This is the 3rd installment of the Area 51 series. It starts out rather slowly with quite a bit of backstory fill in for the people who may not have read the first two. However, it does finally kick into gear.
Lisa Duncan and Mike Turcotte are still trying to figure out just who the Arlia are/were. Conflicting information regarding Artad and Aspasia, The Watchers, The Ones Who Wait, and the Guides can get very confusing, not only to the main characters, but also for the reader.
What comes to the forefront of this book is the recurrence of the Black Death, what was, in the Dark Ages, a killer disease that decimated Europe. It has now been released in South America and is rapidly spreading, killing everyone in its path. Watchers and Guides have gone into the jungles looking for answers. But they don't really know what they have found or how it got there.
The reader is introduced to a new group - The Mission, which appears to be a group of fanatical cult-like believers in the Arlia, and will go to any length to bring them back to power. We don't know who they are actually working for/with, where they have been hidden for so many years, but we do know that they are somehow responsible for this disease that is even worse than Ebola.
In the meantime, STARR is also revealed. Who the heck are they? And what's their agenda? Another question to be answered, not necessarily in this book. The character Yakov, a Russian operative who was part of their Section IV, is now part of Mike and Lisa's team and I really liked this guy. The author has given him a sense of humor that was sorely needed in this series.
One of my favorite characters, Che Lu, is still at the mountain of Qian-Ling in China, with her old friend Lo Fa. It is obvious to her that there are still secrets inside the tomb that will lead to answers, and probably more questions. She and Lo Fa find their way back inside...and someone is waiting for them!
Who has the "Key"? Who is STARR, where is the Mission? what is controling the Talon ships in space, and why is the mountain on Mars moving? Read the book - but don't expect answers to all these questions - just be prepared for more.
This is not a bad book, its just rather confusing. It's difficult to keep track of all the characters and groups while changing locations page by page. It takes some concentration to get thru this one as more and more details are revealed. I am not sure how this is all going to work out, but I am definitely going to read the next one.
Title: Area 51: The Mission