Title: The Crystal Skull
Author: Manda Scott
Page Count/Review Word Count: 544
The Crystal Skull is, in many ways, the literary equivalent of candy floss – it’s nice once in a while, but you shouldn’t make a habit of it in case your teeth fall out. I bought this because the story line surrounds the theory that the ancient Mayans prophesied the end of the world on December 21st, 2012. This book came out a short while before that, presumably intending to ride the wave of publicity and public attention that the event would cause, and it certainly worked for me – I bought it, after all.
The crystal skulls from the title are ostensibly based on fact (I say that because it says that it’s based on fact on the rear cover but I haven’t done any research to check), with the theory being that five thousand years ago, the Mayans carved thirteen crystal skulls, which were sent to the four corners of the globe. Also presented as fact is that only by reuniting all thirteen crystal skulls can the world be saved from destruction on 21st December.
The plot follows Stella, and her lover, Kit, as they discover one of the skulls and begin a race against time to reunite them all and to save the world. As you can imagine, it’s a pageturner, and it’s easy to read and just as easy to forget about. It’s been a while since I read this book, and I can only remember isolated incidents – I certainly don’t remember either of the characters, which says something itself. But all of that said, it was still enjoyable enough, and it easily qualifies for a 7/10, which is my minimum rating for a professional quality book.
Interestingly enough, my copy of this book contains a sticker on the front which says “discover the legend of the crystal skull before you see the film”. I have no idea whether that film was ever made, but I’ve never heard of it – that said, I’d still check it out. In many ways, this book is like a Dan Brown novel, in that it’s basically designed to sell huge quantities and to be adapted into a major motion picture. I have no idea whether The Crystal Skull succeeded with that – I haven’t done the research.
So I guess it all boils down to the question of whether I’d recommend this or not. That’s a tough question – I think most people would enjoy it, but it’s the kind of book that seems impersonal. If it could appeal to anyone, then it’s not exactly a recommendation based on the type of book that people enjoy reading. It’s a good guess that the average person on the street would like it, and that people with an interest in conspiracy theories would be particularly well suited to it, but it’s simply not good enough for me to recommend it over anything else.
That said, a lot of work has clearly gone into it, and you can’t knock it for the quality – it just feels a little soul-less, and I like my books to be tormented. I probably wouldn’t bother reading anything else by the same author. What does that say?