The Mountain Place of Knowledge
By Marshall Chamberlain
(Excerpt from Goodreads) A flash of mysterious blue light brings death to a U.N. official searching for a secret entrance to the inside of a Belizean mountain. Two U.N. scientists investigate, coming into possession of a scepter wielding miraculous powers, uncovering a blue-light source of destruction, and finding the hidden entrance. Inside strange sculpted caverns, bizarre mental prodding guides them to shocking experiences. To protect hi-tech secrets, cooperation is required from Belize, the United Nations, NATO, and the United States. But one nation determines the mountain poses a threat to world order and will take great risks to neutralize the danger.
The story starts as two scientists, Calvin Stanvich and Donald Courtney, and a young boy are exploring a Mayan ruin. Lead there by a sorceress ancient diary that Calvin has translated but not shared the full content, a strange blue light is triggered and Donald and the young boy are killed. Calvin has other plans for the things described in the diary. Unfortuantely, the death of Donald has brought too much attention and now the UN Institute for the Study of Unusual Phenomena (ISUP) has sent John Henry in to find out what really happened.
John Henry has just been pulled from an archeological dig in Zambia. The museum director has reason to assume Calvin is up to something because the gaping holes in the translation of the Mayan diary and the mysterious death of Donald. John Henry’s ex-military background and assistant Mary Ellen fly to Belize and discover a strange entrance to a hill that kills all electronics and has special rooms to teach people, the rooms that the sorceress describes in her diary.
But this is not going to be an easy discovery. Calvin decided to ask the Chinese for help translating some scrolls. This leads the Chinese to start investigating what is going on and planning on how they can gain control of the hill and all the knowledge stored within. Now John Henry and Mary Ellen need to explore, determine the cause of the death of Donald, and to keep the Chinese from taking the knowledge and creating weapons with it.
I liked the idea behind this story. It has a Clive Cussler/Indian Jones feel to it with action adventure, the discovery of mysterious artifacts, and trying to keep the artifact out of enemy hands.
Sadly I have to admit that the story is lacking. There is enough to tease you into wanting to find out more about the rooms in the hill but not much more. It almost felt like the idea ran out and that there was nothing more to add to it. I will admit that some of the conflict with the Chinese seemed to take over the story but nothing really added more to it. I was left wanting more information on the hill, disappointed with the whole Chinese conflict, and feeling let down.
Don’t get me wrong, it was an interesting story, but I felt like there could have been more put into it. I see that it is the first book in the series with the next one, The Ice Cap and The Rift, is out for purchase. I did like this one enough to want to buy the second book. But I will be honest, if the second book is similar to the first book and leaves me lacking, I may skip the rest of this series.
I received this book for free from the Library Thing Early Review Program in exchange for an honest review.