Published by AuthorHouse on 2012-01
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Egyptian archeologist, Dr. Khalid Saad discovers a hidden chamber in the right paw of the Great Spinx using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). He invites his life-long friend, American archeologist, Dr Cliff Post to join him on the expedition to open the hidden chamber. Cliff eagerly agrees. Before they can open the chamber, they must obtain a digging permit from the Supreme Council on Antiquities. To obtain the permit, Cliff and Khalid must contend with Dr. Hosnee Sadat who wants to open the chamber himself and to bar all westerners from the expedition. When the chamber is opened, they discover an ancient supercomputer composed of 13 crystal skulls. After the computer is discovered, Drs. Post and Saad are followed, spied on and kidnapped. The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx has a great deal of factually based information on ancient Egypt which is rolled into a fun mystery/adventure. Learn the fate of Drs. Post, Saad and Sadat.
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I’m not quite sure where to start here. It’s obvious that the author finds Egypt fascinating. There are plenty of facts in the book but it can’t redeem the rather dismal editing and pedestrian writing style of the author. At 101 pages on my Kindle, “The Hidden Chamber of the Great Sphinx” reads more like an incomplete first draft and not a début novel about an American archaeologist.
The author breaks the cardinal rule of writing: “Show, don’t tell.” She told me a lot of information that she could show in exposition. Rather than tell me how many sides a pyramid had in a lecture (which I think was just a cop-out way for the author to regurgitate facts in one-fell swoop), the character could have seen the beauty of it with his own eyes and let us experience it through his perspective. This fundamental problem in storytelling creates one-dimensional characters who I don’t care about. They don’t have any interiority and they were borderline stereotypes. A novel that is mostly dialogue just isn’t fun to read. I found the dialogue choppy, clunky, and not at all the way lovers, academics, and children speak. Matt is supposed to be eleven years old. At the beginning of the novel he still calls his mother, “mommy.” I’ve known my share of eleven year old boys and they’re independent, headstrong, and starting to think about growing up. Matt’s dialogue identifies him as a younger age than eleven.
As for the premise of the story, I have to wonder if the author is an Indiana Jones fan. Archaeology professors, faithful Egyptian friends, and alien crystal skulls are too reminiscent for me. Again, 100 pages just isn’t enough time to tell a story of this magnitude. It reads too much like summary. Major plot points that should have been explained were glossed over and explained in summary. I’d like to think that with more length and time, this could have been a decent story. The plot twist at the end wasn’t handled expertly. Going, “Surprise!” at the end just doesn’t cut it. It’s a good thought, but again, it wasn’t executed in a masterful way.
In all, the author needs to work on craft. “The Hidden Chamber of the Great Sphinx” is a mediocre first draft with a promising story.
© 2014 – 2016, Jessica Workman Holland. All rights reserved.