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32 Reviews
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sphinx
This is a superior thriller set in the Middle East. The story is told in the first person by Oliver Warnock, an oil surveyor, whose wife Isabella is an archaeologist. She discovers a unique and priceless artefact in an underwater location off Alexandria, but gets trapped by an underwater earthquake and drowns. But Oliver now has this fascinating mechanism, the astartium,...
Published on 22 Feb 2010 by Mr. Karl Blau

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Plain boring.
I'm a third of my way into this book and i've lost my will to continue, or even live if i have to read any further.
I fail to even like the main character or his wife and having a history lesson about anything Egyptian every few sentances really gets tiresome.
I don't care about the big mystery anymore. I have mystical foresight of my own, it tells me i'll get...
Published on 28 Mar 2012 by Anon


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sphinx, 22 Feb 2010
By 
Mr. Karl Blau (london, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sphinx (Paperback)
This is a superior thriller set in the Middle East. The story is told in the first person by Oliver Warnock, an oil surveyor, whose wife Isabella is an archaeologist. She discovers a unique and priceless artefact in an underwater location off Alexandria, but gets trapped by an underwater earthquake and drowns. But Oliver now has this fascinating mechanism, the astartium, and is hunted high and low by a range of people desperate to get hold of it. It is a well-told and exciting story with a startling ending, though the book is rather long. By using Oliver as her mouthpiece the author has to some extent diluted Oliver's characterisation, but seeing the author is female, she has done quite a good job, and the story is compelling and readable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Plain boring., 28 Mar 2012
This review is from: Sphinx (Paperback)
I'm a third of my way into this book and i've lost my will to continue, or even live if i have to read any further.
I fail to even like the main character or his wife and having a history lesson about anything Egyptian every few sentances really gets tiresome.
I don't care about the big mystery anymore. I have mystical foresight of my own, it tells me i'll get to the end of the book and still be as bored as i am now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Awful, 28 Dec 2011
This review is from: Sphinx (Paperback)
This is the first book I've abandoned in a very long time but life is too short to read this dross. It's improbable, badly-written and just plain not worth your time. I wish I could get back the few hours I spent reading the damn thing in the first place. If this review can save someone from that fate then it will have been worth it. Avoid at all costs. How on earth it was ever published in the first place shows there are a lot of morons in the world.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't delay - read it now, 20 Jan 2010
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Mr. N. Hunter (Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sphinx (Paperback)
This is a sophisticated and well written thriller and as such the periodic lurches into Egyptian history can be forgiven. I found the first few chapters difficult going but thereafter the plot develops with remarkable speed becoming a story that compels and grips. The principal character, Oliver, and those with whom he has contact are complex and interesting even if the villains are lightly drawn. This is a thriller that ranks with the best of them. You will not be disappointed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fairly Whizzes You Along, 1 Mar 2010
By 
M. J. Saxton (Dewsbury, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sphinx (Paperback)
This is great if you're up for adventure stories. It reminded me of the Dennis Wheatley adventures I used to read when I was younger.

It's a supernatural thriller - or is it? The reader is never quite sure until the last hundred pages of the book. Learner cleverly weaves the possibility of Egyptian mysticism through the story to keep you guessing.

There is a goodly pace to this novel, keeping the events boiling along. The various settings of the oil industry, 70s Israeli/Egyptian politics and ancient mysticism provide colourful and interesting backdrops to the action.

There are some excellent characters here: Oliver is a satisfying hero/sceptic. Hermes is a great invention. As for the astrarium, around which the story revolves, it develops a character of its own and is a brilliant device.

Learner fills out the character background with family detail, but does not go into great psychological depth, and this is right for this sort of novel. You want to be able to identify characters and traits, but it would be wearying to do so at too detailed a level.

It is a whizz you along, keep the pages turning adventure to appeal to a fairly wide variety of readers.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable, 24 Feb 2010
This review is from: Sphinx (Paperback)
Unputdownable, Sphinx is a beautifully written fast-paced thriller. You can almost smell the Graham Greene-esque sunsoaked Alexandrian city streets. Tobsha Learner has made Egyptology sexy.
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2.0 out of 5 stars The characters seemed to lack depth and the plot credibility - I know its fiction but this was so far fetched as to be anything, 4 July 2014
This review is from: Sphinx (Kindle Edition)
Bought for 50p from a charity shop based on the narrative on the back cover. The story itself seemed to take an age to get going and when it did it was slow and plodding. The characters seemed to lack depth and the plot credibility - I know its fiction but this was so far fetched as to be anything like possible. Persevered in the vain hope it would improve but sadly it didn't, I don't like not finishing anything I start but this was one I nearly put down on a number of occasions. Too be honest I was glad to get to the last page
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3.0 out of 5 stars d1234, 15 Feb 2012
This review is from: Sphinx (Kindle Edition)
Slightly slow to get going and a very long book at that. I found it to be quite an unbelievable story but nevertheless well written and entertaining. If you can get into it you find yourself not wanting to put the book down. The ending is really far fetched but I suppose every book has to have an ending. Looking for a holiday read then give it a go especially if you are interested in egyptology.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps it should have remained a secret, 1 July 2011
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sphinx (Paperback)
Oh, dear. So promising, and yet so disappointing. This could have been a great book - a great premise, great setting, great time to be writing about political events in Egypt and the Middle East and its interactions with America and Europe. Add in pharaohs, ancient Egyptian artefacts, mysterious Egyptian agents, and some supernatural elements, and it should be a great story.

But it just wasn't. I couldn't connect with the characters. The action was disjointed, the characters were badly drawn? Or just shallow? I'm not sure. But whatever it was, I just gave up caring about the `hero' and his quest for validation of his wife's obsessions.

Think this one will be going to the charity shop.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sphinx by T.S. Learner, 16 May 2010
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This review is from: Sphinx (Paperback)
This is an ideal holiday read - an atmospheric, fast-moving thriller set in late seventies Egypt and England, with a host of colourful characters, ranging from grizzled, hedonistic Australian marine expert Barry to the hero's troubled, heroin-addicted punk rocker brother Gareth. Fans of Dan Brown, who want a better-written, more challenging take on the genre, will be well pleased. As an adopted Cumbrian, I do wish the editor had corrected the 'Fens' to the 'Fells'(!) but this is a minor quibble. The book is very cinematic - and the dramatic ending would work well on the big screen, using the latest CGI technology.
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Sphinx
Sphinx by T. S. Learner (Paperback - 7 Jan 2010)
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