Sunday, November 22, 2009

Yucatan Deep

Yucatan Deep by Thomas Morrisey
Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Zondervan, 2002
ISBN-13: 9780310239598
Christian Fiction

Synopsis from cover:
What Lies at the Bottom of Cenote X?
Cenote X. The Mayans called it K'uxulch'en, the "Well of Sorrows."
Since the days of the Conquistadors, its exact location was known only to local forest tribes--until its discovery by Mike Bryant and Pete Wiley, cofounders of the Yucatan Deep Project. When their joint attempt to set a deep-diving record four years ago met with disaster, the Well of Sorrows lived up to its name. Now, Mike is returning to the world's deepest sinkhole to finish what he and his late partner began.

Not everyone wants Mike to make the attempt. Bridget Marceau--Mike's team physician, fellow diver, and soul mate--fears losing the man she loves to the same cave that claimed Pete Wiley. She is determined to keep Mike out of Cenote X. And she's not the only one. Someone else is keenly interested in what lies more than 1,300 feet beneath the surface. That person already knows exactly what to look for--and why he must at all costs prevent Mike from discovering the secret hidden in those lightless depths.
Punctuating high-risk adventure with inside glimpses into the world of technical diving, author Tom Morrisey plumbs the depths of the human soul. Yucatan Deep is a taut tale of loyalty, greed, and the wellsprings of faith and life.

My Thoughts:

The description made this Christian action/adventure novel sound like it would be much more exciting than it really was - either that or it needed some serious tightening up and editing to focus the story. Since Morrisey is technically a good writer, it's the actual content that was lacking for me. After a strong start, I found myself struggling to finish Yucatan Deep. Perhaps those highly interested in cave diving will find Yucatan Deep more riveting. I was a bit bored with all the technical information and details while being underwhelmed with the actual plot/action. I also wasn't entirely thrilled with all the dropping of name brands for various things, like sunglasses.
So-so for me


New Spain--June, 1524
Crouching motionless in the upper limbs of a sprawling banyan tree, the red howler monkey gazed out at the pit, a chasm nearly three acres in size, tan limestone walls dropping sixty feet to water that was the deep blue of approaching night. opening

The media had come in by helicopter, an irony that was far from lost on the dive team. The Yucatan Deep Project was so badly underfunded that Mike, his partner Pete Wiley, and the rest of the staff....had been compelled to stage their equipment to the dive site in a series of four overland trips from Cancun. pg. 11

When it came to finding a mentor in the exotic world of cave diving, Mike couldn't have done better than Pete Wiley. pg. 13

"We call it 'Cenote X' because it's the twenty-fourth unmapped sink that my dad and Mike located on LANDSAT satellite imagery of the area, and the sites were lettered in alphabetical order. pg. 14

Like all scuba instructors, Mike had a set of hand signals that he used for communications underwater, but Bridget's talent for speaking with her hands had far outshone the twenty-odd signals in Mike's limited repertoire. Bridget was a natural in the water and, over the years, under Mike's tutelage, she had progressively honed her skills, eventually becoming an outstanding cave diver, conservative in her air use, intuitive when it came to route-finding, and naturally cool under pressure. pg. 16

The 1,100-foot marker was just coming up when there was an incredibly loud bang, like a large-caliber handgun being discharged right next to his ear.
His dive light went dark, and everything around him vanished under a blanket of absolute, utter darkness. pg. 24

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