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review 2018-04-03 22:05
A thrilling and fun adventure for lovers of Ancient Egypt and Indiana Jones
The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh - Carolyn Arnold

Thanks to the author’s publicist for offering me this opportunity to participate in the blog tour for the launch of this novel and for providing me an ARC copy that I freely chose to review.

I have read one of Carolyn Arnold’s Police Procedural books (Remnants, Brandon Fisher FBI Book 6) and when I was approached about this book, that is quite different in genre, I was very curious. I know I’m not the only reader fascinated by Ancient Egypt, Archaeology, and the secrets hidden by the pyramids and the hieroglyphs. I still have a copy of Gods, Graves and Scholars: The Story of Archaeology by C. W. Ceram (well, Dioses, Tumbas y Sabios, as I read the Spanish Translation), which I was given as a child, and I remember how much time I spent reading it and imagining that I was there, in Tutankhamen’s Tomb. Of course, the book is quite old now, and I was delighted to be given the opportunity of following an expedition in modern times, and seeing how much things have changed. But some things haven’t, and the magic and the excitement are still there.

This is book 2 in the Matthew Connor Adventure series, and although I can confirm it can be read independently, there are quite a few references to the previous book, City of Gold, so if you’re intending to read the whole series, I’d advise you to start by the first book, as you might otherwise miss some of the surprises. There is enough information about book 1 to get a good sense of the closeness between the friends, the dangers they encountered in their previous adventure, and also to understand what makes them tick.  But when it came to the intricacies of their personal lives, I was curious about how much background I had missed, because, in such matters, nuances are important.

The story is told in the third person from a variety of characters’ points of view. It is Matthew Connor Series, and he is one of the main characters, but the story starts with Alex, an Egyptologist who knew Matthew from before and who calls him when she realises what she has come across. Both of Matthew’s friends, Cal and Robin appear reluctant to join him at first, for different reasons, but they cannot resist the adventure, and they make a great team. Robin is the studious and organised one, and she’s always dreamed of Egypt. Cal is a photographer who loves adventure and is always trying to bring a light touch and a joke to the proceedings, and the fact that he is not knowledgeable about the topic offers the author the perfect excuse to explain the background, both historical and procedural, to their expedition. Matthew is an interesting mixture of intuition, deduction, and determination. He has great instincts even if sometimes he might get side-tracked by his emotions and his flirting with danger.  I know some readers are reluctant to read books where the point of view changes often, but it is well-done here, and it helps keep the mystery and the intrigue, as each character’s personality and insights provide us different clues to what is really going on. It is up to us to put the pieces of the puzzle together and it is great fun.

The book is fast-paced, and it will delight lovers of adventures. If you love Indiana Jones, you will be fascinated by the Emerald Tablets, the lost pharaoh, the snake whisperer, the treasure map, the betrayals, and the many secrets. In an ideal world, I would have loved to know more about the pharaoh and his secrets (he sounds like a fascinating character), and I was much more interested and convinced by the adventure aspect of the story than by the personal relationships and the love stories of the characters. Matthew came across as quite fickle at times, but he is very young (that is more evident emotionally than professionally), and I think his reactions and behaviour are understandable. The three friends go through emotional turmoil, and in all cases, it is related to their profession and their love of adventure, which brings an interesting and realistic aspect to the matter. We are used to adventurers who are either loners, or somehow come across a kindred spirit who loves adventures as much as they do, but rarely do we find a group of friends who know the value of their friendship and appreciate the difficulties of fitting their love for adventure into a ‘normal’ life. None of the main characters are flawless heroes (some hate snakes, there are jealousies, unfunny jokes, superstition, lack of commitment, and lies) and, for me, that is a strength, because it makes them human and easier to identify with.

The author once more shows her skill at research, and the technology used as part of the expedition, the procedures followed, and the setting blend smoothly into the story without delaying the action or going into unnecessarily detailed descriptions. There are clues, red herrings, plenty of suspects, and twists and turns to keep the mystery readers engaged too.

A thrilling and fun adventure that I recommend to anybody who loves the Indiana Jones movies and has always been intrigued by archaeological mysteries. The plot is particularly strong, but the characters are relatable and likeable, and I would love to join them on their next adventure. I am sure you will too.

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review 2017-12-23 18:47
I think Jessica might be a guy
Gender Swap Group Love: Pleasure Pyramid - Jessica Nolan

Okay, look, I know these kindle freebie books are just porn.  I get it.  Sometimes they are intentionally funny, like the one where she was wearing a fur coat in the rain forest at the top of a ravine that was two yards deep. 

 

And then sometimes you wonder what people learn about sex.

 

Let's disregard the fact that my Egypt prof friend would be sputtering about horrible service this story does to Egyptology and grad students.  The point of the story is that a male grad student is supposedly in a place that is designed for the pleasure of those of a certain bloodline.  For some reason, this pleasure is only reserved for females of said bloodline, hence the gender swap.  Strangely, pleasure, means giving head to all the guys and being okay with anal sex.

 

So how is she being pleasured?  That's what I want to know.  Why is pleasure most times in these stories about the guy's pleasure only?

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review 2017-08-21 19:19
Disappointing
The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan

I was really excited for this series after finishing the first two of the author's works. Having thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Riordan's  Greeks and Roman renditions; I was left feeling disappointed with the first book in his Kane series. Which is a shame because I love Egyptian myths and the overall history surrounding Egypt. I guess I expected the same charm and air that the other two series had. But that is not what I got while reading this book. It was often difficult to connect with the main two characters Carter and Sadie. The latter of whom tended to get on my nerves more often than not. I didn't find her snark quirky and felt often her superior attitude over her brother to be annoying. While she does get better I don't feel it's enough for me to say that I like her all that much. Plus throughout reading this book I felt myself becoming distracted and I wanted to finish it as quickly as possible. I do intend to read the last two remaining books to see if the series improves. That and me and my wife bought the box set thinking we were really going to enjoy it. And so far as for myself I just haven't.

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review 2017-07-17 13:31
The Red Pyramid ★☆☆☆☆
The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan,Kevin R. Free,Katherine Kellgren

Boring with incredibly simplistic writing. Yes, I know it's middle grade fiction with children as the target audience, but so was the first Harry Potter and The Hobbit, which both offered immediately engaging characters, fascinating new-but-familiar worlds, and a sly humor that sucked me in immediately. This... didn't.

 

Audiobook via Audible. I gave it a full 30 minutes before I DNF'd.

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text 2017-05-23 20:44
What's on your Library Wishlist?
Oathblood - Mercedes Lackey
Twenties Girl - Sophie Kinsella
Bitten by the Vampire - Bonnie Vanak
Bound by Night (Bound #1) - Amanda Ashley
Shadowfever - Karen Marie Moning
The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan
King Raven: 3-In-1 of Hood, Scarlet, and Tuck - Stephen R. Lawhead
Unleashed - Nancy Holder,Debbie Viguié
King of Darkness - Elisabeth Staab
Angel Burn (Angel Trilogy, #1) - L.A. Weatherly

I need to update booklikes shelves for the ebooks I've wishlisted at my public library (uses overdrive) before it grows completely out of control.

 

I'll be spacing out some posts for my wishlist from oldest to newest in the process.

 

Some are available now but not fitting my mood (or needing more research because not sure if read).

 

(Last books on page 17 of  my wishlist)

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