AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:
4 out of 5
Indiana Jones And The Tomb Of The Gods
Set in 1936, between '...Temple of Doom' and 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'. Indy finds himself tasked with preventing a mysterious ancient key from falling into the hands of the Nazis, who intend to use it to open the tomb of the gods, which may grant them unspeakable power.
This is a classic Indiana Jones adventure and Williams has done a great job of writing it very much in the style of the original films. It begins in America before taking the hero of the piece globetrotting in search of an ancient power whilst matching wits both with the romantic interest, Janice, and with the sinister agents of the Third Reich. Even the way scenes are constructed seem almost as if Spielberg himself was there giving pointers. Indy's dialogue is full of Harrison Ford's easy charm as well as his wry observations. Similarly, Denholm Elliot's voice rang clearly in my mind as I read Marcus Brody's dialogue.
Personally, my favourite element is that this book actually features a bit of character development for Indy, rather than just reducing him to generic action hero status that some of his comic book adventures have done. Here we get to see how the 'fortune and glory' Doctor Jones of 'Temple of Doom' (set 1935) matures into the Indy who, in 'Raiders...' (set 1936) is more concerned that the Ark be given over for scientific study than that it can bring him wealth. To my mind, this is exactly what tie-ins like this should do; bridge the gaps between the main stories, rather than just exploit the franchise marketing as some do.
This book's one big downside is that when the titular tomb is opened, and forgive me for the spoiler, it contains a long green tunnel. That's it. There's a vague suggestion that it was put there by malevolent aliens, but nothing more. The message the book tries to convey is that whatever is at the end of the tunnel isn't worth risking falling into the hands of the Nazis, but that doesn't really excuse the massive anticlimax. To have followed Indy across the globe, through various perils, it feels a bit of a cheat for him (and us) to not even glimpse what the prize was.
Overall, the best Indiana Jones tie-in that I've read. A shame that 'Crystal Skull's unpopularity torpedoed our chances of getting more of the same (not to mention the fact that the franchise rights are now in the hands of evil Disney).
4 out of 5