My Thoughts: Oh Egypt...a land that I hope to visit one day when it's safe. My love for Egypt was what captivated me to this book. The premise sounded very promising: ancient secrets, Egyptian revolution, and a girl whose life was in danger. The story was very well told and had me flipping (or scrolling on my Nook) the pages. I found myself quite enjoying this book.
I was fascinated about the plots that Egypt Rising concentrated on: the Egyptian revolution and the secrets behind the Hall of Records. The story took place during the last year of President Mubarak's reign, which began the endless violent demonstrations. The story was filled with facts as to the going-ons in Egypt and how life was (and is) like for non-Egyptian people living there. None of the information that was presented seemed boring; in fact, it was quite engrossing. Next, I was hooked with the theories behind the Hall of Records. Here, it was said that the Hall would be underneath the Sphinx and that it held many great secrets. To be honest, I was a little thrown off about the fantasy elements that surrounded the search for the Hall. The story was told very realistically until the last few chapters that magical powers were introduced. This did not deter me though because the story-telling was intriguing.
Though this was a pretty quick read, I did enjoy how developed the characters were. The main character, Alina, was an outcast in her school. She was white and poor who was going to school surrounded by rich, white (and some Egyptian) students. Her self-confidence and her love of archeology was believable. What I appreciated most about Alina's character was how she changed into a stronger woman. Another character that went through some changes was Taylor. She was Alina's nemesis in school. Taylor was white, rich, and popular. She always resented Alina for the attention that Taylor's dad gave to Alina. Taylor started off as a spoiled brat but soon changed into a caring person. There were other great characters in this book, but Alina and Taylor stood out to me the most.
To sum up, this was a riveting read. I quite enjoyed reading the facts and realistic aspects of modern day Egypt as well as the theories behind the Hall of Records and the fantasy elements behind it. Yes, I was thrown off a small bit when reading the fantasy stuff. I even scratched my head a few times because of it, but I still found myself captivated. I rate it:
Author Stan Schatt
Stan Schatt has written thirty books on a wide variety of topics including a chapter book for children, a YA novel, biographies of Michael Connelly and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and books on technology and career changing. His love for teaching is reflected in outstanding teaching awards he received from the University of Southern California and DeVry Institute of Technology. Rather than having one career, Schatt has had several. He has worked as an autopsy assistant, an English professor, a software trainer, a law enforcement administrator, a market research executive, and a sales manager.
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