Black Rain: A novel’s worth of Indiana Jones opening scenes

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Black Rain by Graham Brown SF thriller reviewsBlack Rain by Graham Brown

Black Rain is terrific summer reading fodder that fits squarely in the realm of the lighter-weight Dan Brown-esque genre of tech-thrillers. Other leaders of this genre include James Rollins and Jeremy Robinson, whose stories are a bit formulaic and their characterizations often thinly built.

Graham Brown, however, brings new energy. His core plot involves the Mayan creation myth called “Popul Vuh.” After having discovered several crystals that suggest the existence of a tremendous new energy source, a semi-secret non-governmental organization goes to Brazil to find their source.

Brown picks apart certain stories from “Popul Vuh” and develops historic explanations for their origins as his team of ex-military and researchers uncover clue after clue surrounding the origin of the crystals. Black Rain contains government conspiracies, hidden jungle pyramids, helicopters and big guns, war-ready natives, and monstrous animals. It also contains a tease of science fiction which nicely sets a tone for the rest of the HAWKER & LAIDLAW series.

Brown captures the texture of Brazil including the jungle-embedded pyramid and the centuries-old tribe that endures its ancient lifestyle. Brown paces each new clue, each newly unraveled mystery at a solid and steady pace. There was very little plot disclosed without a reasonably good rationale. And there was very little mystery solved without it fitting in well with the rest of the tone, texture and pacing of the rest of the story.

The story of Black Rain isn’t deep enough to warrant a 4-star rating, but it’s better than many supernatural thrillers. If you enjoyed the opening sequence of the original Indiana Jones films, then imagine a full book’s worth of that style of adventure and you have a decent preview of what you’ll get.

Here are the sequels, as of June 2016:

Black Sun by Graham BrownThe Eden Prophecy by Graham Brown

Click here for more books by Graham Brown.

Published in 2010. From Graham Brown, co-author of the New York Times bestselling thriller Devil’s Gate with Clive Cussler, comes Black Rain… Covert government operative Danielle Laidlaw leads an expedition into the deepest reaches of the Amazon in search of a legendary Mayan city. Assisted by a renowned university professor and protected by a mercenary named Hawker, her team journeys into the tangled rain forest — unaware that they are replacements for a group that vanished weeks before, and that the treasure they are seeking is no mere artifact but a breakthrough discovery that could transform the world. Shadowed by a ruthless billionaire, threatened by a violent indigenous tribe, and stalked by an unseen enemy that leaves battered corpses in its wake, the group desperately seeks the connection between the deadly reality of the Mayan legend, the nomadic tribe that haunts them, and the chilling secret buried beneath the ancient ruins.

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JASON GOLOMB, who joined us in September 2015, graduated with a degree in Communications from Boston University in 1992, and an M.B.A. from Marymount University in 2005. His passion for ice hockey led to jobs in minor league hockey in Baltimore and Fort Worth, before he returned to his home in the D.C. metro area where he worked for America Online. His next step was National Geographic, which led to an obsession with all things Inca, Aztec and Ancient Rome. But his first loves remain SciFi and Horror, balanced with a healthy dose of Historical Fiction.

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2 comments

  1. Sounds like fun beach-reading, or maybe “waiting three hours in the airport before you’re even allowed to board your plane” reading.

  2. Yes, it sounds like fun summer reading. I have a translation of the Popul Vuh and have tried to read it two or three times. I’ve never really cracked it.

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