Does Pandora’s Box actually exist? If so, it is alleged to possess the power to destroy men, planets and gods. Ancient myth and popular speculation allege that the Box --- actually in the form of a jar --- not only exists but contains a deadly amount of dark matter.
Dark matter can be both a limitless source of potential or, in the wrong hands, a deadly weapon. PANDORA’S TEMPLE opens with a 2008 event in which a ship named the Aurora comes across a huge and powerful force in the Mediterranean Sea that completely annihilates them. Jumping to present day, a similar event claims the lives of everyone aboard an offshore rig named the Deepwater Venture in the Gulf of Mexico.
"PANDORA’S TEMPLE is a highly engaging and enjoyable adventure from start to finish and a smart entry in the Blaine McCracken series."
When the Deepwater Venture crew drilled a bit too deeply in a certain spot, it brought about a huge force that erased them from the planet. The captain of the Deepwater Venture happened to be a very close friend of Blaine McCracken. McCracken is now 60 years old but still a rogue agent who is occasionally called upon by Homeland Security to assist in activities that threaten national security. With his long-time friend and sidekick Johnny Wareagle assisting him, they are called into action once again to uncover the threat that claimed the Deepwater Venture crew.
What McCracken and his team begin to piece together appears to be the stuff of myth. While calling upon the assistance of a bizarre and usually stoned character by the name of Captain Seven, they are regaled with stories of ancient Greece and the alleged super-human power that is found within the original jar of Pandora’s. The dark matter contained within that is indeed very real and similar to the type of power that many labs, including CERN, have attempted to recreate. The mere fact that this mythical jar may exist has brought about many different groups all willing to do anything to claim it.
The first character to cross paths with McCracken and company is a woman named Katie DeMarco, who was on the Deepwater Venture and survived the event that claimed the entire crew. Claiming to be a representative from an environmental group gave her access to the oil rig. McCracken and his Homeland colleagues recognize that she very well may be part of an eco-terrorist faction that had more sinister intentions towards the Deepwater Venture.
Throw into the mix an extremely wealthy magnate named Sebastian Roy and the Japanese leader of a doomsday cult --- each of whom want to possess the power of Pandora’s Jar for their own nefarious needs --- and you have the making of a potential conflagration that can spin out of control quickly. McCracken and his team not only have to face those threats but also need to locate the mythical underwater Pandora’s Temple to find the jar. This will not be easy because the Temple is allegedly guarded by a sea monster that destroys all who attempt to gain entry. In a terrific homage to Jules Verne’s 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, the sea monster engages in fierce battle with McCracken’s submarine.
With this release, just six months after his well-received novel STRONG VENGEANCE, author Jon Land has put together another top-notch read for 2012. It deals with the historical premise of Pandora’s Jar dating back to 1672 Greece but does not continuously shift timelines. Instead of being distracting, the backstory is there to provide the impetus for the modern-day adventure that ensues. The action and pace of the novel are pitch perfect and challenge the reader not to put the book down before finishing the tale in one fell swoop.
PANDORA’S TEMPLE is a highly engaging and enjoyable adventure from start to finish and a smart entry in the Blaine McCracken series.
Reviewed by Ray Palen on December 7, 2012