Soon You’ll Be an Osiris (Thebes of the Hundred Gates – A Book Review)

Thebes of the Hundred Gates
Author: Robert Silverberg
Published: 1992

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Thebes

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Lost in time…

Twenty-seven-year-old Edward Davis is a promising rookie in the Time Service. He’s passed all the tests, but it’s a completely different ballgame to actually jump back in time. Leaping back to 35C, Eighteenth Dynasty Egypt, he has to find and bring back two teammates that got lost in time. Surrounded on all sides by the bustling life of the bazaar with the hot sun beating down on him.

Suddenly, he’s taken in by a priestess and befriended by the slave girl assigned to help him get well. When he discovers the fate of his lost teammates any chance of getting home turns dangerous. Yet, with the allure of the grand city that he’s only dreamt of seeing in real life, Edward begins to wonder if he even wants to go back to his time.

 

The detail was just stunning. Truly. Vivid with wondrous color and way of life. When it comes to world history I was fascinated with both Greece and Egypt. It’s the construction of their amazing architecture and their religion system, society, the fashion, the way they handle death. It’s my favorite study. It’s almost like a fantasy, I guess. Granted, there were also a lot of tragic aspects as well: slavery, disease, sacrifices to the gods. Nonetheless, I found Ancient Egypt to be one of the eras that was pretty advanced for its time. The acute imagery was powerful. Such beautiful description down to the very crevices of life and death.

Thebes of the Hundred Gates

This was a speedy read at a mere 116 pages. It was still pretty interesting. Though the chapters were short, they left me excited for the next chapter.

TIME TRAVEL!!!! One of the funnest parts of the sci-fi genre. Who doesn’t have a time period they wish they could go to! I’ve already said Ancient Egypt is one of them, but just to reiterate—this was a cool place to go back in time to.

time travel

The characters were very interesting. Edward was no newbie, but he didn’t hide his boyish excitement, and who would!? It was like jumping into the middle of a TV series. You get a taste of these characters and their story in one of the best ways—by getting dropped right smack dab in the middle of it. I do think that there could’ve been more to their background. It felt very vague, especially regarding the Time Service.

The dangers and expectations of working as a time travel were well done. Very realistic. Edward took all the precautions, making sure to blend in as best as possible, so he wasn’t a total rookie, though he didn’t except to get tangles with a slave girl. It was enticing.

NEED

But…yes, I’m sorry. There’s a but. People hate them, but I have one. There were drop off points where I guess I was supposed to pick up on the situation, but was left with noise. I mean it. Just characters making noise. It was slightly off-putting. Now, I assumed there was some intense things happening, but I really wished there had been a little more depth to parts like this to better the imagery of these moments. What can I say? When you give such great imagery, then drop off as if it’s too awkward, then I’m going to complain.

 

Overall

My only issue with this book was that there wasn’t enough background on the Time Service and the characters. But the imagery was vivid and incredibly believable with its accuracy. A really interesting read, especially for fanatics of ancient Egypt. A lot happening, and a fantastic close-up in history, in this small novel.

 

Quotables:

“To die like a pig—that is not good, not good at all, my friend.” (p. 8)

“You will be an Osiris soon.” (p.9)

“Death was a big business in this country.” (p. 45)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? We Come Running by Youngblood Hawke.

 

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Destiny Strikes More Than Once ( Lightning – A Book Review)

Lightning
Author: Dean R. Koontz
Published: 1988

On Goodreads

Lightning

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11/25

Destiny struggles to reassert the pattern that was meant to be.

A storm struck and lightning streaked the sky the nigh that Laura Shane was born. There was something strange about it that people would remember for a long time. The blond-haired stranger that came out of nowhere and saved her from a fatal delivery was even more mysterious. He shows again years later, and again later, saving her over and over.

Laura believes she has a guardian angel that watches over her. But as tragedies strike, she begins to questions whether this blond-haired stranger is a guardian, but rather a devil? Why is he watching out for her? Why mess with her life, her fate?

This book marks 11 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. Over and over, I’ve been told how great Dean Koontz is so I was amped to put him on the list and finally start reading some of his works.

Laura led a complex life, but with her guardian angel that’s protected her since birth it’s a little better, a little more hopeful. When she finally gets a moment to talk to him and ask him why he’s chosen her to watch over the answer stuns her, changing her life forever. He’s in love with her.

My mom recommended this book to me and as my first Dean Koontz book, I liked it. This is her favorite by him. She does nothing but gush about it. I also have an obsession with lightning so I was excited to read this book on just those two principles. LOL.

The characters were so beautiful. I was really taken with them. My heart went out to Laura who went through some really tough and dark times as she grew up, and survived them. My heart just dropped right out my chest and into La La Land for Stefan (that blond hair and blue eyes *sigh*). I couldn’t stop laughing at Laura’s best friend, Thelma, and Laura’s son, Chris because they were just too damn funny. What each of these characters brought to the book really rounded it all out.

The element of time travel was so eloquently done with how Stefan shows up periodically throughout Laura’s life. Very creative with the lightning; using it to travel was really unique and breathtaking. Lightning is such a powerful source. It can kill a person and bring them back to life. It’s impossible to control and one of nature’s most splendid forces. I was super intrigued by it!

Lighting

The writing really just pulled me along. It was done in two parts, which basically follow Laura as she grows up and then goes on to follow her and Stefan when they finally come together. Filled with romance, action, and suspense, this book was filled with entertainment from beginning to the end. Definitely one of those ones that’ll have you going, “Well, that escalated.” as well as have you feeling moved beyond words.

I may not have loved this book as much as my mom, but I certainly enjoyed it. This book left me with that sweet long feeling that leaves your heart feeling heavy and full. The ending was sweet and tender. Laura and Stefan were such amazing characters that swept me away. Both of them are strong with such big hearts.

Just a side question: Why hasn’t a movie been made based on this book?

Quotables:

“Eliot wrote: ‘Saints and martyrs rule from the tombs.’” (Stefan to Viktor, p. 29)

“Life is serious and a joke at the same time.” (Laura, p. 81)

“Adversity breeds toughness, and the tough succeed. And survive.” (Laura, p. 148)

More to come soon…

–K.

P.S. Song today? Sick Cycle Carousel by Lifehouse.

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To the Future! (The Time Machine – A Book Review)

The Time Machine
Author: H.G. Wells
Published: 1895

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A brilliant time traveler holds a dinner to tell his tale of a harrowing journey he just returned from. He tells his guests of the people he met and the places he saw with incredible detail when he visited the year 802, 701.

I think that at the time none of us quite believed in the Time Machine. (p. 11)

The time traveler describes those he meets as ‘exquisite creatures’ of ‘futurity’. He goes on to describe their elfin and china-like features and how innocent and delightful they are. Honestly, I kept thinking about Minions since the people of this community that the time traveler landed in all look alike.

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Soon enough the time traveler comes to miss an important part to his machine that prevents him from getting home. More so, Morlocks, who I pictured to be a creepy rendition of skeletal ghost-like creepies, dwell in the tunnels beneath the oasis that is right where London used to be. While trying to get home, the time traveler tries to protect his new friends.

Author of War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells created an entire futuristic world of complete awe. His attention to detail is phenomenal and this tale is all being told in the past tense of having happened already. That’s what really made me like this so much. The point of view was unlike anything I’ve read so far. This classic Sci-Fi piece is an adventure and a unique and beautiful look into the future.

 

Quotables:

“We are kept keen on the grindstone of pain and necessity, an, it seemed to me, that here was that hateful grindstone broken at last!” (p. 29)

“Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life.  thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. I thought of the great precessional cycle that the pole of the eart describes.” (p. 54)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Science Fiction/Double Feature from The Rocky Horror Picture Show….It just came on and I pressed repeat.