3 out of 4 stars
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News reporter Derek Caine receives the assignment to follow a history professor and a group of students across the Ouachita National Forest in an expedition with multiple objectives, as each of the members of the team is from a different department: Dahlia is the photographer, Katie is the botanist, Matt is an orienteering student, Tripp is a drone operator, and three football players are helping them carry all of their equipment. It is just a road trip with some investigation so, what could go wrong?
At the same time, a man has just inherited an ancient map leading to a treasure buried in the forest, youngsters are growing marijuana illegally in the middle of the woods, and other dangers are lurking behind every tree. It appears like the park might not be big enough for all of them...
I enjoyed reading The Treasure of Conquistador Haven. The storyline seemed simple in the early stages, but it tangled soon enough as more characters and their motivations came into play. I appreciate author Bruce A. Miles's style because it was descriptive enough to make you feel part of the scene but not overwhelmingly so. I equally admire the author's ability to maintain the suspense throughout the entire book, which was my favorite part about it.
The characters were engaging and very life-like, especially the college students and their professor, Dr. Krazensky; other characters, like Derek Caine and Carlos (one of the treasure hunters), were both skilled and flawed, and the combination was captivating.
Regrettably, the editing wasn't at its best, as I encountered more than ten errors; most of them were lack of commas that made sentences challenging to understand. On top of that, many other phrases were very awkward and hard to comprehend despite not having an actual grammar error.
Furthermore, there were some scenes that I didn't like. One is when the athletes are sexists, making an inappropriate comment about the women in the team. And the other one is when the adolescents that are growing weed refer to someone as a "Mexican illegal alien." My issue with these occurrences is that they are not only offensive but also unnecessary, and my least favorite parts of the novel.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. Because of the aspects mentioned above, I grant this three out of four stars; since it includes well-built characters, a reasonably developed plot, and a lovely writing style, I think it deserves more than two stars. This novel contains violence and non-borderline profane language, so I would recommend it to adults or teenagers who are fond of adventure and mystery stories.
The Treasure of Conquistador Haven
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