The Opal: Matt Turner, Book 2 (Unabridged)
by Michael Siemsen
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Matt Turner grew up witnessing firsthand the worst crimes imaginable. At age nine, he discovered his special ability to "read" the emotional imprints people leave on objects. Against better judgment, his police detective father used his son’s talent to help him solve crimes. Now, at 26, Matt tries to keep to himself, but an enemy he thought long gone interrupts his tropical vacation, flying him all over the globe to help track a 3,500-year-old Egyptian opal found sealed in a Cuban tree trunk. In Cuba, Matt finds not riches but even deadlier foes, and the secrets of a long-dead explorer who will forever alter Matt’s life.
Overall, I really like the present timeline
The Opal by Michael Siemsen is the second novel in the Matt Turner series. Matt Turner has a gift that allows him to read imprints from objects. All people leave an emotional and mental imprint on objects. This ability interferes with Matt’s ability to live a normal life due his inability to touch nearly all objects with his bare skin. After having completed mission where his used his ability to unearth information about an artifact in Kenya, Matt and Tuni, his coworker and girlfriend, are on vacation. But the corrupt archaeologist from that Kenya dig finds and absconds with Matt, forcing him to read a new object, an ancient opal. Placed in such a traumatic situation Matt tries to balance saving himself and Tuni, who is under guard, safe as well. All the while trying to find out more about this new artifact.
While I still love the premise of the book, I think that this book was less well put together compared to the first in the series. There are still two story lines: one in present time and one in the artifact’s time. The present time story is exciting and action packed. Many of the characters from the first novel are present in this sequel and the plot essentially continues where The Dig left off, which I like a lot about this series. The villain continues to be the villain, which adds a lot of continuity. Matt Turner continues to grow as a person as he comes to term with his feelings about his familial relationship, which are drawn more sharply in this novel compared to the first. Overall, I really like the present timeline. Even though some of the actions that the characters take are suspect, the end was intense and I like how the novel ends. However, the artifact timeline was not as well written as in the first novel and the integration with the present time didn’t seem as fluid either. The opal apparently changed hands relatively quickly, which made most of the characters flat and the story was difficult to follow and to become engaged with. The motivation for following the opals timeline was not as compelling either.
Chris Patton continues to do a great job with the narration. As before the characters are well voiced and voiced with variety, which is good because of the variety of nationalities represented. The production quality of the novel was good as well. I would recommend this novel to people who like action novels with a bit of history and science fiction thrown in.
Audiobook provided for review by the publisher.
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