Thursday, April 12, 2012
Spear of Seth By Rene Daniel
Alex Khyan, the protagonist of “Spear of Seth”, is very level-headed person, with both feet firmly planted on the ground. Or is he? What will he do when he faces a world he thought existed only in dreams of an ancient civilization? Alex is quite comfortable in his skin. He is a premed student of the Van Senmut College, so he has to be a serious young man, has he not? He now needs a summer job, and gets one. It is not what he is used to, since he will work as a translator at an archeological dig at the island of Elephantine in the Upper Egypt. Alex does not exactly care about history, but, since his mother is from Lebanon, he speaks Arabic, which gives him an edge. Little does he know what he is getting himself into. Enter Heather Van Senmut and her father, John Van Senmut, a grandson of the founder of the college and the archeologist in charge of the excavations. The dig is not just some dig; it is the ruins of the Temple of Osiris, which stands at the mythical place where Nile emerges from the Egyptian Underworld. The Temple attracts a lot of attention, some of which come from people, who would be more at home in Salem, Massachusetts, shall we say, about three hundred years ago. When John Van Senmut, falls ill and physicians give up on him, his daughter decides to search the Temple for the cause of the disease and possibly a cure. Her quest leads her, and her unwilling helper Alex, into the Netherworld, which survived the Egyptian civilization by two thousand years. They negotiate its dangers, as well as dangers, which come from their contemporaries. They do have only one guide – the Book of Gates, which decorates the sarcophagus of the pharaoh Seti. Are the demons, which are pictured there, only a product of the painter’s imagination? Will the Alex’s attitude be helpful, or will he have to change in order to survive? Will Heather realize that there is a difference between being determined and being ruthless? What did alchemists of medieval Europe know about the Underworld? Why Heather needs to find out?
When started reading the book I kept thinking of the movies Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Mummy (both staring Brendan Frazier purely by accident) But as I checked out some goodreads reviews I realized that everybody else was comparing it to Indiana Jones, which is really more spot on in comparison.
It is an adventure mystery that is told from alternating perspectives of a male and female. Alex and Heather. Both college students who are looking for the Spear of Seth in Egypt. During their quest they find themselves in the Egyptian underworld where mythological creatures have come to life and the reader gets some interesting and historical background of the Egyptian gods and myths.
It is a plot driven story. We don't get a lot of character background and enough character development to help the story move forward and keep the reader interested.
I have decided to rate the story 3 stars. It was a good read, and my favorite parts were the creatures that they came across in the Underworld. "Suddenly something moved inside. Something white flashed in the blackness of the pit. Then a ghost-white, lion-sized flat head rose above the rim of the pit. The red eyes scanned the room and finally focused on the girl. A forked tongue flickered out of the mouth."
There are a lot of sections with history, and myths in which I did find my mind wandering a little, but I do think there are a lot of readers that will enjoy the story for the depth and detail that the author pays to Egypt and it's history. The parts that I enjoyed were the more supernatural elements of the underworld and the danger that was the driving force behind this adventure.
A mixture of different characters come together and you never know who they can trust and where their journey will take them.