Friday, March 13, 2015

Napoleon's Pyramids by William Dietrich | Book Review

Napoleon's Pyramids (Ethan Gage, #1)

Napoleon's Pyramids wasn't bad.  Full disclosure:  I probably wouldn't have ever picked up this book in a bookstore, but my dad did, and then he passed it along to me after he read it.  I'm slightly neurotic and have to read every book that I'm given, and my copy had a blurb on the front that compared it to Indiana Jones.  

I don't know if it's because I read a lot of (usually shorter in length) YA or if this genre always unfolds this way, but it really felt like there was a very slow start to the story.  Personally, I kind of had to talk myself into continuing even.  Don't worry:  it definitely picks up along about the middle and does become very Indiana Jonesish, but you have to get through the first 100-150 pages first.

I also had a little bit of a problem with the protagonist.  I just never got into him; I never found myself really rooting for him.  It's a historic fiction, and I suppose that the author wanted to be true to the voice of a character from that social status and era, but I was very put off by the aloofness of Ethan, and the racial stereotypes presented.  Oh, and in this book, women are only good for one thing... and they don't need clothing for it.

My final hang-up with the book was that I figured out the mystery before Ethan Gage did.  I enjoy mysteries, but I'm not ever actively trying to guess the ending before the reveal.  I'm not very good at figuring out mysteries before the reveal.  So in the rare cases where I do figure out the puzzle, I end up a little impatient and sometimes bored, waiting for the characters to "catch up" with me.  

Like I mentioned, there is a bit of Indiana Jones-style action in the second half of the book, and that's a bit fun.  Lots of action, lots of puzzle pieces falling into place quickly, lots of bad guys appearing and then being vanquished at just the right moment.  

I'd give Napoleon's Pyramids 2.5 out of 5 stars.  It's not the brightest crayon in the box, but it was a rather comfortable little adventure.  No huge roller coaster hills of suspense or anything.  

*My dad gave me a copy of Napoleon's Pyramids.  Thank you!

No comments:

Post a Comment