Review: 30 Pieces of Silver

By Carolyn McCray

Available on: Amazon, Audible, and Barnes and Noble.

Overview:

Blurb: The bones of the apostles are engraved with a secret for the ages. It give the location, or at least hints towards, the resting place of the savior who died on the cross. Dr. Rebecca Monroe goes from the depths of the Ecuadorian rain forest to Paris and Rome all in search of a mystery two millennia deep.

Trigger Warnings:

Ableism, Anti Semitism, Bastardization of Culture, Bastardization of Mythology, Blood, Child Abuse, Christian Mythology, Death, Drug Use (Non-Consensual), Food, Gore, Gun Violence, Islamophobia, Murder, Physical Abuse, Racism, Sexism, Systemic Racism, Toxic Masculinity, Violence, Violent Imagery, War

Body Count: Countless, literally

The Specs:

  • Series 
    • Series Name: The Betrayed Series
    • Book Number: 1 of 11 (I think?)
  • Genre
    • Technical Genre: Technothriller, Men’s Adventure Fiction
    • Theo Genre: Fiction, Shoot ‘Em Up, Action Adventure, Christian Fiction
  • Page count: 535 pages
  • POV: Limited 3rd
  • Publication information:
    • Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, LLC
    • Language:  English
    • ISBN-13: 9781612185118
    • ASIN: B004HB1W82

Other Fun Stuff:

To Read or Not To Read (Again):

Bookshelf

Rating out of five: 2.5 out of 5

Representation, Morality, and Sexism Tests:

  • Bechdel–Wallace Test
    • Purpose: to establish actual female characters that act independently of male characters in a story.
      • Do two female characters talk about something other than a male character? No
    • Pass or Fail: Fail
  • DuVernay Test:
    • Purpose: to establish characters of color in a story.
      • Are there fully actualized characters of color? Yes
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Ellen Willis Test:
    • Purpose: to show balance in characters regardless of gender.
      • Would two related characters still work to carry the story if their genders were reversed? Yes
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Hays Code Test:
    • Purpose: to ignore outdated and queer-degrading/punishing standards that once were the standard for produced mass media.
    • Part One: outdated moral guidelines
      • Are there any outdated “moral content” rules gloriously kicked in the teeth by this story? Yes
      • Are there people of color allowed a happy ending? No
      • Is there an interracial couple? No
      • Is there profanity used at all? Yes
      • Is there one or more homicidal acts and/or murder? Yes
    • Part Two: queer representation
      • Are there queer characters that get a happy ending? No
      • Is there an illegal or otherwise distasteful age gap between characters, queer or otherwise? No
      • Do the queer characters die tragically, violently, or at all? Yes
    • Pass or Fail: Fail
  • Mako Mori Test:
    • Purpose: to assure that in the story there is at least one female character independent of a male character’s story.
      • Is there a female character? Yes
      • Does she get her own arc? Yes
      • Does it do anything other than serve to support a man’s story? Yes
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Sexy Lamp Test:
    • Purpose: to assure that a female character in the story serves as an active protagonist, not just a device to be used by the male main character.
      • Would the plot fall apart if the female character was replaced by a sexy looking lamp? Yes
    • Post-It Note Caveat:
      • Would the character be able to be replaced by a Sexy Lamp with a sticky note on it for information conveyance? No
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Tauriel Test:
    • Purpose: to help support the existence of competent, independent female characters regardless of a romantic sub-plot.
      • Is there at least one woman in the story? Yes
      • Is this woman competent in her chosen occupation and not immediately shown up by a newcomer male character? Yes
      • If she has or develops a love interest during the story, either implied or explicitly stated, does she suddenly abandon her job and/or chosen path to support or pursue said love interest?  No
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Vito Russo Test:
    • Purpose: to establish more characters that are on the SAGA (Sexuality And Gender Acceptance), QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) or LGBTQIAP+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual/Biromantic/Bigender, Transgender, Queer/Genderqueer, Intersex, Asexual/Aromantic/Agender, Pansexual/Panromantic, and others not listed here) spectrum.
      • Is there a character on the queer spectrum? Yes
      • Are they a character beyond their orientation? Yes
      • Do they actually affect the plot? Yes
      • Is the character something beyond a punchline? Yes
    • Pass or Fail: Pass

Overall review:

Thoughts:

Hoo-boy. There is a lot to unpack in this story.

It is like a more action-adventure cousin to the DaVinci Code where the woman in the series is less of a pretty handbag and more of an actual character. I have to say that the first two chapters were a little whiplash inducing, but I was so glad I stuck it out. There were some pacing issues, but the story itself, once it gets over the slightly awkward, traction-less first chapter, it jives together solidly.

This particular book is a globe-trotting adventure that would make a fantastic Michael Bay movie. All the interesting locations and situations the characters find themselves in would be fantastic on the big screen. I do have plans to read the rest of the series, as time permits.

Read as part of the Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge 2019!

Was it engaging?

At times

Review format updated 5 March 2019.

One thought on “Review: 30 Pieces of Silver

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