Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chronicle of the Mound Builders by Elle Marie

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Read: May 15, 2013

Archaeologist Dr. Angela Hunter discovers an ancient codex at a Mississippian Indian dig site in the St. Louis area. Knowing the Mississippians, or Mound Builders, had no written language, she is determined to solve the mystery of the 700-year-old, perfectly preserved codex. In the early 1300’s, an Aztec family is torn apart. A judge rebelling against the Aztec tradition of human sacrifice is cursed and escapes his enemies with his 12-year-old son. They travel from the Gulf of Mexico up the Mississippi River to settle in the thriving community of Migaduha, modern-day Cahokia Mounds, Illinois. Angela recognizes the symbols as Aztec pictograms and begins to translate the story. However, other forces also want the codex and will do anything to get it. Can she learn the secrets of the chronicle before the tragic events of the past are repeated today?

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I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one, the native cultures of the Americas being a little outside my regular stomping grounds, but Elle Marie managed to surprise me. Part history, part mystery, with just a touch of fantasy, Chronicle of the Mound Builders is a truly unique piece.

Not being at all familiar with the culture on which the story relies or even the locations in which it takes place, I was worried I would quickly feel overwhelmed with information and was pleasantly surprised to find Marie such careful writer. Facts are explained as the story unfolds, gently and appropriately introducing the readers to the material without making them suffer the agony of repeated fact dumps. 

As to the characters, I would have difficulty pinpointing one I disliked, but Angela Hunter was by far my favorite. Her intelligence and dedication made her an exceedingly admirable heroine, but there is a spark and humor to that made her a very fun character to read.

I was also surprised by the intelligence and creativity of the plot. I mean no offense to Marie, but I’m not used to seeing such an addicting premise as her codex in a debut piece. It was a rather refreshing change of pace if I do say so myself. 

Highly recommend it to anyone with a mind for fast-paced adventures. 

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She was still mystified about the discovery because there was no known connection between the Mississippians and the Aztecs. Their societies were thousands of miles apart. It didn’t make any sense for an Aztec codex to be found in Missouri.
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Check out all the stops on Elle Marie's Chronicle of the mound builders virtual book tour

Monday, May 13
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection
Tuesday, May 14
Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Wednesday, May 15
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Thursday, May 16
Review at The Book Garden
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Friday, May 17
Guest Post at Flashlight Commentary
Monday, May 20
Review at Turning the Pages
Interview & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Tuesday, May 21
Review at Words and Peace
Wednesday, May 22
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Thursday, May 23
Review at The Musings of a Book Junkie
Interview & Giveaway at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Friday, May 24
Review at Bibliophilic Book Blog 

1 comment:

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

This sounds very intriguing and like you know I little about this culture. I am glad it surprised you and that it ended up being a good read. I would like to check it out sometime.