Humphrey Quirke is many things, but a daring adventurer he is not. Yet he, along with a group of certain gentlemen, have turned over a significant amount of money to American archeologist and professor Douglas Swift for his latest South American expedition. In return, Swift has sent a few postcards, but not much else. Humphrey wants to know what Swift is doing with his money and decides to travel to South America and discover the truth for himself.
Instead of a dusty boring archeologist, Douglas Swift proves himself to be full of swagger and daring do and all together the opposite of Humphrey. Swift’s mission in South America is an important and potentially deadly one. He’s found a temple in the jungle honoring a king that history would rather see buried. With enemies circling, Swift and Humphrey must work together to explore the temple and put history right. But preserving the past may ultimately take a back seat to simply staying alive.
The Lost Tomb of the Shining Prince calls itself a pastiche of the Indiana Jones franchise, but I’d almost call it a satire. It tends to take some of the more ridiculous aspects of those movies and exaggerate them, while still having plenty of fun at its own expense. Regardless, it’s an enjoyable read and I ended up liking it despite some issues.
Humphrey and Swift aren’t the most well-defined characters. Some better background details and overall fleshing out would have been nice. That said, they’re a fun duo. They’re complete opposites and while Humphrey is a bit cartoonish, the author doesn’t make him out to be a complete buffoon, which I appreciated.
The plot is pretty bonkers and the less time one spends thinking about it, the better. Basically, Swift has uncovered a previously lost temple celebrating gay love in the jungle and, while that might be fascinating from a historical standpoint, it reads as being silly. But the action is good and the pacing is definitely a strong point. I felt like I was always engaged with what happening and I actually wanted more.
My biggest complaint is the too frequent use of words like “jolly” and “bally” and “rummy.” I appreciate the author was trying to add some flavor and give Humphrey a stronger personality, but these words and others were just used too often. There were times I felt like I was tripping over them and it was frustrating as a reader.
I enjoyed The Lost Tomb of the Shining Prince despite the fact it’s a bit silly. Or maybe because it was a bit silly. It definitely doesn’t take itself too seriously, but there’s enough action to keep readers engaged. The book ends with the suggestion of possible future adventures for our two heroes and that’s something I hope comes to pass. So if you’re in the mood for a fun romp, The Lost Tomb of the Shining Prince is probably going to fit the bill.