ARC Review: The Explorer’s Code by Kitty Pilgrim
Book: The Explorer’s Code
Release: July 5, 2011
Source: Book Expo America
Purchase: – Book Depository
Cordelia Stapleton receives an invitation to accept an award on behalf of her great-great-grandfather, a famous Victorian polar explorer, she has no idea her life is about to change dramatically. John Sinclair—a dashing, wealthy archaeologist and philanthropist—presents Cordelia with the award at the glamorous Oceanographic Institute Ball in Monaco. He also gives her a journal that her greatgreat- grandfather wrote in 1908. An orphan with very few family belongings, Cordelia is amazingly touched to have this precious heirloom. Once the journal is in her possession, Cordelia learns that she is heir to the land on which the Global Seed Vault in Norway sits. The valuable deed for this land, or at least a clue to its whereabouts, may be hidden in the journal.
When the journal disappears from Cordelia’s stateroom on the Queen Victoria and Cordelia receives threatening e-mails, it becomes clear that she is in danger. John Sinclair comes to Cordelia’s aid, helping her search for the missing journal and land deed, and capturing her heart.
As they race to find the deed, Cordelia and Sinclair encounter a team of British virologists trying to decode the genome of the 1918 influenza pandemic, but unearthing infected tissue samples may prove more lethal than curative. Cordelia and Sinclair sail through the Mediterranean from Monaco to an archaeological site in Ephesus, Turkey. They travel to a beautiful old Parisian home and a lavish estate in the British countryside. Their search culminates in the high Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, not far from the North Pole. Behind them every step of the way are a consortium of Russian underworld criminals, religious fanatics from Texas, a sinister botanist, and a sexy American spy, all hunting for the deed, all pursuing Cordelia…
Renowned oceanographer, Cordelia Stapleton wants nothing more than to focus on her love of oceanography but after a great deal of convincing from her friends she decides to take a long-needed vacation – to receive an award on behalf of her explorer Great-Grandfather in Monaco. When Cordelia accepts the award she also receives a journal that belonged to her Great-Grandfather… So begins our adventure in The Explorer’s Code – and what an adventure it is! From London to New York, Monaco, Turkey, France, Norway, so many exotic destinations – and quite a few entertaining methods of getting there. Reading this book is like entering a world of luxury and first class travel, ah! the good life.
Within a few chapters Cordelia finds out she is now a heiress – and one of the things she now owns – a mysterious deed to the land which houses the Global Seed Vault in Norway. Only problem? No one knows where the deed is and apparently, everybody wants it.
Luckily for Cordelia, she has also met handsome archeologist John Sinclair, a philanthropist who is intrigued by Cordelia and who wants to help her solve the mystery of the deed – which she believes might be hidden in the journal, but can she trust Sinclair?
There is so much going on in The Explorer’s Code and to begin with, it doesn’t seem like the plots will ever come together – The Russian mob, extreme evangelical Christians, various governments and then there’s a team of virologists… Plus there’s a sinister (and intriguing) botanist and Sinclair’s friend Charles Bonnard; where do they all fit in the story and who among them are the “good guys”?
Well, it did take a while but the plots do meld eventually and even though I did find that one of the plots could have either been expanded upon or saved for a future book, this was a seriously fun journey.
The Explorer’s Code has suspense, adventure, and even romance and it seems like many of the characters introduced here will have a part to play in future works by Ms. Pilgrim (see interview tomorrow on PBD), my main disappointment was in the fact that I didn’t get enough of them in The Explorer’s Code – I really wish the epilogue was a bit longer.
This debut work of fiction from Kitty Pilgrim is a great summer read, whether you are enjoying an exotic break, or arm-chair traveling, reading The Explorer’s Code will have you wishing you too could pack you bags and head out on a luxurious cruise or a mysterious destination.