Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Napoleon's Pyramids (Ethan Gage Adventures) Mass Market Paperback – December 26, 2007
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
What mystical secrets lie beneath the Great Pyramids?
The world changes for Ethan Gageâone-time assistant to the renowned Ben Franklinâon a night in post-revolutionary Paris, when he wins a mysterious medallion in a card game. Framed soon after for the murder of a prostitute and facing the grim prospect of either prison or death, the young expatriate American barely escapes France with his lifeâchoosing instead to accompany the new emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, on his glorious mission to conquer Egypt. With Lord Nelson's fleet following close behind, Gage sets out on the adventure of a lifetime. And in a land of ancient wonder and mystery, with the help of a beautiful Macedonian slave, he will come to realize that the unusual prize he won at the gaming table may be the key to solving one of history's greatest and most perilous riddles: who built the Great Pyramids . . . and why?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The concept certainly sounded like fun, with a Revolutionary War era Indiana Jones uncovering ancient mysteries in the midst of Napoleon's invasion of Egypt - how could you go wrong?
Unfortunately, Ethan Gage is a cardboard hero. He's given a lot of attractive attributes; assistant to Benjamin Franklin in his electrical experiments, frontier marksman, gambler, etc., but they hardly ever come into play.
As other reviewers have mentioned, he comes across as a bit of an idiot. Maybe his work with Franklin was limited to bringing him coffee, but he certainly didn't pick up any knowledge. This sole purpose of this link to Franklin seems to be to add some historical cover and get him included in Napoleon's expedition as a "savant". Everything has to be pointed out to him and he's very slow on the uptake (minor spoiler: at one point one of the savants debunks Gage's medallion because of a supposed anachronism and Gage accepts it even though he had just returned from an previously undiscovered ancient temple that proved the medallion's antiquity).
Outside of the Franklin connection, Gage's Revolutionary era bona fides are limited to his love for his long rifle and tomahawk (as some other reviewers have pointed out) and a sprinkling of topical exclamations "by Ticonderoga's timbers!", "by Washington's sword!"). Despite his constant worrying over them (several times during the novel he has to hide them for later recovery) they're not really a big part of the story. He demonstrates his marksmanship a few times, but it never comes into play at any crucial junction and misses the one target he tries to hit with his tomahawk.
In a similar vein, his reputation as a gambler is limited to an opening scene where he wins the novel's macguffin at cards.
The pace of the novel is much slower than it should be for a thriller (it was a page turner in the sense that I was hoping to get to the end and be able to read something else). The main device to move the plot forward seemed to be the fortuitous arrival of someone to either help or chase Gage to the next scene. The action scenes were disjointed and didn't really flow and were filled with unlikely actions and speeches and the characterization of the antagonists equally poor (at one point, during a fight to the death, Gage seizes on villain's trademark weapon and he exclaims "Give it back!").
The book does leave off on a partial cliffhanger and I already have the sequel, so i'll probably read it at some point, but it's not something I'll be rushing to read. As mentioned, I think it's a really good concept, with a potentially interesting hero in an interesting setting, so I'll keep my fingers crossed that the writing improves.