Toltec (Book 1 of the Toltec Series) by Alex Walker
“Toltec,” which marks the start of an exciting new series from author Alex Walker, tells the story of Elijah Walker and Simon Murphy, two young officers caught up on opposite sides of the Civil War. Walker, a Confederate, directs his team to ambush Murphy’s group, rumored to be carrying a cache of American gold worth thousands. Preferring to work things out like true gentlemen, Simon and Elijah call a truce and quite unexpectedly learn that they are distantly related. The two men, already weary from years of pointless fighting, decide to send their forces home while they themselves hightail it for the Southern U.S. border, planning to enjoy their new wealth on the warm beaches of Mexico. But war has left the young duo restless, and when one of them overhears a local legend – which tells of a vast treasure hidden somewhere in the deep jungle – Elijah and Simon set out in search of an even greater fortune than the one they already hold. The pair is soon joined by Santos, a Western-educated survivalist, and his beautiful sister, Rosita, whose presence drives both Elijah and Simon mad with passion. Yet despite what they may think, Elijah and Simon’s treasure hunt has not gone unnoticed, and dubious forces are quickly organized to trail the group and steal their prize right out of their hands. And along the way, the two sides will discover that the ancient horde they both seek is more valuable – and dangerous – than they can even imagine.
This novel strikes a similar tone as works of film like National Treasure, Indiana Jones, and O Brother, Where Art Thou?, which makes it a constant delight for fans of stories where the journey itself is the story. Elijah and Simon start off enemies in a national conflict, but fast become friends – nearly brothers. Their expedition is filled with equal parts adrenaline, as new obstacles and adversaries pop up periodically throughout the story, and humor:
“There are three things to worry about in this jungle,” warned Santos. “First, wild animals and poisonous snakes; second, an occasional bandito; and third, the jungle itself. Here a man and horse can be swallowed up in quicksand and completely disappear. They also say the jungle is full of many evil spirits.”
“I don’t know about evil spirits,” Elijah said, “I do know one thing… I hate snakes.”
Chock-full of quicksand, piranhas, snakes, crocodiles, molten lava, and tribes of angry jungle natives, “Toltec” is a fantastically well-paced and riveting work of adventurism that will leave you hunting for its sequel.
To find “Toltec” on Amazon, click here.