Reviews

A River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters

soniapage's review

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3.0

I enjoyed this action-packed Amelia Peabody book, but it was not my favorite. I was hoping the new book would continue the story of the Emersons after the discovery of King Tut. Instead, it was set before WWI and I had to keep reminding myself that Ramses, David and Nefret would have been young adults then. Sadly,Sethos did not appear in the book - always a great source of amusement to me.

hdechamp's review

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3.0

I don't know if it's just because the story took place outside of Egypt or if it felt rushed or what, but I didn't enjoy this book nearly as much as any of the others. The story felt rushed and like there was no real build up. Obviously I enjoyed the characters but the overall build up to what is coming later in the series didn't feel like it belonged in this book.

violinknitter's review

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3.0

Not the best Amelia Peabody book, but still good fun.

smallness's review

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3.0

Fun to go back and be in the Amelia Peabody universe again. Can't say that this was a fantastic book - not enough Emerson & Peabody together for that - but I did enjoy it.

mthorley23's review

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2.0

I love this series but this one was pretty ho-hum. Peters didn't seem to have her heart in it and it felt rushed. Fan fiction?

seshat59's review against another edition

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3.0

In which the Emersons go Indiana Jones-mode and quest for the Ark of the Convenant.

Except not really. The ark is thrown out there, but it's quickly dropped because searching for the ark of the covenant is just too ridiculous, even for an MPM satire -- and as this was her last published book, she's quite lost the satirical element.

"'When emotion supersedes reason, my dear, gullibility must follow.'"

A River in the Sky is the last (official) book that fills in one of the "missing years." That year would be 1910, and a Suspicious Individual wants to excavate close to the Holy Mount in Jerusalem, which is currently apart of the crumbling Ottoman Empire. Knowing how Professor Radcliffe Emerson previously assisted the Monarch with a delicate matter, he is called upon again to investigate whether the zealous excavator is really a German spy trying to stir up an already volatile area. Naturally, Amelia and Emerson are one so a call on Emerson is a request for Amelia's indomitable services. Meanwhile, Ramses has been spending some time away from the family, bolstering his qualifications and avoiding Nefret. He had been excavating with American archaeologist Reisner in a separate area of Palestine, and meddling--er, inquisitive personality that he is, he spends 70% of the book separate from the Family, not really at his own behest.

I had almost no recollection of this book. I remembered buying it, reading it, and being unimpressed when it was published in 2010 or somewhere thereabouts, and I still have some complaints with it. This and the previously reviewed Guardian of the Horizon just don't have that tense, fraught dynamic between Ramses and Nefret (though MPM wisely keeps them separated in this book to avoid that problem). Furthermore, MPM's writing style had evolved and it was hard for her to return to the tone of her earlier books -- making these novels feel off. Ramses is behaving more like Dad Ramses than 20-something Ramses, but whatev. Also, the Emersons are not biblical archaeologists, and being the biased Egyptophile that I am, I much prefer the dose of Egyptology in the majority of the books than I did here. Some readers may appreciate the change in scenery and historic info dumping, and I did my best to retain an open mind. In fact, I did have more fun with this book this time around than I remember having ten years ago when I first read it. There are some great quotes scattered throughout the novel, and as always, it's a pleasure to spend time with the Emerson clan.

"Men like to create unnecessary organizations and give them impressive or mysterious names; this usually ends in increased confusion, and should therefore be ignored."
"'If there is anything that life has taught me, it is that there is no idea so absurd that someone will not accept it as truth, and no action so bizarre that it will not be justified in the eyes of a true believer.'"

holl3640's review

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adventurous mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes

4.0

issyjanejane's review against another edition

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adventurous lighthearted tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.75

raptorimperator's review against another edition

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3.0

It was fine, entertaining enough. You get a glimpse at some of the tensions that eventually will lead to WWI, with hints of German and English spies, a plot against the Ottoman Empire, and a lot of Ramses on his own adventure (aka Manuscript H), but not really as much of Peabody and Emerson doing what they do best. They don't do much excavating in this novel, spending most of the time chasing after or in search of their wayward son. Frankly, Amelia seemed more like a side character in her own story. Still an interesting read, just not as enthralling as some of the other books, in my opinion.

kimberly_b's review

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5.0

I won this book through GoodReads First Reads and absolutely loved it! I read the first Amelia Peabody mystery ([b:Crocodile on the Sandbank|188230|Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody, #1)|Elizabeth Peters|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1172544229s/188230.jpg|2570338]) to familiarize myself with the characters before reading this. Peters' characters are so wonderful! Regardless of the setting be it Egypt, or in this case Jerusalem, the story comes alive with the pluckiness of Amelia and the irascibility of Emerson. This book is funny, suspenseful, and thoroughly entertaining. I plan to read all of the Amelia Peabody mysteries now--I'm hooked!