source for affordable electronic fiction


Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search

    Reader comment on the review of THE QUEEN JADE by Yxta Maya Murray

    Rayo, February 2005

    Honestly, I think you were far too generous in your review. I do not find Ms. Murray to be a strong writer at all. In "The Queen Jade" I found the dialogue stilted and unnatural, and the characters unbelievable, especially the universal Latin-American-ness of the cast.

    The constant physical grappling between Lola and Yolanda is simply stupid.

    What was the point of that silly song that everyone is still singing after 500 or more years? Other than it made up fluff to confuse the decoding of the stelae.

    The translated text from the stelae was ridiculously long and tedious. We are reminded several times that the Mayan written language was pictographical and not alphabetical but we are then treated to a translation that is far more nuanced than the broader c! oncepts that are communicated through pictographs would be. Then looking at the length of the translation and knowing that half of the original was thrown out as fluff, and knowing the physical size of the stelae: Just how small were the inscriptions?

    In the end I found the wrap up confusing; Who was the Queen exactly? Since it was handed down to the sons, was it their mother? Their grandmother? Or someone from the forgotten past?....Most disappointing.

    But what really got me? I am used to having to turn off my brain a little bit when reading this type of story. In fact that's what an adventure novel is all about, but "The Queen Jade" not only asked me to accept the fantastic and the incredible, it also asked for the ridiculous.

    1. Crossing a swift moving river, chest high, is, quite frankly, impossible.
    2. A three hundred yard machete throw...on target? Please. That's 900 feet!
    3. All of the preparation to go into the jungle, by an experi! enced guide, and no one thought to bring some rope?
    4. We have been treated, at length, to the devastation wrought in the last few days by Hurricane Mitch, but the lights are still on in a cavern? Miles from any major city? In 1998 Guatemala?

    I was also struck by Ms. Murray's obvious lack of much technical understanding:

    1. "The Mouth of the Sacluc River" is referred to numerous times and is indicated on several maps but in the middle of the watercourse. Anyone should know that the mouth of a river is where it empties into another body of water.
    2. At one point Yolanda consults her compass to confirm that the adventurers are where they are supposed to be.....IT'S A COMPASS, NOT A GPS!!!!.
    3. I also must question the availability of laptop computers and cell phone service in Guatemala in 1998.
    4. Rubber windows in the Jeep? Try vinyl or "plastic" if you are unsure.!

    I presume that your "stars" are based on an "out of five" scale. All in all, I'd give "The Queen Jade" a 3 out of 10. There is a very good reason that I found this book in the dollar store. It could have been so much more.

    -James King

    P.S. You have my permission to use the above.

    Comment submitted May 30, 2008

    Return to our original review

    Ready to buy it now? Click the buy now button.

    Visit to read more reviews or to purchase THE QUEEN JADE from

    Rather buy it from Barnes and Noble?
    Click this link for THE QUEEN JADE from Barnes &

    What do you think? Too generous? Too stingy? Or did I miss the entire point? Send your comments to Give me the okay to use your name and I'll publish all the comments that fit (and don't use unprintable language).