Hunt for the Mayan Looking-Glass

Hunt for the Mayan-Looking Glass is not your typical piece of fiction. Through a knowledge of the lands and a skill for filling in the blanks, author James Luceno brings to life a story of the Maya. Two adolescents embark on an adventure that takes them across the land of the living and beyond. They meet strange tribes, new friends and discover that the magic of the spirit world is real. It’s a truly unique adventure that has a flavor far different than your typical fantasy story.

The two main characters in the book are 3Sky and Flint. They are friends and members of the Xukpi. Flint is the more adventurous and troublesome of the two. He’s a gifted artist and often enjoys painting pictures from his imagination. Alas, he has some friends in shady places. 3Sky, on the other hand, is just a normal youth who suffers from a shaking sickness. But 3Sky is in love with a captured princess, and with the encouragement of Flint, the two boys go off on a journey. Traveling with a shaman, a fugitive ball player and an abducted royalty, they flee from murderous holy men, vengeful thieves, and enraged chieftains. To get out of trouble, they’ll have to get the magical Looking Lense, a pure obsidian mirror struck by the first lightning bolt and embedded with magical powers.

The story is a fun adventure. There’s humor and some nice character development as 3Sky learns from Flint’s holy uncle. Yet there is also some dark violence befitting the time period and the ways of the Mayans. After all, this is a people whose ball games could lead to the winners and the losers being sacrificed to the gods. Through the story, there is a lot of description of the Mayan’s ways of life: the implements they use, the food they eat, the clothing they wear, their rituals, etc. Even though Luceno asserts that this is by no means an accurate depiction of how the Mayan actually lived, it definitely feels like this is how it could have been. He does an excellent job of creating another world and filling it with colorful characters and rich settings. The sheer strangeness of the world makes it very easy to escape into the story. Plus there’s a fun plot at the heart of it.

The weakest part of the story, however, is the prose. That’s not to say that the prose is bad, though. There’s some good lines strewn throughout, and some great descriptions, but it leaves a little to be desired. It’s a bit more straightforward and plain spoken. There are also a lot of descriptions involving lists. That particular method of describing a setting certainly paints a vivid picture, but it doesn’t provide the best flow for the story. Still, the style works and the content of the prose conveys some wonderful, and sometimes disturbing, imagery. I never found myself struggling to visualize the story.

In the end, Hunt for the Mayan Looking-Glass is a good story, but it’s so unique that I have to give it a special recommendation. If you’re looking for an adventure story with just a touch of fantasy that stands out from all the rest, then this is a book worthy of checking out. Furthermore, for Star Wars fans, I recommend giving this one a try so you can see what James Luceno can do outside the galaxy far, far away. It’s a really fun adventure and earns a four and a half out of five metal bikinis.

If you’d like to find out more about the book or where to buy it, you can check out the official site.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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