The Excalibur Codex
The Excalibur Codex is the third novel by James Douglas to feature Jamie Sinclair as its main protagonist, a hefty book that has been set at a very attractive price. As I have not read the previous two, I thought this would give me a real insight into whether or not the book works as a standalone story. It is not merely a treasure hunt, a search for a fabled sword. Sinister forces are at work, and the novel reveals a web of deceit and danger which tasks the intellectual Sinclair to the very limits.
The characters are well thought out, with care being paid to those of a more sinister outlook. They are not the simple run-of-the-mill bad guys that so often raise their heads within these types of books. The plot is imaginative and fluid, and is only enhanced by the rich blend of characters which inhabit the pages of this novel. That said, I was troubled by the main character. Sometimes I felt that he was more suited to the world of espionage than that of art recovery. Adept with certain weaponry, the hero (of a sort) finds trouble easily, but also seems to escape that trouble just as simply.
In short the book provides entertainment, especially in the more fearful darker moments and there are a few. This is not as engrossing as, say, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, but few books are, and I am not sure that is what the author intended. As a whole it works well, and in answer to my first question does the book work as a standalone novel? Yes! It would also make me take a mental note to seek out the first two.