The Pharaoh’s Secret — Marissa Moss
The premise of this book pretty much reminds me of Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles. Centers on Egypt. Siblings—a boy and a girl. Dad’s an Egyptian scholar. Mom died a few years back. Dad takes the siblings to a museum where it will all begin. Girl’s a whiny little thing. Boy’s a certified geek.
To be honest, the very reason why I picked up this book is because of its appealing cover. Yes, I have a weakness for pretty covers. A sanguine disposition naturally envelops me every time I see them—they seem to taunt me with their intriguing charm and eventually draws me in. Hence, I couldn’t help but devour their pages once I get a hold of them.
So, pretty cover… but was it pretty inside?
The Egyptian context in this book was largely intriguing, given the fact that almost everything was well-researched and based from pure history. The love affair between the sole female pharaoh Hatshepsut and her architect Senenmut was all-consuming, that I was completely compelled to investigate the said claims. And as it turns out, there really are records in history that attest the intimacy between them; otherwise, how do you explain Senenmut becoming one of the most powerful men in the country with his ignoble blood? Or was it his natural talent that caused this rise to power?
Although engaging most of the time, still, it was boring at times. I greatly prefer the historical framework rather than the story itself. There weren’t any cloak and dagger schemes that will make every reader quiver with trepidation and desperately heave as each cryptic fact unfolds. The protagonists weren’t even distinguishably memorable; I don’t feel anything for them. They were simply paper cut-outs stuffed inside the story to create darling characters.
And what was that with the antagonist? He isn’t as creepy as Talibah describes him. He doesn’t even draw much attention to become noteworthy of fear. If the siblings were paper cut-outs, then he’s merely a sketch on a pad.
The verdict? Possibly if I have read this when I was younger, preferably in my elementary years, I would have terribly enjoyed this. The premise was really catchy, but the seemingly mundane storyline snatched it from its effulgence. However, the derivative Egyptian backdrop compensated for the missing facets that still made it a fairly acceptable read.