TheEmperor’s Opal by Christopher Morgan
The Emperor’s Opal is equal parts Tomb Raider, The Mummy, Cheers, and Lord of the Rings. Preston Blacks’s life is the poster child for a quiet, dull and normal life of desperation. That is until he meets Tammy McKinley at his favorite bar. You see; Tammy is a wizard, in training at least. Step by step, Preston loosens his grip on his preconceived notion of reality and becomes the sole proprietor of magic necessities to the other world creatures. A magic wholesaler if you will. The strangeness of his story doesn’t end there because soon he contracts with a vampire to find a very rare magic commodity and becomes a treasure hunter of sorts. With Tammy as his companion they scour ancient sites for clues to the whereabouts of the precious gem, Orphanus. Tammy’s companionship becomes problematic as the lure of the stone skews her once pure motives.
As I was reading I kept wanting to look beside me as if I were at a bar listening to a stranger bragging about some alcohol-induced adventure. Mythical beasts, creatures from your dreams and nightmares spill across the page as you and the adventurer's speed toward their goal.
All in all, a nice adventure, but more of a patchwork quilt of classic and modern adventure stories already told. I would recommend this story as a good young-adult-type book. It’s a respectable take on the adventure genre in general.