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I ended up reading a couple of books and really wanted to like them.
I failed in this endevor.

They were Riptide and Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
The first was a book about the money pit on Oak Island. They re-wrote
the history and moved it to Maine, but it was the money pit.
The problem was the book started very slowly and took hundreds of pages before we
got to the money pit itself. Then the McGuffin was not very believeable
when we finally see it. There are technical errors that were pretty
obvious about it that drove me nuts.
(Things don't stay very intensely radioactive for hundreds of years.
Iridium has no isotopes that are fast neutron emitters.
Something so radioactive that it can kill you 100 feet
away is REALLY hard to find.)
Plus people keep passing out at
opportune moments.

The second book was better and worse. The plot twists were better, but
it started even slower. I ended up skipping the first 250 pages and read
the actual action in 20 minutes. The McGuffin again was hard to believe
and had another error. (How did the human DNA get BACK into the plant?
They explained how the viral DNA from the plant got into the human,
but not how it got the human DNA back into the plant.)
The end of the book is the setup for the sequel, the plot of which is

What I object to most is that I can see the plotting sessions. For the
first one is was like "Dude, how are we going to have a real magic
sword? Dude, lets make it radioactive! Dude! Yeah! And everyone that
sees it dies of radiation poisoning. Genius dude!". For the second, it was
obvious they'd just seen "Night Of The Living Dead" and the plotting
session was "Dude, how can we get brain eating zombies? Dude, let's
make them ADDICTED to chemicals in the brain. Dude!"

They build worlds and characters well enough, give them motivation and
a backstory, but it reminds me of the painting style of Bob Ross. He
could really grind out the paintings, but the didn't say anything.
These books are like Bob Ross paintings,
technically competent, but they
have nothing to say.

Chris - The epilogue plot twist in Relic is pretty good
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