Hello, Book Friends. Welcome to my stop on the Random Things Tours! Today’s book is Solstice Shadows (VanOps #2) by Avanti Centrae. Check it out.
DA VINCI CODE meets TOMB RAIDER in this multi-award-winning thriller series.
A computer-app designer. An encrypted relic. Can she decipher the dangerous code before extremists trigger a high-tech apocalypse?
Software expert Maddy Marshall isn’t sure she’s ready for a hazardous role in black ops. But when an armed Russian thief makes off with a rare ancient star chart, the aikido black belt has no choice but to join her VanOps boyfriend and twin brother in the pursuit. If her royal Spanish family legends are true, the chart leads to a superconductive treasure trove capable of powering a quantum computer used as the ultimate instrument of global destruction.
Setting off on a mad dash to uncover the secrets of a Mexican archeoastronomy site, she and the VanOps team unearth a clue dating back to biblical times. But as they race across the globe to the Sahara, Turkey, and Egypt, they find themselves only a half-step ahead of sinister assassins.
Before millions die at the hands of an anti-American Russian government, can Maddy crack the secret code?
SOLSTICE SHADOWS is the second book in the fast-paced, multi-award-winning VanOps thriller series. If you enjoy smart edge-of-your-seat suspense such as James Rollins THE LAST ODYSSEY, the Sean Wyatt series by Ernest Dempsey, the NOWHERE MAN by Gregg Hurwitz, ORIGIN by Dan Brown, Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone series, the Atlee Pine series by David Baldacci, or THE ORACLE by Clive Cussler, you’ll stay up late turning the pages of Avanti Centrae’s high-stakes novel.
VANOPS: THE LOST POWER was an instant Barnes and Noble best seller. A rare multi-award-winning novel, it took home a genre grand prize blue ribbon at the 2017 Chanticleer International Book Awards, an Honorable Mention at the 2018 Hollywood Book Festival, and a shiny bronze medal at the 2019 Wishing Shelf Book Awards.
Solstice Shadows is the 2nd in the VanOps series, thrillers about a top-secret task force charged with hunting down artifacts and keeping them out of the hands of the bad guys. Author Avanti Centrae has a real knack for writing books that combine suspense with ancient history, as this series shows.
The ancient history aspect of this book is probably the most interesting to me. While the synopsis from the publisher compares it to Dan Brown and Tomb Raider, I have never read those books (or seen the movies, either). I do get National Treasure vibes, though, and I think this is a more apt comparison, anyway. This journey is taken by a whole crew of people, each with different skills: the leader with personal history, the computer expert, the muscle, the found expert, etc. The puzzle leads them to different locations, each with a clue to the next. There is a big focus on Ancient Egyptian culture, which is really cool. Egyptian artifacts and structures – not just pyramids, but other buildings, as well, many of which synch up with the seasons – are the highlight of the story.
Centrae does a great job of building the tension in this story. Not only is the main storyline tension-filled, but there are many side narratives that contribute to the overall atmosphere. There are relationships at stake (romantic and otherwise), history with the bad guys, and characters making life-changing choices. These all feed into the main storyline, and I really enjoyed the fact that there was more to this book than just an artifact hunt.
I also want to say that, although this is a Book 2, I found I did not have to read Book 1 to keep up. Some things did happen in Book 1 that are referenced in Book 2, but I did not read Book 1 and was able to keep with the story in this book just fine.
If you are a fan of historical-type thrillers, I recommend this book, for sure. Solstice Shadows releases August 11 (which is tomorrow). Pre-order or pick it up on release day!