Monday, October 11, 2010
The Bloodgate Guardian by Joely Sue Burkhart
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.
Joely Sue Burkhart introduces us to all of the various demons of Mayan beliefs. With the approach of the Mayan prophesied end of the world looming, many have sought to explore this topic. But Joely Sue Burkhart’s is unusually unique as to the ultimate outcome. She writes a tale with no-nonsense dialogue that gets very descriptive as our Ruin and Jade explore the many Mayan levels of Hell.
Ruin is a Mayan priest from the beginning of the religion whose ultimate sacrifice is love. He loved his twin brother so much, he violated the rules of the Bloodgate to bring him back from death. Not, I might add, a good thing to do. Now he is cursed by the Gods to forever guard the portal. But he is drawn to this woman who comes in search for her father, the scientist who has violated the portal.
Dr. Jade Merritt is the image of the child of a famous parent: always in the shadows of her parent's fame. But she has some difficult phobias to overcome too. She is deathly afraid of the jungle, but determined to find her father, even if it means she must face her fears head on. She is a strong and intelligent woman, determined to do what she must for her father’s safe return.
The happy ever after in this one is hard won, but satisfying. This has an edge of your seat tension, and you spend much of the book holding your breath. The secondary characters are mostly demons and are unbelievably evil, but she uses her imagination to bring these beings to chilling reality. Yes, the loves scenes are few in number, but Ms. Burkhart uses her words to best advantage, with passion and touching emotions.