An intellect's version of The Mummy...
If you like the ruminations of an obsessive and have a particular penchant for Egyptology, Roy Lester Pond provides a sumptuous feast on which to devour multiple strands of Egypt's ancient past and potential future.
Initially set out as an ambiguous (and particularly far-fetched) investigation by the US Homeland Security into a possible terrorist threat culminating in the recent murder of controversial Egyptologist, Anson Hunter's father - the plot is nicely, if somewhat bizarrely, interperced with a tale of ancient Egypt. This tale of an ancient hunter's fate to recapture the Goddess of devastation and entomb himself with her in order to save Egypt is particularly beautiful and lifts the overall book beyond the normal conspiratorial-action-thriller, although it's purpose other than to gratify the author's love of Egyptian mythology is a little vague.
The Smiting Texts can occasionally be heavy-going, especially if you are a novice to Egyptology, with frequent use of specialist terminology (presumably to ensure the book held some degree of authenticity) and intellectual debate that may get dull and a little annoying in parts- but with all this comes a sense of learning and discovery on the reader's part.
It was with a sigh and a grimace then, that a novel as unique as The Smiting Texts, would succumb to popular expectation with an ending that can be swiftly summarised as Indiana Jonesesque. Whether this was deliberate or not, who knows, but I found it ruined what was otherwise a wonderfully clever and original story.
We interview C J Daugherty about Night School
- 10 January 2012