February 17, 2011


Kindle Edition, 480 pages
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published November 23rd 2010 by Ballantine Books
Number 6 in the Cotton Malone Series

The tomb of China’s First Emperor, guarded by an underground army of terra-cotta warriors, has remained sealed for more than 2,000 years. Though it’s regarded as one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world, the Chinese government won’t allow anyone to open it. Why?
That question is at the heart of a dilemma faced by former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone. When he sees Cassiopeia Vitt, a woman who’s saved his life more than once, being tortured at the hands of a mysterious man who has a single demand: Bring me the artifact she’s asked you to keep safe. The only problem is, Malone doesn’t have a clue what the man is talking about. So begins Malone’s most harrowing adventure to date.

At first, this book scared me away, lol. It seemed like there would be too much history, it was long, and it is number 6 in a series of which I've read none of the books.

But I am hooked! There are three things I love most about this novel. First off, the characters: Cotton Malone is so much fun to read! His humor, fighting skills, logic skills: they all make for a great protagonist. And let's not forget about Cassiopeia Vitt, the leading lady who doesn't need a man to fight for her, and who never gives up. You guys know how much I love a great female lead - and there are times, when I think Cassiopeia shows more bravery than every man in this novel.

Second, the very aspect of this book that scared me away, the Chinese history, was also the most absolutely fascinating part of the entire thing! I actually found myself folding down pages (which I hardly ever do) just so I could remember to google things later and see pictures of them myself...yes, I'm a nerd, I know. But in all seriousness, the Chinese torture methods were so interesting, the descriptions of tombs and past Emperors were beautiful and by the end of this novel, I added "going to China" to my bucket list, lol.

Finally, there was the action! This book reminds me of all my favorite cheesy, action movies combined, lol. There were shoot-outs, buildings being set on fire, people getting shot with bows & arrows...I mean, what more can you ask for?!

Now, just to explain why I'm going to give this book 4.5 stars instead of 5, I'd like to add that I did get lost a few times with the double-crossing characters. It seemed like some of them kept switching sides too often, and I didn't like not knowing who stood where. But other than that, everything else was fantastic.

Check out this book GoodChoiceReaders!!
4.5 out of 5 stars


  1. I love this series and can't wait to read this one. I was scared of the history at first with the first in the series, but found that the history was very interesting. I think Steve Berry has a way of presenting ti that makes it very fascinating and just flows with the story. Great review - I'll have to start this one this weekend.


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