Mayan Moon by Derek Bullard

Mayan Moon surprised me, delivering much more punch and fluidity than I had expected. I bought it through Amazon, taking a chance, since the author had asked me about using some Venus Vulture music in his book trailer (full disclosure: he did use the music – see the trailer here [nb. not an affiliate link – I don’t get a kickback]).

The book took me by surprise for something from a small press. It can be a bit hit-and-miss with small press books: too often they’re vanity volumes written by friends and relatives (or the press-owner). Then again, big publishing house books can be a bit hit-and-miss too (even with name authors).

In Mayan Moon, the writing is compelling, the action fast and the set-pieces well orchestrated. My one quibble was that the phonetic spelling of some character’s accented dialogue was a little over-done and distracting.

The hero – Jordon – is something of a classic, damaged, anti-bureaucracy loner and he drives the action well. Told in three parts the novel cleverly blends contemporary thriller, with science-fiction and classic archaeology (read “Indiana Jones”) adventure. While characters are not guaranteed survival, the plot does stitch up neatly and in timely manner.

Actually, in terms of reading for writing, I like that structure – the three parts, each with a slightly different tone, but all interdependent, make for a surprising mix of genres. Each part is around 100 pages and that seems to be a length I can write easily while longer is sometimes a struggle. I might just try writing something like this, with distinct yet interrelated parts.