by Joely Sue Burkhart
Worlds within worlds await through the Maya Bloodgate…Dr. Jaid Merritt doesn’t do digs. The last time she ventured into the jungle, someone died. Now she’s content to decipher Maya glyphs from pictures sent to her by her famous archaeologist father. But when he goes missing while trying to perform a ritual based on her translations of an ancient codex, Jaid must put aside her fears and travel to Guatemala to find him.After misusing the Bloodgates to bring his twin brother back from the afterlife, the Maya priest known as Ruin was cursed by the gods to stand as the guardian for all time. He was unable to stop Dr. Charles Merritt from opening the gates, and now demons roam this world. The last thing he wants to do is hurt the beautiful woman who is somehow infused with his magic, but if she uses the codex to retrieve her father, Ruin must do his duty. And this time, he won’t fail. Even if it kills him. Again.
The Bloodgate Guardian, by Joely Sue Burkhart, was my first foray into her world of fiction. And what a world it is. Her skills are evident in the research of the subject matter and in the layers of intrigue as she weaves the fantastic with the mundane.
Though I’ve always had an interest in archaeology and ruins, I seldom read fantasy that encompasses those areas. I decided to take a chance on this book, however, and see if it would be as boring and butchered as I feared. To my delight, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Few fantasies delve into Mayan culture to the extent covered here. So it was like a breath of fresh air to read about Mayan ruins, religion, and culture, and modern man’s attempts to uncover secrets better left alone. Ms. Burkhart’s use of language, location, history, and folklore impart a sense of credibility to the tale.
Tying these together is a story of human greed, rejection, death, despair, triumph, and love, and they’re woven tightly enough to allow me to suspend disbelief. Written in first person, split narrative, there were occasional bumps where the transition could have been a bit smoother, but they weren’t noticeable enough to detract from the story.
Overall, I would recommend this book as an interesting change of pace from vampires and werewolves. I haven’t seen any mention of a series, but I would definitely buy the next book.
This book was given to Mona for review by NetGalley.com.