“Cave Diver” by Jake Avila is a debut action adventure novel aimed straight at die hard fans of the genre. It’s not high on originality, but it’s well-executed and likely to win Avila fans.
Rob Nash, a world class cave diver, has let his life collapse around him. Traumatised and grief stricken after the death of his wife Natalie, he’s lost his friends, career, income, reputation, and his house is about to follow. Then his “Uncle” Frank Douglas brings him an offer with the possibility of restoring most of those. Jarred from his self pity by bad news, Nash takes the offer.
Unfortunately the job is not as presented to Nash. The Indonesian backers aren’t interested in making a documentary about cave diving; they’re interested in retrieving a hoard of Nazi gold. Led by Sura Suyanto, a TV star with a remarkable vicious streak, and her even more violent lover Jaap, they intend to put Nash to a very different kind of work than he’s expecting.
I think people started writing about hidden Nazi gold about three days after the war ended. It’s a trope that’s been in use for decades. Avila manages to bring a slightly original slant to it, but it’s still a basic story that you’ve read many times before. Nevertheless, Avila knows the rhythms of his genre, and this is a well paced story with vividly described action.
This is a novel for fans of the genre: if you don’t enjoy action adventure, it hasn’t much else to offer. But for fans, it’s likely to tick all the boxes. Characters are strong although they lean towards stereotypes.
The real strength here is the action itself. Avila vividly describes cave diving, balancing technical information with activity very well. We understand both its’ dangers and attractions. Action scenes – both in and out of the water – are vividly described so that they’re easy to visualise. They’re realistic while also stretching our credulity just a touch to allow for a miraculous escape or two.
This is a debut novel, but Avila’s writing is assured. Genre fans are likely to mark him as an author to watch.
Author: Jake Avila
Copy courtesy of Echo publishing (2021)
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Cave Diver by Jake Avila. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember, and I love sharing that joy.
I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, across all genres. There’s not much I won’t at least try. I’ve been an enthusiastic book reviewer for years. I particularly enjoy discovering writers new to me, and sharing good writing with others.
My career has included time spent writing and editing technical documents, but it’s fiction that really moves me. I’ve reviewed for a number of different outlets over the years, and have been a judge in literary competitions.
I’m now raising little bookworms of my own, which brings a whole new kind of joy to sharing books.
More of my reviews can be found on my review blog www.otherdreamsotherlives.home.blog .