My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love pulp-style adventure novels, with books in the Rogue Angel series holding a special place for me in particular. They are fast-paced, action-packed and have some rather interesting dialogue. The third book in the series is no exception, and Graphic Audio does another great full cast adaptation for the series.
When Annja Creed is asked to help with long-dead warriors found in a site about to be demolished, she is placed in the sights of a group of mercenaries charged with retrieving an African artefact for a diabolical warlord at all costs. The adventure will take her from a small town in Georgia to the wilds near Senegal.
For a fan of the series, the ghost writer does an excellent job of pacing, yet manages to keep the pressure on for the various characters in this novel. Annja has to deal with a bunch of unknowns, and often has to rely on luck for finding the clues. The author manages to integrate these clues without making them feel convenient, keeping the storyline moving along in a natural way.
The action sequences were well written, and I found myself being able to picture them as I listened to the audio. As for characterization, I felt more comfortable with Annja in this novel than I did in the second installment. She was quick on her feet and avoided the uncharacteristic doubt that we saw in the second book. You really can’t afford hesitation when you are dealing with a bunch of people that want you dead.
We also saw the reappearance of Goran, her immortal mentor’s former (and also immortal) apprentice. I really dig what I’ve seen of this guy through the three installments of the series I’ve read/listened to already. He is a bit of an enigma, but so is Rue for that matter. I also found myself considering possible motives for each character as well as the chance that they might be colluding to get Annja to achieve some mutual goals. I am not sure how much the future installments will tie in to the previous, but I have some theories… probably dancing demons…
The Spider Stone is an excellent example of why I love this series. Though I found it a lot more enjoyable than Soloman’s Jar, I still have fond memories of that first book in the series. I am not discounting the possibility that this could be due to sentiment. What can be said is that it is a freaking enjoyable listen that I recommend for pulp adventure buffs.