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Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Dust McAlan and the Empire of the Serpent by CK Burch unravels in the mid 1930s in Africa, where Dust McAlan is in search of an artifact called the Mask of Kaang, the African creator god. This is a time when treasure hunters, grave robbers, and wild speculators are roaming around the world looking for artifacts to make their own fortunes. Narrowly escaping death from the hands of rival Kirk Tyler and a pack of dinosaurs, Dust goes on to win another racing event. He is actually a racing pilot who is a failed archaeology scholar. He is also an independent treasure hunter who donates his finds to the Los Angeles History Museum. Back in the comforts of his own home in Los Angeles, Kirk unceremoniously comes to him again and Dust finds himself searching for his former mentor Professor Kulsky and the lost Mayan city of Xibalba. He now has to deal with Jean-Marc Perdu, a wealthy, cunning, and manipulative philanthropist who has his former lover and colleague Alyssa Morgan on his side, and the dangers of looking for the empire of the serpent itself.
Filled with adventures and action, Dust McAlan and the Empire of the Serpent by CK Burch is one of those books that are certainly difficult to put down. The action in the first few pages starts slowly enough and then the pace suddenly takes on an incredibly fast tempo and it can get the reader hooked almost immediately. This is only the beginning, however, because a host of new and fascinating adventures is about to unveil itself. Dust McAlan, one of the main protagonists, is definitely an interesting man. His character is very well developed and it is difficult not to empathize with a man who is intelligent, daring, and courageous. What makes him human, though, is his personal story that also unravels as one goes through the book. This is a book that has it all - friendship, love, adventure, rivalry, greed, ambition, and vindication. Well researched and informative, Dust McAlan and the Empire of the Serpent mixes history, myth and fantasy and the result is a story that is both entertaining and enlightening. I highly recommend this book!