The incident that brought about her PTSD, could have happened anywhere (more school shootings in the US than anywhere) but, it seemed a bit expedient to lump all of Ireland’s bad press in her character concept. If you ignored the Irishisms, she was feisty, a thinker, a bit needy for my tastes but not for the story and I could manage to enjoy the story. I just think she’s not his best female character ever. The villains. These guys got short changed. They were actually some of the more interesting Rollins villains, and ones we learned the least about. Rollins also failed to connect, or rather, marry the lone escapee priest in the prologue, to the monks in the story. So, after reading all of this, you might get the idea that I didn’t like it. Well, if you do, your wrong. Saying that this didn’t have the swift break neck pace other Rollins reads has, is like saying an Indy Car doesn’t accelerate as fast as a stock Car (NASCAR). It doesn’t, believe it or not, but it handles better and it’s top speed is higher. Complaining about stock and two dimensional characters in an action adventure story is like eating an antacid tablet and complaining that it’s chalky. Sure it is, but it works. This is a 3 to 3.5 star read. If you follow my rating system, you should know that 3 star reads are good reads and recommendable from me. It’s 3 star because it seems like this book was a dry run for the Sigma Force books to come later. (view spoiler)[We’ve seen much of what came in this book, in that series from explosive gold look alike, nanobots and C.H.U.D. (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers) even the part where Maggie concentrates on focusing on the nanobots not remaking Sam as it healed him shows up in the Sigma Force Novels. These things were better written in the Sigma Force Novels. But the sadest part of this is, if you want to write a dry run for Sigma-Force, that’s pooh with me, but, he didn’t include Joe Kawolski! Say it isn’t so JOE! (hide spoiler)] Given all of the things that look like complaints here, you’d think I hated this book. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The writing was good, the plot flowed well, the science was fun, if stretched. The Scooby Gang was likeable, and even though Henry seemed a bit like a “stock disgruntled scientist” he was likeable, even when he was sulking over the probability of a “Closer” than average relationship between Joan and the metallurgist and floundering with the…okay, I’m forty, just fell in love (for all of a week) what do I do now? Stuff going on. (and I loved Joan.) A mediocre Rollins Novel, in the action adventure genre, is still more fun than most other reads. Warnings- I could give the usual warnings, but, in truth, there’s very little here, if anything, that YA couldn’t handle. There is violence and guns and that kind of thing, not to mention things that try to eat people. I’ll let you take your chances. Bottom line- A bit of a dry run for Sigma Force, a bit of two dimensional characters from the Scooby-Doo Show, one psycho Irish babe to many, but it was still a fun read. (I didn’t mention it, but the romance worked for me, though I liked Henry and Joan better than Sam and Maggie.)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Neeke

    Exotic Location: Check Incan tomb: Check Boobytraps: check Huge treasure + golden idol: check Creapy crawlers: check Hat always on main character's head: check workers turning against archaeologists: check evil organisation: check Short Round (cleverly disguised as Denal): check Mystical powers: check Objects get destroyed/lost: check Indiana Jones: chec... ...wait... Indiana isn't involved?!? This book obviously shares *some* similarities with the Indiana Jones stories. Not necessarily a bad thing, because Exotic Location: Check Incan tomb: Check Boobytraps: check Huge treasure + golden idol: check Creapy crawlers: check Hat always on main character's head: check workers turning against archaeologists: check evil organisation: check Short Round (cleverly disguised as Denal): check Mystical powers: check Objects get destroyed/lost: check Indiana Jones: chec... ...wait... Indiana isn't involved?!? This book obviously shares *some* similarities with the Indiana Jones stories. Not necessarily a bad thing, because Indy totally rocks, but it just didn't work for me in this one. So, we have our excavation in the Andes, looking for a huge Temple with a mysterious treasury. This of course doesn't come without any deadly boobytraps... Thus far: ok, some similarities with Indy, but ok. Then it goes from bad to worse... dialogues don't work, characters are a bit too one-dimensional, cliché building on cliché, and don't forget to mention the sudden appearance of zombie-like humanoid things, dwelling in subterranean locations. The story unfolds in a series of storylines; The students that are trapped in the pyramid and bash their way through noxious bat caves (dude, since when do bats release noxious fumes? And do you really have to overreact to it? - the bats of course are also evil and attack our main characters), filled with albino actacking spiders... and the zombie-filled subterranean city to the Incan world, Philip the student left at the camp (keeps being self-centered), The evil Spanish Inquisition monks, and Henry, Sam's uncle, and H's love interest Joan. What's more in this story? The presence of a mysterious gold-like subsistence, influenced by the human mind... Centuries old Incas with a horrifying truth lying hidden and more little bit over the top actions. What got me most, apart from the zombie-like creatures (that are always 'drooling foam from their mouths'), were the 'love stories'. Too obvious, and sooo bad, especially the dialogues between the characters in question; "Keep walking ahead of me and I'll be plenty warm" Seriously?! Further more, don't get me started on the ending.. both of the story, and the epilogue. This was not a good start with James Rollins. I'll try some other novels, but this one definitely didn't make it for me.

  5. 4 out of 5

    David

    I normally quite like James Rollins' novels, but this one? Not so much. Although it is in his usual pseudo sci-fi style of writing which I have no problem with, I don't know whether the reason I wasn't really that sold on this one is due to the rather ridiculous (even for him) plot devices used, that fact that it's not one of his Sigma Force novels (best described as scientists with guns) and so lacks that over-reaching plot strands that connects all those novels, or (more likely) that he seems t I normally quite like James Rollins' novels, but this one? Not so much. Although it is in his usual pseudo sci-fi style of writing which I have no problem with, I don't know whether the reason I wasn't really that sold on this one is due to the rather ridiculous (even for him) plot devices used, that fact that it's not one of his Sigma Force novels (best described as scientists with guns) and so lacks that over-reaching plot strands that connects all those novels, or (more likely) that he seems to share the common American misconception of my home town of Belfast as being (almost) a bombed out Beirout. Choice lines include: "Surviving among the constant gunfire and bombings between the warring Irish factions and the British military had taught Maggie O'Donnell the vlaue of a good hiding place" "Maggie knew that expression. A childhood friend ... had worn that same shocked face when caught by a stray bullet during a firefight back in Belfast" "Henry crossed in front of the man and knocked the rifle towards Maggie. 'You know how to use that?' / 'I'm from Belfast' she said, retreiving the gun" I mean, really? I could understand it a bit better if the book was set during the 70s, or if she was described as being older, but for somebody who I got the impression was meant to be in her 30s? If this had been the first James Rollins book I had read I don't think I would have bothered with any others! Thankfully, I had the good fortune to read one of his far-superior Sigma Force novels first instead and hope that this is just a momentary blip on his track record - I also read somewhere that this is one of his earlier novels which, perhaps, excuses some of the flimsy plot devices used.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ernie Jr.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was recommened by one of my students (I teach high school Physics) along with "Fragment" by Warren Fahy. I approached it with the same open mind, but was not nearly as entertained or impressed by the writing. Excavation did have a mildly interesting premise (gold-like silicon-based nanobiotech), but after that, the whole book was a large cliche'. The token black guy died. The requisite homosexual survived impossible odds, managed to stumble into 'miraculous' discoveries, and was one of This book was recommened by one of my students (I teach high school Physics) along with "Fragment" by Warren Fahy. I approached it with the same open mind, but was not nearly as entertained or impressed by the writing. Excavation did have a mildly interesting premise (gold-like silicon-based nanobiotech), but after that, the whole book was a large cliche'. The token black guy died. The requisite homosexual survived impossible odds, managed to stumble into 'miraculous' discoveries, and was one of the heroes. His homosexuality had no purpose in the book other than to make readers read about homosexuals as a character. The main character, a rough cowboy-type named Sam, gets the girl in the end. And so on. The relationships were predictable. The personality types were two dimensional (e.g. the black Southern Baptist hates the homosexual but has a pivotal event where the homosexual saves his life and now they're bffs). Even the Catholic church is, without surprise, the bad guys (at least the sect represented in the book). I'm not defending or bashing any particular group here, I'm pointing out that nothing was a surprise to me. From the Raider's of the Lost Ark trapped tomb to the Davinci Code Catholicism to the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull alien ending, the book was utterly predictable. Even the resurrection of Sam at the end could be seen coming from a mile away, and the potential suspense of Joan's survival or death was wasted. If you are looking for a book to read because you have nothing else, you'll make it through this one alright. But if you have other choices, you might want to start with those.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    Rather, I should say, "I think I liked it" as I read it while heavily medicated (after a surgery and while in a hospital bed). I remember very little: various factions are somewhere in the jungle looking for something...I assume some kind of treasure. I've read other books by this author which I've enjoyed and this book did help pass the time, so thanks Mr. Rollins as I did need all distractions possible. Oddly, I found myself craving a TRUE archeology adventure, so I am now reading "The Lost Ci Rather, I should say, "I think I liked it" as I read it while heavily medicated (after a surgery and while in a hospital bed). I remember very little: various factions are somewhere in the jungle looking for something...I assume some kind of treasure. I've read other books by this author which I've enjoyed and this book did help pass the time, so thanks Mr. Rollins as I did need all distractions possible. Oddly, I found myself craving a TRUE archeology adventure, so I am now reading "The Lost City of the Monkey God" by Douglas Preston. So to Mr. Rollins, thanks again for inspiring me to explore a new genre!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brian Steele

    I'm beginning to love James Rollins. He merges the Adventure antics of Clive Cussler (minus the bromance) and the contemporary Sci-Fi Horror found in the best novels by Michael Crichton. I loved his book Subterranean and I enjoyed this book even more. Don't get me wrong - you have to suspend belief a good deal and roll with the popcorn, but it's just a fun and exciting tale. I've been eying Deep Fathom and after this, I'm definitely going to check it out. While a bit more epic in scope, I believe I'm beginning to love James Rollins. He merges the Adventure antics of Clive Cussler (minus the bromance) and the contemporary Sci-Fi Horror found in the best novels by Michael Crichton. I loved his book Subterranean and I enjoyed this book even more. Don't get me wrong - you have to suspend belief a good deal and roll with the popcorn, but it's just a fun and exciting tale. I've been eying Deep Fathom and after this, I'm definitely going to check it out. While a bit more epic in scope, I believe I also have to draw parallel between Rollins work and that of Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. While their beloved Pendergast Series is more character driven, if you're a fan of any of their stand-alone novels, you'll definitely dig Excavation. (see what I did there?)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    What an adventure! If the synopsis for this book doesn't intrigue you then nothing I can say will do the trick. I love archaeology mysteries and James Rollins just never disappoints. It's thrilling and educational all at the same time. You learn some new facts about the Incas and their customs while taking you through some "Hold on to your chair" life threatening situations. Mystery addicts, adventure addicts, and those that just love a good book will thoroughly enjoy this one. What an adventure! If the synopsis for this book doesn't intrigue you then nothing I can say will do the trick. I love archaeology mysteries and James Rollins just never disappoints. It's thrilling and educational all at the same time. You learn some new facts about the Incas and their customs while taking you through some "Hold on to your chair" life threatening situations. Mystery addicts, adventure addicts, and those that just love a good book will thoroughly enjoy this one.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    The plot was just too preposterous for me. It also had awkward romances and a constant stream of threats, dangers, spiders, etc. followed by inevitable escapes. I did not enjoy any of this. The exploding mummy at the very beginning of the book was a nice touch though.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nazmus Sakib

    a outstanding novel. its 2nd book of james rollins as i read. a great bookish Rizwan vai suggested me once to read. that book amazed me so did this one. i wish this writer will continuously keep me in the loop.if any body like techno-thriller with historical/fantasy background he/she should give James Rollins a try. happy reading. cheers!!! a outstanding novel. its 2nd book of james rollins as i read. a great bookish Rizwan vai suggested me once to read. that book amazed me so did this one. i wish this writer will continuously keep me in the loop.if any body like techno-thriller with historical/fantasy background he/she should give James Rollins a try. happy reading. cheers!!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    James Rollins has really been filling that archaeological-action-adventure-thriller niche in my library. Although it could be ridiculously melodramatic in places, Excavation was even better than his first book, Subterranean. It spent less time setting things up and practically plunged right into the action and mystery right away. It also rolled along at a brisker pace - I didn't have the need to skim like I did with Subterranean. Rollins is a fun author; his books aren't high literature, but the James Rollins has really been filling that archaeological-action-adventure-thriller niche in my library. Although it could be ridiculously melodramatic in places, Excavation was even better than his first book, Subterranean. It spent less time setting things up and practically plunged right into the action and mystery right away. It also rolled along at a brisker pace - I didn't have the need to skim like I did with Subterranean. Rollins is a fun author; his books aren't high literature, but they're certainly lots of fun. The only downside is that his characters only exist for the action. I'd love it if he could come up with some memorable characters like Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child do in their collaborations.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Riju Ganguly

    James Rollins is one author whose laundry list might also become a best-seller (if he pursues it), and the reasons were pretty obvious to readers like us who had read him when he were only marking his presence. This novel was a "winner" right from the first page, and when it finally concluded (with sufficient hints that may be elongated into a sequel at a later phase) like many other readers I had also realised that I had been holding my breath for some time. It is a very good read (Rollins' usu James Rollins is one author whose laundry list might also become a best-seller (if he pursues it), and the reasons were pretty obvious to readers like us who had read him when he were only marking his presence. This novel was a "winner" right from the first page, and when it finally concluded (with sufficient hints that may be elongated into a sequel at a later phase) like many other readers I had also realised that I had been holding my breath for some time. It is a very good read (Rollins' usual high standard), and might make several readers keenly interested in the history of South America and its bloody colonisation by the Spaniards & the Portugese. But overall, the book supremely succeeds in achieving its aim: it remains heck of a story even after re-reads. Recommended.

  14. 4 out of 5

    JS Nelson

    The writing wasn’t the greatest. Not horrible, but not the greatest. The characters were basic; not fully formed or relatable. The story line was entertaining & the pace was great.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Samie Foster

    Excavation By James Rollins Smoothie Review James Rollin is the a master of treasure hunting, tomb raiding adventures as Ludlum is to spy novels and as Crichton is to science fiction. It is a bit of a tall claim. But this is my fourth book I’ve read by him and so far it proves to be true. He has not proven me wrong with the exception of the Sigma force novels. So now I’m about knee deep into the James Rollins novels and the latest adventure is called Excavation. So what is it about? It centers o Excavation By James Rollins Smoothie Review James Rollin is the a master of treasure hunting, tomb raiding adventures as Ludlum is to spy novels and as Crichton is to science fiction. It is a bit of a tall claim. But this is my fourth book I’ve read by him and so far it proves to be true. He has not proven me wrong with the exception of the Sigma force novels. So now I’m about knee deep into the James Rollins novels and the latest adventure is called Excavation. So what is it about? It centers on a professor and his nephew. The professor just found a mummy from the jungles of Chili and is sure that it is proof of a civilization that predates the Inca. But he finds that it is actually a Spanish priest. As he looked further he also finds that the skull of the priest is filled with liquid gold. Upon this discovery a secret society of Spanish monks take him hostage because they are searching for this rare gold that they call “the blood of the devil,” because with it they believe they can build the vessel so god can come to earth. The professor’s nephew is Sam, who is with a team of student archaeologists down in the Andes. They have just discovered a new temple in the side of a mountain. They are accidentally trapped in it as it crumbles during a attack from tomb robbers. The temple into the mountain goes to the source of the “blood of the devil,” And it is no surprise that in and professor Conklin’s and Sam’s path intertwine. So the good? After reading Ice Hunt, and Deep Fathom, I was relieved to not see the military or army of kind as a big factor. Its much simpler. The team is stuck inside living on limited supplies, facing cave dwelling creatures and booby traps as Conklin’s side foreshadow things to come and reveal secrets behind the temple. Action is fun. The story is also one of the oddest. So it is unpredictable. The bad? It is very similar to Rollins other book Subterranean. In more ways than one. At one point I thought I was re reading a old book. So there is nothing new or groundbreaking here except for the of off the wall scifi twist at the end. I also felt for the first time in a Rollin’s book, the characters were shallow. They felt like cardboard cut outs to me. But overall it’s a fun read. The end may be silly but its still fine. If you like adventure novels. I most definitely recommend this one. P.S. If you like books then check out my book and ebook website Lelue’s Realm. Google it or go directly to http://www.freewebs.com/lelue/

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Fulbright

    I love a good adventure novel, and James Rollins is on the cutting edge of the modern action thriller that pits man/woman against some strange discovery and throws them into seemingly unwinnable situations, only to see them (most of them at least) come out the other side on the basis of wit and skill alone. "Excavation" is the type of novel I can't turn down -- jungle adventure, ruins exploration, and intrigue. Yes, I know a million-and-one people think "Indiana Jones" any time you mention such I love a good adventure novel, and James Rollins is on the cutting edge of the modern action thriller that pits man/woman against some strange discovery and throws them into seemingly unwinnable situations, only to see them (most of them at least) come out the other side on the basis of wit and skill alone. "Excavation" is the type of novel I can't turn down -- jungle adventure, ruins exploration, and intrigue. Yes, I know a million-and-one people think "Indiana Jones" any time you mention such things these days, but the annals of pulp fiction are full of the types of stories that inspired Indiana Jones. Honestly, as a fan of pulp fiction, I find Rollins to be a real master of resurrecting its best features, and presenting them to a new audience with just enough scientific facts to make his stories seem like they could really happen. This book takes you into the jungles of South America, high in the Andes, where an ancient mummy of strange attributes has been discovered. Also -- a temple beneath the Earth beckons the explorers deeper into its heart of mystery. There's seldom a dull moment in this book, and I found myself reading longer than I'd intended whenever I sat down to peek at its pages. The ending was great, if a little predictable in parts, but well worth the time spent. Rollins is a good writer and "Excavation" is escapism near its top form.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Miller

    James Rollins may very well be my favorite author. This book didn't do it for me, even tho it is in the same style of all the books I love by him, especially the SIGMA Force novels. Rollins writes book that I would call a blend of the Sci-Fi, Action, and Techno-thriller genres. This book had all of those elements but the story never hooked me. The character's were dull and predictable and at times that plot seemed over the top. Things kept getting weirder and nothing was ever really explained in James Rollins may very well be my favorite author. This book didn't do it for me, even tho it is in the same style of all the books I love by him, especially the SIGMA Force novels. Rollins writes book that I would call a blend of the Sci-Fi, Action, and Techno-thriller genres. This book had all of those elements but the story never hooked me. The character's were dull and predictable and at times that plot seemed over the top. Things kept getting weirder and nothing was ever really explained in ways that made sense. It was like he was trying to over complicate things and add unnecessary elements to keep the reader in suspense and add length to the novel. If this was the 1st Rollins novel, I doubt I would pick up another one. Luckily it is not and I have read most of his other work and loved them all. If this is your first Rollins book, give it a go and if you don't like it, read some of his others, particularly books from the SIGMA series (start with book 2 and not sandstorm)or his other stand alone novels like Ice Hunt and Deep Fathom (a good read before starting the SIGMA force series.)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Angus Whittaker

    James Rollins is not a great writer. You must know that before picking up this book. His dialogue is stilted and cheesy, his characters lack character, his romances taste like a corn and cheese casserole. In fact, if this novel was a dish, it would be a combination of lasagna, pizza, nachos, and mac and cheese, with a bit of Parmesan sprinkled on top and a light brie for an appetizer. In short, its cheesy. If one is willing or able to wade through the sticky cheese fondue, however, they will fin James Rollins is not a great writer. You must know that before picking up this book. His dialogue is stilted and cheesy, his characters lack character, his romances taste like a corn and cheese casserole. In fact, if this novel was a dish, it would be a combination of lasagna, pizza, nachos, and mac and cheese, with a bit of Parmesan sprinkled on top and a light brie for an appetizer. In short, its cheesy. If one is willing or able to wade through the sticky cheese fondue, however, they will find an entertaining adventure at the core. This book is every Indiana Jones-type adventure ever written. In it you will find the usual panoply of lost civilizations, pyramids, underground cities, gold, treasure, treasure-hunters, more gold, monsters, human sacrifices, and a conclusion filled with gunfights. It is pure and undiluted adventure fiction, not well-written but amusingly entertaining nonetheless. The kind of book that you bring on a weekend vacation and breeze through in a day or two. It does not require much from your brain cells, but offers a few hours of relaxed thrills.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Daniels

    Excavation was a interesting book for me, the second book by James Rollins that I have read, the first being Amazonia. To put it mildly I loved Amazonia, one of my favorite books I have read in the last year or so. Yet, the best I can say about Excavation is that it was alright. What I found with this book is it is basically the first edition of Amazonia. This books seems like a test run for James Rollins where he tried out some ideas and improved on them two years later with Amazonia. I mean th Excavation was a interesting book for me, the second book by James Rollins that I have read, the first being Amazonia. To put it mildly I loved Amazonia, one of my favorite books I have read in the last year or so. Yet, the best I can say about Excavation is that it was alright. What I found with this book is it is basically the first edition of Amazonia. This books seems like a test run for James Rollins where he tried out some ideas and improved on them two years later with Amazonia. I mean they are basically the same, both take place when a "Research Group" of some kind has something go wrong and they get lost in a jungle. Then they meet and die to mysterious creatures that science can't explain. Both books find a lost civilization of native's hiding in the far reaches of the jungles hidden from the modern world. Both have some kind of magical remedy that can heal people. Both have bad group/organization trying to take advantage of the magical remedy. While I found Amazonia to be amazing this book I could tell had a bunch of half baked thoughts put into it as a experiment. While this book didn't have strong character development I did injoy the mystery behind what the the "blood" was, well until the end when they got around to explaining what it really was. Which they didn't really explain and left a lot of questions in my mind. Like is this mother nature or is this a weapon used by the Conquistadors or what? I had all these questions left in my mind after the main book finished and then I read the epilogy and, what the hell. SPOILER WARNING BELOW BE CAREFUL I was not expecting this book to turn to aliens as the reason why it was the way it was. Seemed like a cope out to me so the writer didn't really have to explain. I suppose that is why I liked Amazonia better, because while out their the ideas were still some what in the realm of possibility. Not a horrible book and seeing as this was really the start of his writing I have high hopes for some of his later books that he wrote.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. So... As all thrillers they start the same with a little introduction usually regarding the mystery in the blurb of the novel. Then we are introduced to all characters. Always going forward and then adversity appears. Then the bad guys appear - usually in the beginning they are that bad - they are hidden. Then the plot advances and they discover something ah and then the bad guys unveil their Machiavelli plan. And go we go and battles ensure the all plot is unveil with all the mystery "AHH!" and So... As all thrillers they start the same with a little introduction usually regarding the mystery in the blurb of the novel. Then we are introduced to all characters. Always going forward and then adversity appears. Then the bad guys appear - usually in the beginning they are that bad - they are hidden. Then the plot advances and they discover something ah and then the bad guys unveil their Machiavelli plan. And go we go and battles ensure the all plot is unveil with all the mystery "AHH!" and the bad guys lose and good guys without that much loses. Basically this is all thrillers and this is no different. Everysingle character (good guys) are perfect human beings. Okay Ralph (the black) is a bit homophobic but he has an answer - his family is very christian so he learn that way. BUT no problem he sacrificies himself for the gay character. What about the women? Well she also has a excuse - she was born in northern ireland so of course she excused - I laugh when they throw a gun at her and "of course I can handle - I was born in nothern ireland" oh my - didn't know it was like texas or something like that. Of course there were IRA but no all people work with guns What about the main character? Oh my is so perfect that even dies... and his reborn again! and gets the girl! oh yeah Even the old uncle gets a girl. Enfin... weak plot about Incas. I expected something different. But then it got "aliens" and some weird stuff that nobody see except incas and the conquistadors but everyone shut up about it... And the bad guys you ask?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Zach Nix

    This book was great, it had a lot of action. An to be honest I wasn’t sure where the story was taking me pretty much the entire way through. This story felt like a huge rollercoaster, and every time you go through a loop and think it is over, you turn the corner to another loop. I’m fairly surprised that James Rollins isn’t afraid to take risks with his characters, he’s not scared to do what is necessary for the plot to thicken and the suspense to be raised. An like I explained up above I was re This book was great, it had a lot of action. An to be honest I wasn’t sure where the story was taking me pretty much the entire way through. This story felt like a huge rollercoaster, and every time you go through a loop and think it is over, you turn the corner to another loop. I’m fairly surprised that James Rollins isn’t afraid to take risks with his characters, he’s not scared to do what is necessary for the plot to thicken and the suspense to be raised. An like I explained up above I was really taken back by some of the moves he made, you can tell he polished this novel. He definitely planned out the entire thing, from certain scenes to the consistency of the plot and the makeup of the material matter. For this only being James Rollins 2nd adventure/thriller I am really impressed. This book was able to pull out emotion and make me connected to the characters without a whole lot of character development. His characters were well fleshed out and were actually believably real. They all thought with their own minds independent from each other while still making it feel as though they had their own experiences that shaped the thinking process and decision making. The plot setup was very strange, and I’m pretty sure he meant for the plot and overall arc of the discoveries to be masked until around the end. It definitely ended up being a big surprise at the end. ROLLINS does a great job at building a world and making it colorful without really spending a lot of time on it. He kind of let’s the world fill out by the characters surroundings and predicaments they go through. I’m seeing why he is deemed the action thriller version of dan brown-his story flows with science backed themes and a whole lot of Indiana Jones type scenarios. He is good at making a scene feel real in the way that you feel like you are there. At one point I almost felt claustrophobic like I was in the subterranean pyramid with them. This book overall was a 5 star ⭐️ book. I really enjoyed it, didn’t feel like I was ever off the edge of my seat, and I look forward to more of his stories.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Scott Rhee

    James Rollins can write a helluva good action/adventure story. Granted, they are blatantly derivative, but the fact that he doesn’t really hide the fact makes it seem okay. “Excavation”, published in 2000, essentially “steals” whole plot lines, devices, twists, and scenarios from a myriad of sources, including Edgar Rice Burroughs, H. Rider Haggard, Michael Crichton, Clive Cussler, and all four of the “Indiana Jones” movies. Rollins does, in book form, what Quentin Tarantino does in film: throw a James Rollins can write a helluva good action/adventure story. Granted, they are blatantly derivative, but the fact that he doesn’t really hide the fact makes it seem okay. “Excavation”, published in 2000, essentially “steals” whole plot lines, devices, twists, and scenarios from a myriad of sources, including Edgar Rice Burroughs, H. Rider Haggard, Michael Crichton, Clive Cussler, and all four of the “Indiana Jones” movies. Rollins does, in book form, what Quentin Tarantino does in film: throw an assortment of stolen ideas from a variety of different sources and genres together into something new and original. And I’ve always disagreed with Tarantino’s critics that he is unoriginal and an idea-thief. I always thought Tarantino was paying homage to the original source material he was “borrowing”. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Tarantino is one big, fat, talented imitator. So is Rollins. For fear of dropping spoilers, I’ll refrain from giving a full synopsis, other than to say that exploding mummy heads, lost Incan tribes, the Spanish Inquisition, nanotechnology, and ancient meteorites containing gold all play significant roles within the story. This is just a rollicking good yarn. I think Rollins may be shaping into one of my new favorite authors.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Robjr73

    This is my second James Rollins book and from what I remember of the last book I read of his (Subterranean), this feels like the same exact story. In fact, the author describes the setting as "Subterranean" multiple times throughout this novel so really you could probably interchange the titles of the two books I read and it wouldn't matter. I'm convinced Rollins is a solid writer because he's got so many books out there at my local B & N and his books tend to get pretty good overall review scor This is my second James Rollins book and from what I remember of the last book I read of his (Subterranean), this feels like the same exact story. In fact, the author describes the setting as "Subterranean" multiple times throughout this novel so really you could probably interchange the titles of the two books I read and it wouldn't matter. I'm convinced Rollins is a solid writer because he's got so many books out there at my local B & N and his books tend to get pretty good overall review scores here on this site. I think I might be going about things the wrong way by reading Rollins' books in order of when they were released. Maybe his writing gets a lot better as you go, but so far these first two book I read were a tad disappointing. They start strong and promising, but contain weak characters who you really could care less about and by page 500 you're happy to be finished. It's basically an Indiana Jones type story (main character has a hat, a female love interest and a kid that saves his butt multiple times) that consists of action after action scene filled with just over the top scenarios with no breaks in between. Sounds great right? Well it has it's moments...just needs better characters and maybe LESS action to make the action that's there more interesting and exciting. I've got one more Rollins book sitting on my shelf to read at some point, but something tells me it will just be more of the same. Let's hope not.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Woeffi

    Excavation might be the most Hollywood-esque book I've ever read; everything that in my mind defines a blockbusters is represented in Excavation: A silly and highly improbable plot, backed by ridiculous conspiracies and secret societies. Ancient ruins with miraculously functioning mechanisms, after hundreds of years of decay; it wasn't any less silly in the Indiana Jones movies. Pretty generic protagonists without much depth, but still likeable. At least one pretty awkward and unnecessary romanc Excavation might be the most Hollywood-esque book I've ever read; everything that in my mind defines a blockbusters is represented in Excavation: A silly and highly improbable plot, backed by ridiculous conspiracies and secret societies. Ancient ruins with miraculously functioning mechanisms, after hundreds of years of decay; it wasn't any less silly in the Indiana Jones movies. Pretty generic protagonists without much depth, but still likeable. At least one pretty awkward and unnecessary romance. High tempo and rapid-fire pacing, with an exciting but logic defying climax. The only thing missing is a good villain, which I think is one of Excavation's few shortcomings. There are villains, but they're not very interesting or memorable. Excavation is my first novel by James Rollins and I didn't know what to expect. The book was pitched to me as "Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft". More realistically, Excavation is a National Treasure sequel, starring Nicolas Cage, for better better or worse. At times, Excavation is a little bit too goofy, without the necessary self-awareness. And neither the protagonists nor the villains in the novel can rival Harrison Ford or Lara Croft in terms of charisma, but that's okay, the book is still fun to read. The only thing I actually disliked was the epilogue. I won't get into specifics, to keep this review spoiler free, but let me say this: After a pretty exciting but abrupt story climax, where everything important is wrapped up, the epilogue sets up a sequel. Which is weird. Because Excavation is a stand alone novel, making the epilogue a baffling choice. Not as good as Jurassic Park, significantly better than Pendergast. Read this book with alcohol close at hand and you'll have a great time.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jaclyn

    I've read and enjoyed several of Rollins' novels and this one followed along the same formula. (If you read them all in succession, I can see how it can get old and predictable, but every once in awhile I find myself in the mood for this type of suspense). However, while I enjoyed the history and scientific aspect, much of this book seemed really far-fetched. I also couldn't figure out how any of it was supposed to be. It just didn't make a lot of sense. Fortunately, for me, the epilogue kind of I've read and enjoyed several of Rollins' novels and this one followed along the same formula. (If you read them all in succession, I can see how it can get old and predictable, but every once in awhile I find myself in the mood for this type of suspense). However, while I enjoyed the history and scientific aspect, much of this book seemed really far-fetched. I also couldn't figure out how any of it was supposed to be. It just didn't make a lot of sense. Fortunately, for me, the epilogue kind of saved the book. I was just expecting it to keep the book open-ended, which it did, but it also gave an explanation to the events/circumstances in the book that made sense to me. So it ended up on the positive side. 3.5 stars.

  26. 4 out of 5

    A.R. Voss

    Fastest reading of a five hundred page book I had the pleasure of enjoying for a long time. Great subject matter, story telling and twist and turns with interesting plot and sub-plots. There are certain books at times that you love to read and because they are so enjoyable you tend to read them fast, however, you hate for them to finish. This books was one of those for me. Of course every book will have flaws but the bulk of it was brilliant. I definitely recommend this book, especially to thos Fastest reading of a five hundred page book I had the pleasure of enjoying for a long time. Great subject matter, story telling and twist and turns with interesting plot and sub-plots. There are certain books at times that you love to read and because they are so enjoyable you tend to read them fast, however, you hate for them to finish. This books was one of those for me. Of course every book will have flaws but the bulk of it was brilliant. I definitely recommend this book, especially to those fans of Science Fiction, mystery and adventure. I can confidently say that I have found myself another favorite author.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rubina

    After "The De Vinci Code" - this was one book that I really could not put down - I was actually running with the characters!!! By the last chapter I "was feeling" a little let down - for it was sounding so unreal - BUT by the time I was reading the last three pages - I was completely floored for it really made sense to me - one of the best reads in a long long time!!! I love James Rollins and I am going to make sure I have all his books!!! :D After "The De Vinci Code" - this was one book that I really could not put down - I was actually running with the characters!!! By the last chapter I "was feeling" a little let down - for it was sounding so unreal - BUT by the time I was reading the last three pages - I was completely floored for it really made sense to me - one of the best reads in a long long time!!! I love James Rollins and I am going to make sure I have all his books!!! :D

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I didn’t like this one as much as Amazonia. I think I liked the characters and the flow more in that one. I had a hard time bonding with the cast (Maggie and Sam were caricatures) and I felt like the plot sped up and slowed down in odd places. The end felt rushed compared to the build up. That being said, the Indiana Jones side of things was very interesting. Rollins always does such a good job making the fantastical into a believable reality.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michael Adamchuk

    In 1538, a Dominican monk is being chased by the natives in the Andes, he commits suicide to avoid capture. His mummified remains are found in the present day by Dr. Henry Conklin. During an examination, his head "explodes" a gold fluid splatters the room. His son, Sam Conklin, discovers a prehistoric site in South America. The site contains strange, hungry creatures and may also contain treasures. Another good yarn by Rollins. He even brings the Inquisition and nanobots into the story. In 1538, a Dominican monk is being chased by the natives in the Andes, he commits suicide to avoid capture. His mummified remains are found in the present day by Dr. Henry Conklin. During an examination, his head "explodes" a gold fluid splatters the room. His son, Sam Conklin, discovers a prehistoric site in South America. The site contains strange, hungry creatures and may also contain treasures. Another good yarn by Rollins. He even brings the Inquisition and nanobots into the story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    John Bastin

    This is a fascinating story about a team researching a jungle site in Peru with a rich history of Inca civilization. Digging in the jungle they uncover some rich history, and with that comes the discovery of a strange material that defies analysis or reason. But as with many achievements of this magnitude, what comes along with it are people who want it for their own purposes. The result is a lot of violence and disruption. It's an intriguing story, but in the end some of what occurs really become This is a fascinating story about a team researching a jungle site in Peru with a rich history of Inca civilization. Digging in the jungle they uncover some rich history, and with that comes the discovery of a strange material that defies analysis or reason. But as with many achievements of this magnitude, what comes along with it are people who want it for their own purposes. The result is a lot of violence and disruption. It's an intriguing story, but in the end some of what occurs really becomes too fantastic and strains the thought processes required to make a story like this work. I know it's fiction, after all, but I have to be able to believe it's possible. This one stretches the imagination just a little too far.

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