5 Feb 2015

SPHINX.


SPHINX by T.S. Learner.

SOURCE: A charity shop buy.

BACK COVER BLURB: Alexandria, Egypt, 1977. During a dive to an old shipwreck, archaeologist Isabella Warnock uncovers an artefact unlike anything she has ever seen: an astrarium, a mysterious device rumoured to have shaped the destinies of pharaohs and kings since the beginning of time.

But her discovery comes at a terrible price, and it falls to her husband Oliver to keep the priceless object safe. Up against a shadowy enemy and a powerful cult prepared to do anything for the treasure, Oliver is catapulted into a breakneck race to protect an ancient secret in a dangerous world of conspiracy and Egyptology where age-old sorcery and legends clash violently with modern-day ambition.

FIRST SENTENCE {Prelude}: Now, when I look at the desert, I am reminded of the year I spent in Egypt - the most definitive of my life.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 49}: Suddenly my sense of claustrophobia was intense. Panicking, I struck out wildly, hoping to touch the others. My fingers became entangled in seaweed and my chest heaved with blind dread. The darkness stretched ahead into a bewildering void.

MY THOUGHTS: A thousand year old secret, a mysterious ancient artefact said to have magical powers, Egyptian mysticism, conspiracy theories (based in other than Christianity), a dangerous cult? Bliss! My idea of a great read.

Its just a shame that it didn't live up to all my expectations.

Undoubtedly well researched though I couldn't help but feel that the author was trying to cram everything she knew about the subject matter into the books five hundred plus pages. Sphinx is interesting enough if you are into Egyptology (though if you are anything like me you'll probably find little if anything new to be learnt here) or indeed Egyptian-Israeli politics/socio-economics circa 1977, its as a thriller that it fell flat on its face so to speak.

I wish it was simply a case that this was a book that took a while to get going but, sad to say, it never really did. With the exploits of the main protagonist and narrator, Oliver, more Mr Bean than Indiana Jones, I can't even begin to describe just how laughably inept the villains were. And as for the ending? Going from the implausible to the totally incredulous, the book lost all credibility as it veered rather unconvincingly towards the supernatural.


13 comments:

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Bummer! Definitely sounds like an overly long book that doesn't really give much back.

Suko said...

Thanks for your honest words. Sorry this was such a dud for you, Tracy!

Gina R said...

Wow. That doesn't sound like fun. *sigh* Had high hopes for it too. Cie la vie. Better luck next read!

Melliane said...

Oh yes I love the idea and I would have expected more as well... I'm sorry it wasn't as good as you thought...

Brian Joseph said...

It is really ashamed that this was a disappointment as the premise sounds really fun.

I actually thing that an inept protagonist, if portrayed with some restraint, could work in a book like this.

Kelly said...

Awww. This book sounded so good until you burst the bubble. We often share similar opinions about books like this, though, so I feel sure it would disappoint me as well. I'm sorry it was so lengthy considering your ultimate opinion.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Sorry you didn't enjoy it. It also sounds like it found it's way to the supernatural and didn't feel like an intentional move. Hope the next one is better.

Alexia561 said...

Sorry to hear that this one didn't live up to your expectations. It's always disappointing when a book sounds great, but doesn't live up to its promise. Especially at over 500 pages! That's a huge investment of time to spend on a meh book. Yikes! Hope your next read is better.

Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such...

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Sorry this one wasn't as good as yo had hoped it would be.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

We have had copies of this book donated into the charity shop where I volunteer, on a pretty regular basis foe some time. So I am wondering whether lots of people have read and enjoyed it and donated it for others to read, or whether like yourself, many have had high hopes for the story, which have sadly dwindled away the more they have read and they can't wait to get rid of the book!

I can relate totally to your memorable lines from the story. Whilst not necessarily afraid of the dark, I do suffer terribly with claustrophobia and we always have to sleep with the bedroom door open, or if we are in a hotel, with the curtains slightly parted. The idea of a MRI scan has me shaking in my shoes and the thought of immersing myself in water, starts up instant palpitations!

Thanks for your usual honest style of review and I hope that your latest book is faring much better :)

Yvonne.

Literary Feline said...

I know it must be a challenge for authors to add just the right amount of their research into a fiction novel--and to do so without it seeming to be a lecture. Especially when they find so much interesting information . . .

It sounds like this author not only overdid it in that area, but that maybe the veering toward the supernatural wasn't the best choice or could have been better executed.

Betty Manousos said...

sorry this didn't live up to your expectations, tracy. thanks for your honest review!

big hugs!
xx

Bo said...

You had me going there for a moment. I was thinking, yeah, this sounds like an awesome story and then you dashed all my hopes to the ground.

I'm sorry the book did not live up to its promise. I now will very quickly forget that I ever thought for a moment that it would be a good book to read.

Thanks for the head's up!