Review~ Pharoah by David Gibbins


Publisher: Bantam/Dell
Publishing Date: October 2013
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 1.2/5 stars

Publishers Description:Marine archaeologist Jack Howard has made an astounding find in the depths of the Red Sea: proof of a mass suicide by a pharaoh and his army. But what could have driven the most powerful people of their age to hurl themselves to their deaths? What terrible new king, revered as a new god, came to take their place?

Howard’s search leads back through the ages to the discovery of the vault of Tutankhamun in 1928, the legacy of American adventurers in Egypt, the fate of General Gordon’s doomed garrison in Khartoum—and a long-shrouded catastrophe that saw a unit of Gordon’s would-be rescuers swallowed by a mysterious Nile whirlpool. Between the story told by a crazed survivor of that horror, a lost labyrinth, and the truth behind a three-thousand-year-old conflict, Howard is on the verge of a discovery that will change history—for good, for evil, and for the future of all humankind.

Review: Pharaoh is one of the biggest disappointments in my experience. Especially when I had high hopes for the new release to capture my minds imagination and whisk me away to LaLa land.
Approximately 90% or more of the novel is a historical account set in the late nineteenth century between the war of the dervish and England in Khartoum. You will mostly follow the life of Major Mayne during this time, whom briefly bounces into the area that concerns our intrepid boyo, Jack Howard.

There is absolutely NO ACTION in this novel with Jack Howard and Costas. It is all set in the past, during an important time in history to the author (I am sure), that has no relevance to the intended story-line. Not only is this novel pure shjt, the author shovels this self-indulgent crap on top of it with the author’s note….”The Gordon relief expedition has always fascinated me because of my own family connection with the story…..” And there you go. The whole reason to write a historical account. I guess you can use a popular vehicle (Jack Howard) to foist your wares on the unsuspecting, but keep that shjt away from me.

Even the dialogue between Jack Howard and all his know-it-all peers revolves around lengthy archaeological diatribes. But Gibbins is not done, he tries to get any new readers up to speed with the tried and true method of buddy stories…..”I should have known a PhD from MIT in electrical engineering and robotics would have a hard time with simple wiring…” “Well if I had not gotten drunk during my doctoral thesis at Cambridge, blah…I would have never have gotten my other doctorate in …blah, blah…..blah , blah”

I don’t know what happened to this guy (Gibbins). He should have wrote a totally separate non-fiction novel, and called it “Major Mayne, not from Spain, in the Land of No Rain”. I wonder who patted Gibbins ego on the back for promulgating this disaster.

Readers are fickle, and they fall in love with the characters, such that they become like family. When the author kills off beloved characters or even approves short actors (Tom Cruise) to play bigger than life action heroes (Jack Reacher), they lose a ton of devoted readers and subsequently, money. Don’t waste your time or money on Pharaoh, as it has nothing to do with the Jack Howard adventure series.

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