Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Emerald Tablet, by Joshua Silverman - Book Review

Disclaimer - I was provided a review copy from the Promotional Book Tours to facilitate my reviews. 
All opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.

The Emerald Tablet
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Leoros doesn't have many friends. The son of a scientist and archaeologist  he is constantly on the move. But when his parents make a startling discovery in Egypt, Leoros' world is turned upside down. 

 Do you wish you could have the power of a god? Would you use it for good…or for evil? 

When an archaeologist discovers the mythic Emerald Tablet buried beneath Egypt’s desert, her son decodes the ancient text leading him to a distant world. 

On that world, a slave girl begins a journey towards a destiny she cannot imagine. But when an ancient foe rises from the ashes, they will be brought together by forces neither understands. 

Leoros, who dreams of being like the heroes in the comic books, must fight to unlock the secrets of the universe to save a people he never knew existed. 

Atlantia, whose bloody visions wake her in the night, senses the darkness coming. 

Together they will face an enemy with the power of dark energy, lose a mentor to the assassin’s blade, and be betrayed by someone they trust. Their fight for the future is just beginning, and before it is over, a final sacrifice must be made. When the darkness comes, will they stand and fight or will they join it? 

There is darkness in everyone. 

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My opinion:

I was excited to read Joshua Silverman's The Emerald Tablet, the first book in his Legends of Amun Ra series. It combined a few of my favorite things, history and legends of ancient Egypt as well as ancient Greece. Plus the story itself wove together elements of history, action, science fiction and mystery. I have devoured numerous science fiction and mystery novels on these subjects so I knew I would enjoy the topic.

The build-up for each character, back story and inner dialogue was a little long for my taste. I wanted to learn more about each distinct character through scenes and actions instead of monologues and flashbacks. Of course, there is so much going on in the story, and so much for the reader to understand that I can overlook some of the excessive build-up and get right to the concept and execution.

The plot was original and interesting, but felt overextended at times. For the start of a series it really needed to hook me. My interest was piqued, but I was also left a little confused at times.  I really wanted to fall in love with this story, but I also wanted the scenes and concepts to flow a little smoother. I did find myself making notes on the different characters and relationships because they were often complex and I didn't remember them easily between reading sessions.

In full disclaimer, I was provided an advanced copy that had some formatting quirks. It happens.  I have been told these are not present in the current Kindle version, so should no longer be an issue. I had a harder time getting into the story because of line breaks and tense changes, etc., but would still consider giving his next book in the series a try. 

I really wanted to love this book. Instead I would give it a 3.5 stars out of 5. I was entertained, but was not staying up late at night to reach that last page.
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