The Codex

The Preston and Child novels can best be described as archaelogical thrillers taking us on adventure to far away lands. In The Codex, author Douglas Preston solos to write us quite a quest.

The theme is definitely Mayan, and much of the novel takes place in Central American jungles. This novel has a similar feel to Thunderhead in that it involves a quest into a very isolated area far from civilization and human contact.

Unlike Thunderhead, or Riptide, there is a new twist. Instead of one team on a treasure hunt, we end up with three in competition. You see, Maxwell Broadbent has accumulated half a billion dollars of treasure. Rather than leave it to his underachieving sons outright, he decides to stash it in a lost Mayan city. This way, the sons will have to work together to earn the money. With greed in their eyes, the sons are off to race to find the treasure, and not even close to any cooperation.

The Codex refers to an ancient manuscript of Mayan medicine. It is potentially the single most valuable treasure of the collection. This ancient pharmaceutical tome has potential to revolutionize modern medicine with hundreds of new drugs from the rainforest that are unknown in current times.

As the adventure progresses, there are plenty of twists and turns, as well as some surprises as we head further into the jungle. The Codex is well written and progresses at near breakneck speed for the entire novel. There is also plenty of symbolism that adds to the overall richness of the novel.

If you've enjoyed Preston's (and Child's) previous novels, then The Codex certainly fits in well with them. If you haven't taken the opportunity yet, then I highly recommend them. While the solo efforts are non sequential, the coauthored ones are easier to enjoy in order.

Overall Grade: A

Also Reviewed:
Mount Dragon

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