In this book Sheppard and his team are doing something I would have liked to see more often in STA: exploring the city itself. I am sure, there must be a lot of interesting places and also discoveries waiting to happen. More accurately, in this book they are exploring a different ancient city. There are parallels but first of all differences. This new city is a very spooky, dangerous place full of dark mysteries. The author captured the atmosphere very well indeed and that includes how this place affects the team.
The one living inhabitant they find provides more questions than answers and soon afterwards things get progressively worse. Some of what happens is predictable but was no less gripping to me, other revelations were definitely a surprise. What I liked is that no technobabble was involved and that everything made sense without any phantastic twists and turns that feel forced.
Sheppard is the main character in this story but McKay plays an important part, too. That is not a surprise but on the other hand, they are my favourite characters of the series and they didn`t disappoint me in this book. Everything we know from TV is also found in this story and it felt to me like meeting old friends.
Sheppard certainly needed help sometimes but he is mainly carrying the story. Of course it is obvious that he won`t die but nevertheless, that didn`t stop me from feeling very much with him how he struggled to find solutions to save his people but had to struggle with his own physical and mental problems at the same time. I think it would have made this book more powerful if, as it was with McKay, Sheppard would also have to face some of his personal weaknesses during this ordeal and learn from it.
Nevertheless, I think people who like Sheppard and McKay would enjoy this book, too.