CBR #111 – It’s Just Like The Da Vinci Code! That’s Not A Compliment!

Seven Wonders by Ben Mezrich

I’m a tremendous fan of Ben Mezrich’s non-fiction.  Bringing Down the House was an outstanding read, as well his work on the founding of Facebook and other assorted asshole-nerds-becoming-badasses stories.  His style lends itself to making the facts sizzle. Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate to fiction.

An international mystery cabal thousands of — maybe decades — no definitely hundreds of years has hidden Indiana Jones like traps at all the locations of the Modern Wonders of the World.  If you want to know what they are, watch An Idiot Abroad.  But each of them contain a piece of serpent that when combined make a — you know I give up.  It’s something to do with Amazons and at least three secret cults working together against each other and the Mitochonridal Eve.

Mezrich lays out exposition like you’re watching a sexual harassment info-film from the 1970’s in the walk-in freezer at a Shoney’s.  His characters aren’t helped.  While he’s got an arsenal of females who kick ass, they all suffer from sexy lamp syndrome.  His lone female grad student could literally have been played by an iPad.  The main villainess has zero fucking motivation to be trying to stifle the effort.

Our heroes whisk across the globe to the various wonders as if they are using a GameShark on an old SNES RPG.  The main guy is the worst.  He spends most of his time miffed that the female lead doesn’t smile more.  Yes, you’re racing time and death against this mission — that neither of you really can afford (which is addressed earlier and then kind of shrugged off) — but spend a little time making another clip for the sexual harassment video.  C’mon, milady, how’s about a grin?  I know Indiana Jones wore a fedora but FUCK YOU.

Honestly, it’s just lifeless and cheesy, a desperate and hollow attempt at cloning the latest archaeologo-avenger.  It’s shameful, boring, and slapdash.  Mezrich should stick to the facts.

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