Review: Pyramid (Jack Howard #8) by David Gibbins

Source: NetGalley & Bookbridgrcover55131-medium
Format: E-book – Read on Kindle & Large paperback
Publish Date: 6th November 2014
Price: N/A
Date Read: 4th November 2014
Genre: Action Adventure / Thriller
Links: Amazon UK / Amazon US

Note: I received this review copy of Pyramid for free in return for an honest review. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

Goodreads Summary:

Everyone knew the story of Ancient Egypt. Until now.

For thousands of years, Egypt was a rich, ingenious civilization. Then it became a fertile hunting ground for archaeologists and explorers. Now the streets of Cairo teem with violence as a political awakening shakes the region. In the face of overwhelming danger, Jack Howard and his team of marine archaeologists have gathered pieces of a fantastic puzzle. But putting it together may cost them their lives.

Howard has connected a mystery hidden inside a great pyramid to a fossilized discovery in the Red Sea and a 150-year-old handwritten report of a man who claims to have escaped a labyrinth beneath Cairo. For that his team is stalked by a brutal extremist organization that will destroy any treasure they find.

As people fight and die for their rights aboveground, Jack fights for a discovery that will shed an astounding new light on the greatest story ever told: Moses’s exodus from Egypt and the true beginnings of a new chapter in human history.

I first came across the pure delight of David Gibbins’ work with words one month a few years ago when my book group read ‘The Tiger Warrior’; the 4th book in the Jack Howard series. I absolutely loved the wording, imagery and adventure that flowed into my mind from the words written simply on the page. The world of Jack Howard was and is something far out of my range of experience so being allowed to escape into the mind and life of such a character was pure escapism. Life however always seems to get in the way and although I borrowed and/or bought copies of other books in the series, it wasn’t until now, with the chance to read and review the latest offering and adventure that I have been able to pick up and read another of these treasures.

Pyramid, like the other Jack Howard series, is a standalone novel but with one long and rather complicated storyline seemingly going throughout the entire series. Pyramid closely follows the previous story in the series; Pharaoh, though as I did, you can read Pyramid without having read Pharaoh first. This story is set (as you would imagine) mainly around the pyramids of Egypt, although also moving around to the coast of Spain and into Israel. Egypt though is not a safe place to be in at this time and I must warn readers that things do get extremely hard to read at certain points. The country is, you see, at the point of there being a coup, with religious extremists set to take over the government and kill all those who are seen to be against what they stand for. The horror of these times is well and straightforwardly written, with many things that could have been hashed over for the more sensitive readers not missed out.

The story though isn’t all death, destruction and rioting. One quote on the front of the book likens Jack Howard and the series to a cross between Indiana Jones and Dan Brown. This is extremely accurate. Jack Howard is many things; a seriously talented diver, an archaeologist, a historian and so much more which you’ll find as you read the story. All this experience and knowledge is all thanks to the talent of the author who has experience is these very different areas himself and this really shines through in the writing. I was pleased in fact to be reading much of the time on a Kindle as it saved on the many times I needed to turn to a dictionary to find out what a word meant – having a built-in dictionary was perfect for this type of book! Some of the harder and more interesting words and phrases included ‘sepulchral gloom’ and ‘bellicose’. From the way in which the word was used you could guess at a meaning but having a definition there was fantastic.

The overwhelming genre of this book is action adventure. You could call it a thriller but an unconventional one if it is. There is no ‘bad guy’ to point to, just a country undergoing one of the worst points in living memory. Despite all this however, Jack Howard and his best friend Costas manage to make their way through a dive to discover the truth behind the biblical book of Exodus, follow the footsteps and clues left by an ancient Pharaoh; Akhenaten, and at the same time expounding a historical story or theory in incredible detail, often at the worst possible times. The relationship between Jack and Costas is fantastic though and hilarious at times to watch. All characters are well detailed, explained and you really get to know them during the course of the book and series. I honestly hope it doesn’t take me as long again to read another of this wonderful series.

 

Rating: ♥♥♥♥ ½ – I utterly loved it. (Note: This rating is rounded up when a ½ is unavailable)

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Review: Bound to Danger (Deadly Ops #2) by Katie Reus

isbn9781472212214-1x3aOwn the book: Yes
Source: BookBridgr
Format: Paperback
Publish date: 5th August 2014 by Headline Eternal
Price: N/A
Date Read: 8th August 2014

Note: I received this review copy of Bound to Danger (Deadly Ops #2) by Katie Reus for free through BookBridgr in return for an honest review. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

 

Bound to Danger is the second book in the Deadly Ops series. Although it is in a series, it can be read as a standalone novel although characters who were previously major characters do show up in minor roles. This does not detract at all and seems to be the way for series of this type. It comes firmly under the genre heading ‘Romantic Suspense’ – my absolute favourite right now. The story was exciting and the characters real and appealing.

While attending a benefit dinner, Maria Cervantes overhears men plotting a terrorist attack. Before she can alert the authorities however, the building explodes and almost everyone is killed. As the only guest still alive, Maria becomes a person of interest to the NSA. With her memory of the evening gone however, she only remembers that she knows something important; not what. With an NSA agent needed to babysit/bodyguard the survivor, one man takes the job. Cade O’Reilly. Maria is the woman he never forgot, having abandoned her following the death of his best friend – her brother in Afghanistan. Cade though, as a member of the NSA’s Black Death 9 agents is the person who will protect Maria whether she likes it or not. As they get closer and Maria starts to regain her memories, Cade and Maria must decide if they want to let each other go again.

I really enjoyed this book. I found the explanations for words at the beginnings of chapters were really good – it was something relevant to the oncoming chapter and helped to explain to someone who has a vague idea but no proper definition. I also really liked the old emails between Maria and Cade every now and again throughout the book. It really brought out the old relationship between the two and added a lot of backstory. Along with all that, the action and the excitement I certainly enjoyed the romance part – I found it rather stimulating *ahem*. Warning: This book is not for under 18’s.

I found everything in the story so well described I had a perfect picture of the whole book in my head. The muscles, the guns, the boats and so on all came to life inside my head. Thank you Katie for such a fantastic book!

 

Rating: ♥♥♥♥ – I loved it

 

 

Events: #SexMeUpReadathon and #Sunathon 2014

This week is going to be fun and busy with two exciting events going on this week. Along with a normal week of work I shall be joining other twitterati and book bloggers to celebrate books and reading… By reading! I’m so eager to start that I’m up at 6am on a Sunday writing this blog!

 

#SexMeUpReadathon : Monday 21st – Friday 25th July 2014

First up, running Monday to Friday we have the #SexMeUpReadathon. You can follow on Twitter with that hashtag, along with #LetsGetItOn and #StaySexy. Even better is that I have written a guest post for it; my very first! My post, titled ‘The Taboo of Erotica’ will be going live at 5pm on Wednesday 23rd. Definitely a *squee* moment going to be going on there!

There is so much else to be looking forward to during the week including Q&A’s, other guest posts, short stories, authors (including J Kenner!) talking sex and a very exciting amount more. You can find a (nearly) finalised schedule for the week over at the #SexMeUpReadathon blog here. I shall be printing a copy to keep with me!

 

#Sunathon : Monday 21st – Sunday 27th July 2014

The second event runs from Monday to Sunday and is #Sunathon. Again, follow on Twitter with that hashtag. You can read Emma Louise’s fantastic introductory blog post about it here.

 

The object and idea of both readathons is to encourage people to pick up their books and read. They aren’t races to finishing lines or competitions to see who can read the most- a view I absolutely adore. As I joined up first to the #SexMeUpReadathon my book choices have mainly been for that, although all books will also count for #Sunathon. Maybe I am being a little hopeful in the amount I will be reading but no matter as I will enjoy reading all I can!

So, my list of Erotica for #SexMeUpReadathon:

#SexMeUpReadathon

Sources: The Story of O – My Bookshelf // Bound to Danger – BookBridgr // Crazy About the Baumgartners – NetGalley // Heated – Goodreads First Reads // Claimed By the Alpha Dolphins #1 – NetGalley // The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty – Library 

And my list of other books to include for #Sunathon:

#Sunathon

 Sources: The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House – Goodreads First Reads // Don’t Fall – Giveaway Prize by Mily @TheYANightstand // Good Omens – My Bookshelf // Do or Die – NetGalley

All in all a lot to look forward to, although some of the books with rather large numbers of pages (such as ‘The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House’ – which I will eagerly admit to having started already – with 504 pages and ‘Do or Die’ with 577 pages)  are starting to worry me. Fortunately these are offset by some with very few! I keep reminding myself though, it’s not how much I read that matters, only that I am reading! I’m also excited to be mixing physical copies of books and e-books. It will be interesting to see which I prefer.

So, will you join us this week in celebrating reading? It doesn’t matter at all what you read or which Readathon you join in with – if you join in at all. Just read. Visit your local library or pick something dusty off your shelf. Give it a glance, give it a read. Browse Amazon for free books to try on Kindle or computer/phone app or buy a dozen which catch your imagination.

Give it a go.  I certainly hope you do and invite you warmly to join, watch and take part.

 

Review: Elysian Fields (Sentinels of New Orleans #3) by Suzanne Johnson

Own the book: Yes9780755397709
Source: BookBridgr
Format: Paperback
Published: (Originally) 15th August 2013 by Headline
Price: N/A
Date Read: 15th July 2014

Note: I received this copy of Elysian Fields by Suzanne Johnson for free through BookBridgr. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

Elysian Fields is the third book in the Sentinels of New Orleans series, preceded by Royal Street (#1) and River Road (#2). It is classed by Headline as a Fiction/Urban Fantasy mix. I couldn’t quite work out if this was aimed at a teen or adult audience however, but I think it could easily be enjoyed by both.

Before reading this book I will fully admit that I had not read either of the other books in the series but I was intrigued too much by the storyline and the gorgeous cover to let my chance to read it pass. And I’m so pleased I took it.

The Sentinels of New Orleans series focuses around the main character of DJ – Drusilla Jaco. DJ is an odd mix of wizard and elf, with the powers of both. The books are set around New Orleans in the times around Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane opened a passageway from the Beyond to present day New Orleans, giving characters still remembered by the world of today the opportunity to came back for periods. These characters can be good, bad or a charming pirate named Jean who is a mix of both. The world DJ lives in contains elves, werewolves, witches and wizards along with shapeshifters, elves and who knows what else.

Book three was an absolute joy to read. The characters imagined by Suzanne Johnson fully came to life in my mind and her descriptions were wonderful. I laughed, I hid in fear and I couldn’t put it down. I even had a 3am incident when I just didn’t want to stop reading, despite having to work the following day! I found that though I had missed the first two books in the series, I could still really enjoy the book as everything was explained succinctly enough to get the gist of what had previously happened without it ruining the flow.

I loved too the hints of romance in the story – the will they/won’t they play which still wasn’t sorted at the end. Can I hear a book 4 in the distance? Please? If bribery will work I’ll send cupcakes…!

It was a clever book and one I would certainly recommend. So please, give it a try!

Rating: ♥♥♥♥