Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Rosetta Key by William Dietrich | Audiobook Review

The Rosetta Key (Ethan Gage, #2)

Another exciting Ethan Gage adventure!  Just a heads up: this is the second Ethan Gage saga, so there may be spoilers to Napoleon's Pyramids in this review.

I'll admit: it took me a minute to warm up to these books.  I thought that Ethan Gage was a bit pretentious and the story a little implausible in the first book, and had trouble getting past that.  BUT once you decide to just sit back and enjoy the ride, these books are such fun!  Yes, Ethan is still a bit pretentious, but I think that's at least partly due to the historicity of the books.  They're set in the late 1700s, when upper class white males did honestly think themselves better than most other people.  And when Ethan repeatedly refers to himself as a "savant," he's not being snobbish (in that moment); he's using the word in the historic, literal sense, and telling us that he's well-educated and well-read.  The Rosetta Key also continues to be pretty implausible, but it's fiction.  Go ahead and let yourself be carried along on the adventure and you won't regret it!

The Rosetta Key finds Ethan still in the Middle East, but this time in Jerusalem.  He's looking for the Book of Throth, to keep it from falling into the wrong (Napoleon's) hands.  Along the way, he also hopes to find Astiza.  If you remember, he lost her when she fell from the hot air balloon into the Nile.  I assumed her dead.... I have now learned a lesson in keeping up hope!  Especially in fiction.  ;)  Turns out she's alive and well and needs to be found.  Ethan practically singlehandedly fights off the British and the French and the king of Egypt in order to outsmart them all in following the clues and finding the Book of Throth.  (I warned you that it's slightly implausible.)  With this one, though, I let all logic fly out the window and ended up loving seeing how Ethan would tackle each new problem or puzzle that arose.  I cheered for him whenever he'd solve a clue or overcome an obstacle, and laughed at some of his naivete in some social situations.  There's a whole scene involving two women that I found particularly amusing.  :)

Then the book ends... with a heavy hint at the next Ethan Gage adventure!  I've already downloaded The Dakota Cipher to listen to next!  Got to see where that crazy Ethan Gage ends up.

I listened to The Rosetta Key, as opposed to reading a physical book, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The narrator gives Ethan a voice that seems real, and does believable, noncondescending accent for the foreign characters.  The cadence and pacing feel good:  not too fast and not too slow.  I would certainly recommend this audiobook.

*I checked out my copy of The Rosetta Key from my local library.

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