Annja Creed is an archeologist. Think female Indiana Jones. She's gorgeous. She has martial arts training up the ying yang. She can handle any weapon and fight any foe. She also has a magic sword that appears and disappears with a thought. Nothing we haven't seen in Highlander. I've always wondered why no one notices when someone suddenly has a sword and when the fighting is done it's nowhere to be seen. Obviously the effects of the sword are visible. What's the point of killing someone with a sword if they don't stay dead when the sword disappears? But I digress.
Serpent's Kiss is a bit jumpy. There are three main sets of characters. Annja and the rest of the archeology crew, a bunch of pirates who want what Annja digs up and a group of law enforcement people focused on catching the pirates. There's also a bit of story that happened a long time ago to set up what Annja finds when she finally gets where she's going. I have a bit of a quibble with the blurb on the back of the book.
Just as Annja's grail comes into view, she must ward off an even greater evil. Because deep in the Nilgris mountains is a race of people that the world forgot.
And they don't like strangers.
In reality the “forgotten people” are pathetic. They're no match for modern weapons. They only managed to kill people because they surprise them, set traps for them or out number them. The also only appear in the last few pages of the book. Not exactly major characters.
All in all, I give this book a 6/10. It was enjoyable quick read. The reality quotient is fairly low. Especially when it talks about Annja as if she's the average archeologist. I knew that Annja would survive the book (she's needed if the series is to continue) but I was never sure if anyone else would. That made it interesting. The head pirate was your stereotypical modern bad guy. He didn't see what he did for a living as wrong. He was just “reclaiming” things from the see. I hate to say it but I almost longed for a “plucky” sidekick with no special talent who knew Annja's secrets but had to be rescued at least once per book. Maybe I've been watching too much Doctor Who.