About the Book:
In the desolate Iraqi desert, a lone shepherd stumbles across a whale fossil. Initial analysis indicates that it could be a new species-a discovery that might shed light on the evolution debate.
Paleontologist Dr. Katie James is asked to lead an expedition to recover the rest of the fossil before her archrival, Nick Murad, can find it first. But while she's there, Katie also uncovers the unexpected-a human fossil so controversial she's forced to collaborate with Nick to analyze the find before it can be destroyed by a fundamentalist faction of the Iraqi government. Their initial results fly in the face of current scientific theory, and it seems the whole world turns against them, including those they thought they could trust.
Then the fossil disappears, sending Nick and Katie on a chase that could cost them their reputations, their careers-even their lives.
Wow. What an incredible story! This book is so far from what I normally read, and I have no idea what made me pick it up in the first place. But again, wow! If you want a first hand look at the life of archaeologists and scientists that go to remote places, working with troublesome governments, and all that comes with that kind of life, then here you go. Mr. Olson definitely seems to know his stuff when it comes to science. And writing a story about the controversy of evolution and creation had to pretty tough. But I thought he handled it very well. Switching back and forth between Katie's and Nick's points of view, this is a thrill ride that never stops until you hit the last page! Battling the prejudices of her co-workers, the harshness of the Pakistan desert, and worry for her father back home, Katie is still determined to get answers to her questions. She's a creationist but also a scientist and trying to balance the two is hard work. Especially when most of the scientific world around her thinks she's cuckoo. Nick, a scientist through and through, is the man who got the job she wanted and they've been rivals ever since. Always trying to outdo one another, even if they haven't even met in real life. Until they do meet, and suddenly have to trust one another in a confusing situation. Trust doesn't come easily for either one though, and the attraction they both feel doesn't help. Or well....it doesn't help Katie. Nick doesn't deny it nearly as long as Katie does. Their interactions are fun! The romance is definitely there, but very subtly and absolutely takes a backseat when their lives are on the line. Which happens basically all the time! Because they jump from one bad situation to another to another and another. Wandering in the desert with barely any food or water, being chased by bad guys, fossils being stolen and blamed wrongly on them. Yeah, life is crazy for these two! It's a pulse-pounding story that refuses to let up. As soon as you think things may calm down, it only lasts for about a page or two and then the bad guys find them again. It simply never stops, but it's so much fun!
Like Indiana Jones and those types of movies, this is fast paced and entertaining. The good guys against the bad guys. But figuring out who the good guys and bad guys are is part of the adventure! You get thrown into the action from the first page and it never lets up. Simply put, I couldn't put this story down once I started it. So be sure to allow plenty of time to read it because you won't be able to either. :D A few hours later, and I'm still thinking about it. All I can end with is, wow what a ride!
A Passage For You:
"She cracked open her eyes, but all she could see was blinding white light. She tried to move her head, but the attempt sent pulses of shimmering pain through her brain.
"Katie, answer me."
"I..." The word burned in her throat. She tried to swallow, but her mouth was dry as cotton. "I..."
Paper crinkled all around her. "Katie, listen. We're in the sun. We need to move to the other side of the wadi."
"Okay." She finally managed to croak the word out. She sounded like a frog. A big green frog on a lily pad surrounded by deep green water. An icy cold stream, crystal clear and gurgling like rustling papers....
Grasping hands tugged at her arms and shoulders. Loud voices. Grunts and sighs. A wave of nausea washed through her body as she was hoisted onto her feet. She tried to take a step but her legs buckled beneath her. She was falling."