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: Claimed by the Alpha Dolphins (Bound to the Sea Part 1) by Lyra Fawn

claimed-by-the-alpha-dolphinsSource: NetGalley
Format: E-book – Read on Kindle
Publish date: 15th July 2014 by Victory Editing
Price: N/A
Date Read: 12th August 2014

Note: I received this review copy of Claimed by the Alpha Dolphins (Bound to the Sea Part 1) by Lyra Fawn for free through NetGalley in return for an honest review. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

 

Claimed by the Alpha Dolphins is a short 60-odd page introduction / first instalment to the full story. I hadn’t quite realised it was so short and left at a cliffhanger when I first got it so the end came far too quickly.

Mona is a librarian who, on her days off goes to the beach to soak up some rays and admire the speedo-wearing surfers. One day she notices two extremely handsome surfers who really stand out. While watching from behind her book a shark attack leaves the beach in chaos. Mona, still watching her two surfers sees them transform into dolphins and fend off the shark. This transformation goes unnoticed by anyone else on the beach. Following the two afterwards, Mona lies her way into their motel room, leaving her bag behind in the hopes that one of the two will return it to her.

I both really enjoyed this book and found much of it to be unbelievable, even for a paranormal romance/erotica. I loved the wording, descriptions and exciting storyline; The two men are royal princes bound to find the woman who will unite two clans and save their world. I even loved the sizzling sex and hot romance. I did however find that some elements of the story were silly; a lone woman following two strange shape-shifting men who-knows-where, unprotected sex with a man who had been rude and only got interested when he noticed the colour of her eyes. Oh and then going out into the sea with that man for a trial in which many before had drowned.

It was an enjoyable quick read which, if I didn’t put too much thought into it, was very good. My only real hang-up was the length; it was far too short! I will try further instalments of this series when they come out to see how this author further tells the story of Mona, Lucan and Dario.

 

Rating: ♥♥♥ – I liked it

Review: The Tycoon’s Convenient Bride…and Baby by Shoshanna Evers

TTCB&BOwn the book: Yes
Source: NetGalley
Format: Kindle E-book
Publish date: 28th July 2014 by Entangled Publishing
Price: N/A
Date Read: 16th July 2014

Note: I received this copy of The Tycoon’s Convenient Bride…and Baby by Shoshanna Evers for free through Entangled Publishing on NetGalley. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

First off, i’m going to abbreviate this title to TTCB&B as typing that out a few times would likely double the length of my review on its own.

TTCB&B is the story of two people, Mack; rich tycoon and playboy, and Lauren; career business woman who has put all thoughts of a family of her own firmly behind her. The two are brought together when Mack’s business partner and best friend – the twin brother of Lauren – and his wife go missing and are presumed dead leaving behind their baby daughter. The little cutie Callie, bound by her fathers will to live with a married couple, is left to the fate of the fostering system unless Mack and Lauren can find a way around it. And they do… they’ll marry each other. Just until Callie’s parents are found. They can get an annulment, right?

I really enjoyed TTCB&B – it was an easy, engaging read which made me eager to read more and I sped through it in a few hours. The characters Mack and Lauren were at times beyond frustrating. Many times I was longing to hit their heads together or lock them in a room so that they’d just come out and say something, not just hope that an action was being construed for what they should have been saying out loud. This frustration just made the book better though and the ending even more poignant.

Shoshanna’s work was a wonderful escape and I absolutely loved it. There was heat (boy, was there!), love, misunderstanding, despair and so many other emotions all rolled into one little package. All in all a wonderful story. Thank you for allowing me this preview.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥