bookrev: Tractrix by R. J. Archer
In Tractrix, the first novel in the Seeds of Civilization series, R.J. Archer develops a story set in modern times, with the added premise that highly developed civilizations were on Earth many thousands of years ago (ala Graham Hancock et al). His story develops as a scientific mystery, with the just-forming NWIDI team (like yet unlike Clive Cussler’s NUMA team) racing and researching to solve the mystery of black spheres with Mayan (or older) writings on them, an adventure which takes them through Mayan/Olmec ruins and Area51 (or is it?). Modern Mayans are dying as they bring these spheres from their homeland to Nevada, and the NWIDI team tries to discover what motivates them to bring them, how they are getting them there and what is killing them, while keeping various government agencies close (but not too close).
The Clive Cussler parallels continue with Frank Morton, the main hero of the book, who is more educated that Dirk Pitt but also has a military background. Frank recruits ancient scholars, researchers and his former military buddy to help him chase down this mystery.
Mr. Archer’s writing is meticulously detailed, reminding me with his descriptions of engineers I know, how they work and the actions they take. His characterizations are well done.
I look forward to reading Tsubute, the 2nd novel in the series. Highly recommended for Clive Cussler fans, those interested in ancient civilizations or anyone looking for an entertaining read with likeable characters.