I received Spear of Seth from author Rene Daniel for review. After reading that this book seemed to entice Indian Jones lovers I was definitely interested. Plus the characters were enrolled in college so I could see the opportunity that this book might have of reaching a broad amount of readers. Author Rene Daniel chose to write the book from two characters perspective, Alex and Heather. I really like when books are written this way because it’s like two books in one. It also takes place in Egypt so it includes a lot of the history and mythology along the timeline of the book. So I figured why not read a book that could educate and entertain.
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.
I usually discuss the lead characters at this point and any others who may have stood out for me. I am a big fan of characters that I can build an attachment to because they are the viewpoints of the story. I unfortunately didn’t build any attachments to the characters in Spear of Seth. I did look forward to reading Alex’s parts in the book only because he was sort of pushed into the adventure first. He’s definitely someone who didn’t have a clue what he was getting into when he signed up for the summer dig project. That could be why he shined a bit more then Heather to me. He was more identifiable to me as a reader.
This book is constantly compared to Indiana Jones, and I will admit that the stories that involve Egypt’s history, and the artifacts that have ties to this history are very Indy. I actually enjoyed these the best while reading because the characters in them were extremely interesting to me. The story about Hathor and Horus was incredible and that may be the moment when I really got into the book. However what I think makes characters like Indian Jones and even the characters in the Mummy series are the tensions between them. A huge chunk of the book has the two lead characters separated and creates a choppy perspective but you still see the main point of the story. But I think this is when the characters may have gotten lost for me. In the beginning of the book you get the impression that Alex is irritated by Heather, which got me amped up for their sarcastic banter that I had expected. And what I loved most about Indian Jones.
I don’t want to give the wrong impression of Rene Daniel’s work. He is talented in laying out the history involved in Spear of Seth and I think history buffs particularly will love this book and the ones to follow. But if you tend to snooze in history class you may not be able to keep up with the facts that are thrown at you. The star of this book is definitely Egypt, and if you want to know more about it in an informative adventure then I strongly suggest Spear of Seth.