The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx by Linda A. Cadose
American archeologist Dr. Cliff Post and his friend Egyptian archeologist Dr. Abdul Saad discover a hidden chamber in the right paw of the Great Sphinx. Inside they find an ancient supercomputer left there thousands of years ago by ancient aliens. A terrorist group seeks to obtain possession of this supercomputer. The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx is the first in a series featuring the adventures of American archeologist, Dr. Cliff Post. Be sure to read the second in the series, The Underwater Pyramid in the Bermuda Triangle.
Rating: 2 out of 10
First Impressions: It looked like a mildly interesting book, and I like plots that draw from history. They usually make them more fun to read and more suspenseful.
Review: The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx was not my favorite book. I was excited to read it because the author sent it to me, and because I thought that a new twist on old Egypt plot lines could be really cool. That wasn’t the case with Cadose’s newest novel about a discovery in the paw of the Great Sphinx.
It features Dr. Cliff Post, who is an all-around unrealistic (and incredibly boring) depiction of a thirty-something American male. He gets a call from his “old friend” Abdul Saad who made the discovery and wanted his help.
Let me start with the character of Cliff. I mean, this guy couldn’t be more off point if you tried. Every time he speaks to Abdul, he starts his conversation with “old friend”. Like, “Hello, old friend” “How are you, old friend” “You look well, old friend”. I read that phrase so many times, I want to die. No thirty year old American guy goes around saying “old friend” every third sentence. That was just one aspect that made him unbelievable. Add a few other odd phrases, weird quirks, and general what-did-he-just-dos and you have a semi-believable 60 year-old British man from the turn of the century. Just not real.
The other part of the book that really bothered me was the poor shape it was in. I appreciate receiving ARCs like you wouldn’t believe (as all reviewers do), but this copy seemed like a rough first draft. Just little things like typos and repetitiveness and passive voice that were happening all over the place. I think that great books are books that show, but don’t tell. You don’t need to spell it out for a reader. A LOT of this book was spelling stuff like that out. I mean, you have to give the reader some credit. They know that a character is annoyed if another character snubbed him, you don’t have to tell us that.
Lastly, the plot. It had so much potential, but it sort of fell flat. They find 13 crystal skulls in the chamber, which sounds a bit like the plot of an exceedingly bad Indiana Jones movie. I know crystal skulls are actual artifacts, but come on. There’s a movie. And then there’s all this trickery and kidnapping, which was the highlight of the book, very exciting and well-written, that kind of makes up for it. There needed to be something else, though. It was a pretty short book (103 pages) and throwing in some kind of romantic suspense or a near death experience or basically anything else would have given it some much needed dimension.
In the end, I’m glad I read it and I will always appreciate and read ARCs that authors and publishers send me, it’s the best thing that can happen for book reviewers. Would I recommend this book? Probably not, unless you really like Egyptian suspense novels. I hope she develops it more, because I really do think it has potential.
Have you read it? Let me know what think!