Book Review: Merona Grant and the Lost Tomb of Golgotha
Reminiscent of movies like Indiana Jones and video games like the Uncharted series, Merona Grant and the Lost Tomb of Golgotha is a thrilling ride from start to finish. I read this book in two days - I just could not put it down.
The story follows adventuress Merona Grant after a falling out with a previous employer leaves her desperate for cash and willing to take just about any job. Enter the wealthy Lady Woolsworth, a fiesty, elderly woman with a thirst for adventure and a map to a legendary treasure that has been lost for centuries. The treasure is rumored to be cursed (because of course it is), but that doesn't do anything to disuade Merona or Lady Woolsworth. After assembling a team - which includes a skilled Russian pilot, a fearful doctor, a mysterious linguist, and Merona's loyal dog - the group sets out on the adventure of a lifetime. Along the way, they encounter many obstacles, but their interpersonal squabbles and...shall we say, character deficiencies...may prove to be the toughest challenge of them all.
Merona Grant herself is a compelling protagonist, with motivations that are maybe less noble than some other prominent characters in the genre, but that just makes them feel all the more real and unique to her character. The side characters here are all a bit tropey, with one or two major character traits that are played up and maybe even exaggerated a little for comedic effect, but that's not at all a complaint. Sometimes you just want to read a good adventure story with characters who will make you laugh, and that's exactly what you get here. I can't even count the number of times someone said something in this book that made me laugh, or shake my head in amused disbelief. Lady Woolsworth and Sasha Durov are especially entertaining, and pitting them against each other to argue was a stroke of genius. I loved them.
The pacing is excellent, and there are never any moments where the story drags or feels bogged down. At the same time, the characters get enough down-time to allow for some quieter, more reflective moments which are always good for character development and for puzzling out the last piece of information they acquired. The puzzle of the tomb itself is also a rather interesting one, with different pieces coming together one at a time to lead up to a highly satisfying conclusion. I loved the journey and would be thrilled to read more about Merona and her companions in future books. Hopefully, the author has more adventures in mind for our daring heroine.