by David Talon, fantasy (2007)
Cold Tree Press, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-58385-221-7
The Last Guardian Of Mosh Chaltun attempts to be way too many things at once but I am afraid that author David Talon doesn't quite succeed in doing well in any of these things.
This story attempts to be an amalgamation of some Indiana Jones type of adventure, a romance, a thriller, and who knows what else. Instead of having a clear focus and direction, the story begins with a whimper as I am subjected to plenty of tedious information dumping about the young Juan Gerro, our hero, having to grow up and adapt to his responsibility. You see, he's one of the few folks that have to watch over the lost Mayan city of Mosh Chaltun. He has what seems like the power of a Wolf spirit in him but he's yet to master his power. Alas, soon the deadly secrets of Mosh Chaltun fall into the wrong hands and Ah-Puch, the demonic Lord of Death, will soon destroy everything if Juan and his allies don't make a move fast.
At least, that's the crux of the story. However, Mr Talon's story lacks a clear focus and instead tends to veer off in all kinds of direction. There are romance and sexual intrigue portrayed in a manner that feels as dated and laughable as a Harold Robbins novel. There are long tangential excursions into various subjects and scenes that act as distracting clutter instead of adding anything to the basic storyline. The huge cast of characters are cardboard figures and the storyline is convoluted and messy enough to drive even the fans of the most tortuous South American telenovela into a confused stupor.
It also doesn't help that this book is riddled with grammatical and typographical errors. I don't know how much Mr Talon had coughed up for the editorial services of Cold Tree Press, but if you ask me, he clearly hadn't received his money's worth. There are too many embarrassing errors here for a published effort.
With its messy and nearly unreadable story as well as a slew of typographical and grammatical errors, The Last Guardian Of Mosh Chaltun is an unfortunate stereotype of a self-published effort that only the author's mother can love. Mr Talon has some good ideas here, but yikes, this is one story that should have undergone a few more rounds of intense editing and rewriting before being published. Chalk this one up as one to avoid unless you are willing to cough up $19.95 for some unintentional laughs at the author's expense.
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