My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Three (3) stars to Will Adams‘s The Exodus Quest. There were some good parts, but there were also some parts that were a bit hard to get through. In the end, I am glad I continued reading this series, but I’m a bit skeptical to read the next one.
Daniel Knox, famed Egyptology archaelogist expert, stumbles upon a piece of pottery that he believes has been stolen from a current dig and could reveal a connection between the birth of the Jewish exodus from Egypt thousands of years ago. At the same time, his sort of love interest Gaille, has been recruited to help a news reporting team who is trying to prove a similar theory. Daniel and Gaille don’t actually get to meet in this book until the very end when he plays the hero again, but as the story bubbles so does their relationship. Interspersed is a good plot with religious overtones of a rogue “priest” and his questionable followers, questions of the value of media and shade frequently thrown at Egyptian law enforcement ethics.
1. Will Adams’ story-telling style is top notch. His books tend to be a bit long but the chapters are short switching from character to character and plot to sub-plot throughout the pages. He does a fantastic job at creating both subtle intrigue and intense cliff-hangers in each chapter, and then switches to a different character or plot; you’re really drawn in and find it hard to put down once you hit a groove in your reading cycle. (Not fun when you claim you only want to read for 30 minutes before bed!)
2. The story is very intricate, challenging readers to rely on what they already know about the Jewish and Christian faiths versus how the various Egyptian pharoahs and rulers interacted with neighboring religions. Sure, you could read through the pages quickly just to get a basic understanding of the story and the connections between history and religion, but if you are reading for more than just a quick plot, this is definitely a novel you can sink your teeth into. I found myself jumping over to Wikipedia a few times trying to figure out who some of the rulers were, which folks were real and which were more of the author’s creative liberty taking flight.
1. The first seventy-five (75) pages are a bit hard to get through compared to the rest of the book. Adams needs to setup the story but I felt like the characters weren’t coming together in a strong way. I wasn’t able to keep track of who was who, which ones were good or bad, etc. I re-read a few chapters just to stay connected (and it helped) but in the end, I felt like it could have been tighter and more direct. (Maybe I was tired when I read those pages and it’s entirely my own fault!)
2. The characters are a bit wooden compared to the first book, The Alexander Cipher, where we get to know enough about them to care for their plights. In The Exodus Quest, there is too little effective backstory, no exploration into how they got to this place, what they want to move towards in the future, etc. I think Adams needs to loop in a little more focus on character development to keep some of his fans thirsting for more of his books, that is, beyond the expertly weaved story-telling.
Fans of the treasure hunt thriller, the archaeological discovery and serial fiction storytelling should continue into book 2 of this series, but they may also want to explore a few other authors in this genre to see which one rings more bells for them. As for me, I bought book 3 and 4 at the same time as book 2, so I’ll be reading both… and writing reviews on them too!