The Curse of Cortés

An abandoned billion dollar plunder. A forgotten sacred pilgrimage. A cursed family legacy.

Fiction - Thriller - General
426 Pages
Reviewed on 06/07/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Guy Morris is a successful businessman, thought leader, adventurer, inventor, and published composer. During college, Guy was influenced by men of the Renaissance who were fluent in business, science, politics and the arts. After growing up on the streets, he earned grad school scholarships for his innovative macroeconomic models, and won numerous innovation awards throughout his career.

With three degrees and thirty-six years of executive-level experience in energy & high tech firms, Guy's thrillers bend the fine line between truth and fiction with a sardonic wit.

Adventurer - In the 90s, Guy earned a U.S. Coast Guard charter captain's license while living on the beautiful 50 foot sailing cutter - Darjeeling. Guy has dived to feed sharks and explored deep wrecks, played with seals, tortoise, octopus and bat rays. An accomplished sailor and scuba diver, his book Curse of Cortes’ pulls from his own adventures in Cancun and Cozumel, including a run-in with a Zetas cartel thug named Shay Golan (yes, the idiot bad guy in Curse of Cortes').

Producer-Creator -During 1996, Guy produced an interactive espionage and AI webisode series that won a number of awards, an option by AOL and an unexpected visit from the FBI. The series featured an artificial intelligence which had escaped NSA laboratories, and it turns out, top-secret.

During the early 1990s, Guy also composed for Disney Records on several small projects. An interesting and great learning experience.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

The Curse of Cortés by Guy Morris is a mystery/thriller that is aptly subtitled “An abandoned billion-dollar plunder. A forgotten sacred pilgrimage. A cursed family legacy.” The story follows Sophia as she comes across relics that she does not recognize and a log book with stains of something that looks suspiciously like blood. The log and the relics together create a mystery that Sophia cannot ignore. A little digging around reveals that she and her family might be up against some real danger very soon. Before Sophia knows it, she and the rest of her family are racing against time and scrambling to protect themselves from the unknown. What exactly did she find in that logbook? Why did she find those relics inside the family home? What happened to her ancestors?

Wow, The Curse of Cortés by Guy Morris was a roller coaster ride! The intricate plot goes back centuries and intrigues the reader into reading more. I had the urge to read on, to know more, and to figure out why everything wrong was happening to Sophia and her family. History plays an important role in this story, but so does family. Sophia’s struggle to find why the relics were so important and why her family was targeted for them was pivotal to the progress of the story. Her conversation with Estefan made an impact on me. Her dialogue, “I’m looking for facts, not folklore,” encompasses the whole story! In fact, the dialogues are some of the most vivid and richest I have read. Sophia’s character is strong; she is only strong as long as she has the support of her family but that does not stop her from taking risks. The story is intense, it demands your attention and wants you to remain stuck to it until the end. I was scared that if I blinked, I would miss something. This book is perfection!

Vincent Dublado

The Curse of Cortés by Guy Morris is a thriller shrouded in mystery that automatically grabs you and hurtles you through an exciting and dangerous adventure with its heroine, Sophia Martinez. While doing some chores inside their 200-year-old ancestral home in Roatán Island, she discovers a box that contains a filthy leather-bound book, a green obsidian dagger, a shard of darkened tortoiseshell with cryptic symbols, and a damaged octagonal compass box. What turns out to be a weird collection of junk are clues surrounded with superstition that will lead her to trace generations of a dark past that go all the way back to an Inquisition executioner named Cortés. As she tries to dig into the mystery involving a sacred Mayan pilgrimage, a raging psychopath is bent on pursuing her with demonic passion.

This novel celebrates those old adventure stories about unraveling mysteries that are connected to the past—stories that we also see in movies. It is the kind of story where the unwitting heroine goes about her daily business, stumbles upon some artifacts, and gets thrown into an adventure of a lifetime. The Curse of Cortés is not just a thriller. It is a social commentary that exposes the insidious evil done in the name of God or in the name of superstition and ignorance. You find yourself enlightened and surprised by the revelations that the relics point to. Guy Morris has created a strong female character who is determined to find answers, being the last of her family namesake who has the chance to get rid of an age-old stigma. The pacing sustains your interest so that you feel like a captive listener to the conversations and confrontations taking place. The Curse of Cortés deserves to be read. It not only wants to entertain, but also send a message on how truth can be perverted, and how we can find redemption from humanity’s dark past—and it succeeds.

Pikasho Deka

The Curse of Cortes is an action-adventure thriller written by Guy Morris. After discovering ancient artifacts and an obsidian dagger at her home in Roatan Island, Sophia Martinez unexpectedly finds herself attacked by men employed by the powerful and delusional Juan Perez de Menendez, a man who dreams of world domination. In a quest to solve the mystery and protect herself, Sophia travels to Los Angeles, where she meets her distant relatives, Estefan Martinez and his son Miguel, a treasure hunter with a salvage ship named Plunder Lust. Circumstances put them together in a quest to seek the lost treasure of Henry Morgan while being chased by Juan's men. Meanwhile, investigative journalist Lucia Vasquez uncovers information about the Nacon getting their hands on a Pakistani nuclear warhead that threatens to annihilate the island of Cozumel.

Filled with action and intrigue, The Curse of Cortes is set to woo lovers of action-packed treasure hunt stories. Author Guy Morris draws from the rich cauldron of Mesoamerican lore to weave an authentic and intricate yarn that blends myth and actual historical events to provide a riveting reading experience. Multiple POV characters are utilized to a masterful effect to engage and immerse you seamlessly in the story. The plot moves quickly, and the pacing never feels jarring. I found the characters distinct and sympathetic. Sophia, Miguel, and Lucia were my favorites, but I also found Hun Came a very compelling character. Some of the lore and historical events were fascinating to read. If you're looking for an adventure story full of action and ancient lore, I will recommend The Curse of Cortes.

Charon MacDonald

I loved it - 4/5 stars (only because I’m stingy & don’t read enough action thrillers to compare it. I can only compare my imagination of the story to action movies… if I read suspense/thrillers, I could justify giving this 5 stars in comparison to other written works of the same genre.)

This could easily be an action movie but deserves a mini series to closely follow and explain all the characters and scenes.

Nothing should be cut or condensed. I can’t think of any part of this story that feels unnecessary or bloated (the mark of expert writing).

There are several “main” characters and threads, when originally introduced seem unrelated. But when their connections become clear, and the storylines start to overlap, the plot surges forward. It quickly becomes clear how each player and separate series of events will tie together.

The villain(s) of the story are entrenched and powerful, but realistic. A massive conspiracy with agents and spies everywhere… but limited in what forces they can bring to bear at a specific target or location. I believed each of the narrow escapes & small victories of the heroes throughout the early and middle chapters. None feel contrived or required only to advance the plot, like many big budget action movies have used to push the story on.

For a Seattle writer, the level of detail and information about the southern American regions, crime, and politics feels very researched and again completely believable. (Sadly, in the amount of corruption and the wide sweeping influence of a drug cartel)

The only thing that feels unrealistic & like an “action movie contrivance” is the primary villain, the result of many years of wealth and power, leading to “hiding in plain sight” and “manipulating on a National / regional scale”. But it’s well described and explained how the villain ascended to this point - and the bad guys always are more powerful or established than the heroes, or the stakes and consequences are lessened and the story not gripping.

Watching the heroes, individuals and small groups, hinder and escape the plans and actions of the far reaching and powerful evil conspiracy is compelling and believable enough to forgive the “action movie villain” head of the cartel. But again, it’s well explained how this enemy starts off the story so powerful and hidden. It’s not just “the vast conspiracy/powerful enemy exists so the heroes don’t win too easily & the audience has someone to hate and be shocked by.”

In the later chapters, near the end of the book (and the last few scenes of the film), one of the characters is placed in an impossible position - but the escape is still very believable, if a bit obvious (following the action movie tropes). However, it's exactly what anyone would do in that situation if they were able to stay focused and determined. The character doesn't suddenly develop action hero abilities because the story demands a miraculous escape.

And when all the threats have been overcome, the wrap up feels rooted in realism. No 'people thought dead somehow survived'. The curse, broken. The crime syndicate, headless. The survivors, in a very good position to continue their lives. All that you'd expect from a major motion picture ending and done well, with logical explanations and fortunate circumstances, but it didn't hinge on truths and treasures revealed and obtained throughout the journey.

I really enjoyed reading this, and I'm awed by the amount of research and imagination that went into the novel. It's well worth the purchase. (Or if you're lucky, a free read at the library... but honestly, buy a copy.)