THE LAST KING OF THE MAYA by David Talon

THE LAST KING OF THE MAYA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

When a Mayan god threatens to wreak havoc on Earth, a young man and his friends must confront their shared destiny.

Young Juan Guerrero has a fighting spirit inside him that he calls his Wolf. His grandfather Manuel was teaching him how to use his powers, but when an armed gang, including several odd members completely covered in black robes, came to the Guerrero’s small village in Mexico and murdered Manuel, Juan’s Wolf took charge of his body. When the dust cleared, most of the gang was dead, the rest were on the run and Juan was in a jail cell. Dr. Gottschalk, an archaeologist at a nearby temple complex to which Juan’s family had a longstanding connection, bails Juan out after he agrees to act as a sort of bodyguard to the doctor’s son Mark. Juan and Mark develop a close friendship, one so close that it is barely threatened by the appearance of Kat O’Riley, a spirited graduate student working at the site. Soon, Mark and Juan have intense feelings for Kat and she for them, but this doesn’t sit well with Mark’s mother, who has plans for her son and Eleanor, a grad student who has had her eye on Mark for some time. Meanwhile, bad things are happening in and around the site, things that seem to hint at a deeper destiny for Mark, Kat and Juan, as well as Juan’s Wolf. Talon’s novel is steeped in a deliciously dark supernatural atmosphere and full of tense action sequences intercut with scenes of lighthearted youthful palling around. While some expository sequences belong on the cutting room floor, for the most part the plot is compelling enough to keep the reader interested. Some of the youthful banter feels forced, but there is more than enough well-wrought action and wonderful creepiness to counteract the rough bits.

A gripping, macabre action story only occasionally marred by slow spots.

Pub Date: April 2nd, 2011
ISBN: 978-1450760072
Page count: 413pp
Publisher: David Talon
Program: Kirkus Indie
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