Spear of Sethby Rene Daniel
Published on June 16, 2011 by Createspace
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Alex Khyan, the protagonist of "Spear of Seth," is very level-headed person, with both feet firmly planted on the ground. Or is he? What will he do when he faces a world he thought existed only in dreams of an ancient civilization? Alex is quite comfortable in his skin. He is a premed student of the Van Senmut College, so he has to be a serious young man, has he not? He now needs a summer job, and gets one. It is not what he is used to, since he will work as a translator at an archeological dig at the island of Elephantine in the Upper Egypt. Alex does not exactly care about history, but, since his mother is from Lebanon, he speaks Arabic, which gives him an edge. Little does he know what he is getting himself into. Enter Heather Van Senmut and her father, John Van Senmut, a grandson of the founder of the college and the archeologist in charge of the excavations. The dig is not just some dig; it is the ruins of the Temple of Osiris, which stands at the mythical place where Nile emerges from the Egyptian Underworld. The Temple attracts a lot of attention, some of which come from people, who would be more at home in Salem, Massachusetts, shall we say, about three hundred years ago. When John Van Senmut, falls ill and physicians give up on him, his daughter decides to search the Temple for the cause of the disease and possibly a cure. Her quest leads her, and her unwilling helper Alex, into the Netherworld, which survived the Egyptian civilization by two thousand years. They negotiate its dangers, as well as dangers, which come from their contemporaries. They do have only one guide - the Book of Gates, which decorates the sarcophagus of the pharaoh Seti. Are the demons, which are pictured there, only a product of the painter's imagination? Will the Alex's attitude be helpful, or will he have to change in order to survive? Will Heather realize that there is a difference between being determined and being ruthless? What did alchemists of medieval Europe know about the Underworld? Why Heather needs to find out?
Spear of Seth is an action-packed adventure perfect for fans of Indiana Jones. Not only does this book have plenty to keep you reading, the depth of the mythology Daniel uses is…amazing. I am a HUGE fan of mythology-based books and this one is no exception. Throughout the story, you not only goes on a journey with protagonists Alex and Heather but also gain new knowledge of Egyptian mythology. I can’t verify how much is accurate but regardless, it adds a new element to the story. I do think some of the information got out of hand at times but for the most part, I enjoyed it.
On top of the actual story, the descriptions are vivid and beautiful, allowing you to really recreate everything in your mind. For the most part, none of them turned into info dumps either. Additionally, the characters are real–multidimensional, flawed people that can be related to. You don’t know who’s good and who’s bad–and honestly, can someone ever be one or the other entirely? Together, these two aspects of Spear of Seth held exactly what I look for in a book.
This book is for anyone who loves an adventure. The twists and turns will keep you hooked from beginning to end while teaching you about another type of mythology besides Greek (I love it, but it seems to be overdone these days). Spear of Seth is for all ages, no matter if you like young adult or adult fiction.