A stand-alone X-Files book which requires that you’ve seen the show.

Translator: Tero Kuittinen
Publication year: 1996
Publication year of the Finnish translation: 1997
Format: print
Publisher of the Finnish translation: Semic Sport Oy
Page count: 242

One of the first X-Files books published. It’s also the first X-Files book I’ve read so I can’t compere it to others. However, it’s clear that Anderson knows the show and is a fan. That’s always good.

This story is set in Mexican jungles in Yucatan. An American archology group is excavating a huge Maya ruin which was only recently discovered (by Western people, anyway). Xitaclan is expected to shed light on aspects of Maya culture which have remained a mystery. Unfortunately, the archeology group isn’t there alone and soon the group disappears, just after the lead archeologist makes a startling discovery.

The lead archeologist is young Cassandra Rubicon whose father is a respected professor. He contacts the FBI and insists on joining Mulder and Scully. The trio travels to the Mexico as US attachés and begin their investigation.

At the start of the story we’re introduced to the local players: Aguilar who is selling Mayan artifacts to a rich drug lord and Aguilar’s partner Barreio who is the chief of police and has ties to a group of violent guerillas who are supposedly fighting for independence from the Mexican government. When Mulder and Scully start they investigation, Aguilar is their guide which immediately raises the tension level in the book. However, quite a lot of time is spent at the start of the book with these new characters.

We also get a lot of background information about the Mayan culture, their bloodthirsty religion, and horrible human sacrifices. The Mexicans are described as either hard-working but superstitious Indians or corrupt and worldly white men. We also get alternative, otherworldly theories on how some aspects of the Mayan culture started. The Lone Gunmen make a brief appearance.

This book could have been an X-Files episode if the beginning was shortened or changed. It’s set in a period when Mulder and Scully trusted each other but Scully had not yet witnessed anything unquestionably extraterrestrial herself. It’s an okay book but definitely not one comperable for the best in the show.