FeaturedThriller & Suspense

Under the Cold Sun


Loved it! 😍

A political coup, the study of a new indigenous culture, plus a dash of love & war, makes this suspenseful book a page turner until the end

What an exciting adventure! Reminiscent of Disney's "Jungle Cruise," but with adult themes, Under the Cold Sun is full of twists and turns around every corner.

Anthropologist Matt Moro is working a boring job at the State Department when he receives an unexpected email for a one-on-one meeting with a higher up. Matt is invited to join a secret mission with the goal of gaining linguistic understanding and cultural insight into the nearly unexplored Gough Island. While aware that there were likely aspects of this mission that he hadn't been told, his dreams of becoming a renowned anthropologist could be fulfilled by being the first to study the Mesdu indigenous peoples- so he accepted the invitation.

As it turned out, Matt was not briefed on much. Here begins the roller coaster that West takes the reader on. Between meeting operatives from other countries that may not be what they seem, to unintentionally becoming heavily involved in the island's surprise civil war (and throw in a dash of love and shots of murder), Matt navigates these challenges in a very believable way. I was rooting for him the entire time, even when I disagreed with his decisions.

Kemma, the native "slave" that becomes Matt's companion, and Jacky, the American operative who had been assigned as his partner, were both portrayed as strong and capable women. I felt that Kemma's ending was pretty predictable, but was still exciting to read and fit her narrative well. Jacky's character arc did have an interesting twist, but I felt that it could have been better developed. Some of her lines were a little unbelievable given the circumstances.

There are a handful of typos throughout the book, but for the most part the writing style was fun and engaging. Some of the dialogue could probably be improved upon, but that didn't take away from my reading of it. In the final chapter, I do wish that West would have ended the story before fast-forwarding 3 months ahead. That final segment was a bit cheesy and unnecessary.

Overall though, Under the Cold Sun was an easy read and a page turner. I loved the plot and the research that was put forth to create an entirely fictional indigenous culture. The Mesdu proverbs or stories that started each chapter were a beautiful touch. Even with the issues that I have noted, I would highly recommend this for a quick and entertaining read full of adventure!

Reviewed by

My Poppy taught me at a young age that reading is the best way to experience things that you otherwise couldn't, & to always seek as much knowledge as possible. So I read- every single day. I have a decade of career experience in writing & proofreading for NGOs, a university and a SaaS company.

About the author

Tagg West has been a professional writer for two decades in the brutal arena of marketing and advertising, where poetry matters and brevity is everything. He believes great fiction is both epic & intimate, and delivers fast-paced adventure without sacrificing well-rounded characters. view profile

Published on January 01, 2022

100000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Thriller & Suspense

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