Thursday, June 4, 2015

Dark Gold by David Angsten (from 2010)

"Like Benchley's Jaws, David Angsten's debut will once again chase swimmers out of the water."  That's the quote from James Rollins featured on the cover of this book.  I don't necessarily want James Rollins to be burnt to a crisp, but in a perfect world, anyone who compared something like Dark Gold to Jaws would immediately burst into flames.  Dark Gold is more likely to scare readers out of the bookstore.  My work hasn't reached a large enough audience to hold much sway as of yet, but I'm offering up a better quote for future editions of Dark Gold: "If Peter Benchley had suffered some sort of massive head trauma and written a book while dealing with severe headaches and chronic confusion, he might have produced something like Dark Gold--with a better ending."  I don't have to be compensated.  Take the quote and do the right thing: prepare future readers for the mind-numbing descent into stupidity they are about to endure.  Look, black magic, buried treasure, and sea creatures are right up my alley.  I am the target audience for this kind of material.  I'm also willing to admit that the premise was engaging and I initially liked many of the characters, though they grow more and more tiresome as the tale grew more and more insipid.  Yet the wealth of stupidity that punctuated the dull last act would have made even the finest novel seem like an insult to one's intelligence.  Even prior to the idiotic finish, the main character's absurd ability to survive even the most severe injuries was growing rather tiresome.  Every other chapter ended with this dolt's apparent death, and before the foolish climax mercifully drew to a close, I was hoping and praying that this buffoon would finally perish.  Alas, he survived, and the book hinted at the possibility of a sequel--and that's easily the scariest thing about Dark Gold

SPOILER ALERT: Don't read this last tidbit if you're still thinking about setting sail on this voyage into idiocy.  I don't want to spoil the book for anyone because I don't dig on spoilers, but I really don't want you to have to read this turd either.  If you think I'm being too hard on Dark Gold (and the conclusion in particular), all I'm saying is this: there's a sequence where our main character is swallowed by the sea creature at the heart of the tale, hangs out with an old chum in its gullet, and then escapes from the creature's mouth to prolong the miserable climax.  That's Dark Gold in a nutshell for you. 

Final Grade: DO NOT read this shit. 

How's that for a Final Grade?  Seriously, I gave it one star on Goodreads because the site wouldn't allow me to give it no stars. 

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