I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Egypt Rising is a high energy YA adventure with an ancient Egyptian mystery and a touch of the paranormal. I love Egyptology, so picking up this book was a no-brainer. While so many people insist that everything has been discovered already on the Giza Plateau, I prefer to think otherwise. The Sphinx is a great mystery and has been the subject of interesting controversy of late in regards to its age. I love that author Stan Schatt wove this into his story.
Olivia has been immersed in Egyptology her entire life, her father being a modern day Indiana Jones. She wants nothing more than to become an Egyptologist in her own right, working with her father. But her father's ideas are considered outlandish by many and dangerous by others. When she finds herself alone at the dig site with two friends due to civil unrest in Cairo, she jumps at the chance to explore.
This novel is a fast-paced read with constant action or information. At times it read like a textbook when it came to some of the Egyptian history, but I really didn't mind since I find the subject so fascinating. I also loved how the story dealt with the Muslim uprising and demonstrations. It offered an interesting view point from a person who, though born and raised in Cairo, was considered a foreigner. The action scenes were odd; Olivia's thoughts during them were in italics breaking up the scene. She thinks all of her actions through as a result of her martial arts training. This pulled me from the action even though it was somewhat interesting to see her mind churn.
While I enjoyed the story and the plot, I never felt invested in the characters. It finally dawned on me toward the end that all of the information was told to the reader rather than shown. This created an emotional distance between the characters and my mind since I never felt immersed in the story. Be that as it may, the story itself was interesting enough to hold my interest.
Egypt Rising is suitable for everyone middle school and up. If you like archaeology, and especially Egyptology, add this one to your to-read list. On a side note, the cover isn't a good representation of Olivia. The girl in the photo is thin and fit, while Olivia is constantly described as overweight. Perhaps her weight issues were all in her mind; the result of the cruel jokes of classmates.