The Explorers Guild by Jon Baird and Kevin Costner

I had to give a final exam last night from 8-10pm which cut into my blogging time, so I’m getting this blog up this morning instead.

Subtitle: Volume One: A Passage to Shambhala.

Published: 2015

Genre: adventure fiction

Length: 763

Setting: various locations around the world, 1912-1918

Interest: I had seen the book reviewed on a GeekDad post as a cross between Rudyard Kipling and Tintin – old-fashioned adventure fiction at it’s best. It sounded interesting. I read it sooner rather than later because it gave me an “X, Y, or Z” title for my alphabet challenge.

Summary: We follow the adventures of John Ogden, brother to the professed explorer Arthur Ogden and head of a company of elite and terrifying soldier. It seems that Arthur, in his one adventure, entered and left the mythical city of Shambhala. If he doesn’t get back to the city soon, he will die. John’s sister prevails on John to help Arthur in his quest to find the next appearance of Shambhala, which takes him around the world following rumors. There’s another organization of priests who have learned how to predict the appearances of Shambhala, but cannot (for all their trying) learn anything about what goes on inside the city. Arthur and the priests are often working in cross-purposes, but there is success at the end.

Final thoughts: This was not quite the book I was expecting. There was a lot of adventuring around the world and secret societies and secret passages, but it had a much grimmer tone than I expected. I guess I was hoping for something a little lighter or more playful, but John is a brooding protagonist instead of a joyful one. It’s most definitely an adult book, with a fair amount of swearing (with a vowel removed for propriety’s sake), sexual innuendo, and the aftermath of battles. I did enjoy the unique format. Most of the dialogue is in comic form, with the exposition being told by a narrator (who likes to talk to the reader). It’s all set on the backdrop of WWI.

Title comes from: The Explorers Guild was the reason Arthur when on his expedition and the start of all the adventures. He was seeking a passage back to the mysterious, moving city of Shambhala.

Reading challenges fulfilled: 88/100 in my Finally to 100 Challenge, and an X in my Title Alphabet Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or subtitle to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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