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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Action, Adventure, Egyptians
Jack Howard is a modern day Indiana Jones type, part academic, part action man. Along with his friends and colleagues of the International Maritime University, he travels the globe uncovering facts behind myth and legend. His latest adventure finds him in Egypt and the Sudan attempting to track down the lost secrets of the Nile.

What really caught my...
Published 19 months ago by Pablo Cheesecake (The Eloquent...

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pharaoh...?
When you read a book called Pharaoh, you sort of expect it to be about a pharaoh. Well, it wasn't. Yes, Akhenaten does pop up - a bit. I am certain that the era of the 1880's was interesting, but in my mind it wasn't very much related to the story. And then, when things started to get interesting, the book just sort of ended. No, this was not one of Gibbins' best books...
Published 18 months ago by Linda from Swiiden


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Action, Adventure, Egyptians, 22 May 2013
By 
Jack Howard is a modern day Indiana Jones type, part academic, part action man. Along with his friends and colleagues of the International Maritime University, he travels the globe uncovering facts behind myth and legend. His latest adventure finds him in Egypt and the Sudan attempting to track down the lost secrets of the Nile.

What really caught my imagination though were the chapters that take place during the nineteenth century. Major Edward Mayne is tasked with reaching Khartoum before a fundamentalist army reaches the city. Working with a native American Mohawk tracker, Mayne travels the desert, avoiding enemy forces in a race against time. The action scenes are handled with real skill and I particularly enjoyed the bloody encounters that form part of Mayne's journey to Khartoum. Gibbins descriptive powers veer towards the graphic and leave nothing to the imagination. When soldiers die it is in the most gruesome of fashions. This is brutal, violent stuff and doesn't sugar coat the horrors of war. It's nice to find an author who doesn't shy away from chaos of the battlefield.

The short prologue set in ancient Egypt, the nineteenth century chapters and those set in the present day all fit together well and create an entertaining, action packed story. The author is an experienced archaeologist and diver in his own right and that knowledge filters through into his writing.

A quick Internet search reveals this is the seventh Jack Howard adventure and it has an episodic feel about it. There are a couple of throwaway lines that I suspect are references to the previous novels. I've not read any of the other books in this series but I didn't feel particularly hindered by this, if anything it has piqued my interest. The writing is accessible and even as a new reader I was very quickly up to speed with everything I think I needed to know. Existing fans are bound to get a little more from the novel but I don't think I was missing out massively. I can appreciate that there is a lot of backstory, six whole books worth, that I am unaware of but this didn't detract from my enjoyment of the novel at all.

One thing I think I should mention, as a word of warning, Pharaoh does end on a bit of a cliffhanger. I'll avoid spoilers, but it definitely feels like there is much more to this story still left to be told.

There are some additional notes at the end of the novel detailing the various sources that the author drew his inspiration from. I like this inclusion, I'm sure any reader would find it interesting to see details of the historical fact that was the basis for this fiction.

Pharaoh is published by Headline and is available on 23rd May. Blending together the best from historical and thriller genres this was a lot of fun. I suspect there may be more Jack Howard novels in my future. If you're a fan of Clive Cussler or Dan Brown then you are bound to enjoy this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History, Mystery and Myth all brought together to astound the reading senses., 23 May 2013
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Pharaoh (Jack Howard 7) (Hardcover)
I have been a fan of David Gibbins since the first Jack Howard book (Atlantis) was released in 2005, when I first started into the series I thought he was one of the new writers opening up a genre of History mixed with action adventure. But it soon became obvious that he had more passion for his subject matter than the average writer in this genre.

His love of archaeology and of diving really brings these books to life, alongside Jack Howard and his friend and sidekick Costas who are an extension of the author as much as a creation. Add to this passion for diving, a true passion for history and a writing skill that has grown book by book. By the time we get to Pharaoh the series is as serious example of how this genre should be written it does not get much better than this. Don't be fooled into thinking this writer is another guy who writes the implausible and the mythical, and that you the reader have to swallow the imaginary. Gibbins makes the astounding seem more than plausible, he writes the history in such a way that the myth feels factual or at least highly plausible, and its more that just places and names, its a philosophical undertone to the extended plot, to the ethos of Jack Howard and his search for the facts and the truth.

I find every single one of these books so plausible, so real I hate coming up for air. I thought that Gods of Atlantis was the pinnacle of this series, when I should have known that there was more and better to come.

History, Mystery and Myth all brought together to astound the reading senses.

A true leader of his genre and his art.

(Parm)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pharaoh...?, 30 May 2013
When you read a book called Pharaoh, you sort of expect it to be about a pharaoh. Well, it wasn't. Yes, Akhenaten does pop up - a bit. I am certain that the era of the 1880's was interesting, but in my mind it wasn't very much related to the story. And then, when things started to get interesting, the book just sort of ended. No, this was not one of Gibbins' best books. Unless you're interested in pages devoted to cartridges from the 1880's. Which I'm not.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The finest of the series - a great historical and archaeological adventure, 18 May 2013
By 
Kate (Oxford, Oxon United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
It's been a while since the publication of a David Gibbins novel but Pharaoh is well worth the wait. The last book in his Jack Howard thriller series, The Gods of Atlantis (Jack Howard 6), seemed to me to have an element of closure about it, bringing to a conclusion a circle that began with the first of the novels, Atlantis. In Pharaoh, Gibbins picks up a theme he visited in The Tiger Warrior in 2009, the history of Howard's namesake and great great grandfather who served in the British Army in the the late 19th century. Gibbins here expands this to create an utterly absorbing historical adventure set in the Sudan in the 1880s. The original Howard is not a main player but he does give his descendant, our Jack Howard, a path into this fascinating period of British Imperial history. The thriller element that sat rather uncomfortably (I thought) in some of Gibbins' earlier novels is at last allowed to have a rest, popping up here and there when needs be, but allowing itself to be replaced by what David Gibbins does best and does so well: historical adventure and archaeological mystery.

Following an introduction set in ancient Egypt, the novel is divided between modern day Egypt and Sudan and its Victorian past, when the British army was attempting to float or drag a small armada of boats through the cataracts of the Nile into the Sudan. They were in the perfectly awful position to be picked off one by one by the snipers of the Mahdi. Luckily for the British, they have with them the sharpest shooter of them all, Mayne, who, with his Native American scout Charrière, is on a mission from highest command to reach General Gordon. Mayne's fascination for ancient Egypt has to take second place. Almost a century and a half later, Jack Howard and his good friend and colleague Costas are on the trail of Akhenaten, along this same stretch of Nile, now mostly inundated since the construction of the Aswan Dam. They pick up the scent of Mayne.

Jack and Costas, as always, are thoroughly good company. Their humour and ease together is matched only by their bravery and by their expertise. In previous novels, Jack's lengthy (albeit very interesting) explanations of archaeological and historical details can cause the action of the stories to flounder but here that is not the case. The archaeological diving scenes are so well done, perfectly capturing the thrill, danger and claustrophobia. What takes precedent here, though, is Mayne's story and it is so exciting and gripping, I could not stand to put the novel down. This is a period of British and Egyptian history I know next to nothing about but Gibbins here brings it to life, intensifying how almost alien this environment must have felt to the British (and American) soldiers dragging the boats through the crocodile-infested waters by bringing in glimpses and clues to the exotic ancient history that surrounded these men on their dangerous journey.

The Battle of Abu Klea is included here and I recall very few battle scenes I have read that are as intense as this one, if any. I was actually shocked by it and totally absorbed. Mayne is a fine creation but so too is General Gordon. We meet other famous men such as Kitchener but General Gordon comes alive in a way I wasn't expecting.

Pharaoh is a superb novel. When I finished it, I remarked that I would have love to have read another 500 pages. Fortunately, the story will continue in Pyramid and I am guessing that this sequel will be much more focused on Howard and Costas (in extremis, no doubt).This seventh Jack Howard novel is most definitely the finest amongst a series of great books. Put aside your assumptions of what a thriller should be and instead immerse yourself in one of the best historical adventures you'll read this year. I'm grateful for the review copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pharaoh, 5 Nov 2013
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Pharaoh (Jack Howard 7) (Paperback)
I've read a few of Gibbins's books before - they're not great literature but they are rousing adventure stories, and there's nothing wrong with that. I picked this book up primarily because of the name, and because the story had links to the Egyptian ruler Akhenaten, as I absolutely cannot resist books featuring anything to do with ancient Egypt. The story features Jack Howard and his team investigating an underwater site. But the site they're excavating has a history that they're not aware of.

I enjoyed this book; good rousing action adventure. I would have liked more set in the time of Akhenaten, but that's just me. The storyline from the time of General Gordon and the Khartoum siege, and the current timeline were very well woven together, and you felt you were really along for the ride. It's a great adventure, and that's what you sign up for with one of these books. I look forward very much to the next book, which I hope will follow on from the end of this one - no more for risk of spoilers, but the ending was very enticing for future adventures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time., 1 Aug 2013
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Terrible so bad I ended up flicking through a lot of it just to get to the end. Even worse than Cussler!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars terribly written book, 16 July 2013
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Very badly written book, the only reason I finished it was I was stuck without another book for a few days. Bizarre mixture of history and action movie dialogue, someone will probably make a bad film out of it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Go and borrow this from the library ..., 2 July 2013
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I've read all David Gibbins' novels before this one and have found them to be well-paced, interesting plots etc etc ... all that you would expect from a good populist esoteric airport thriller. Why oh why does this one lack on every level? The pacing is awful; the structure is poor in that the majority of the novel is a rehashing of Wikipedia facts on Gordon of Khartoum mixed with a bit of cod-narrative; the book is 'incomplete'; and the main characters are barely there - so follow my instruction in the title of the review: borrow for free from the library, don't be taken in by what feels like an enormous confidence trick in terms of what we expect and what we are given.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Again takes a little while to get into the meat ..., 6 Oct 2014
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Marilyn Bennett "Derbyshire duck" (Derby, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pharaoh (Jack Howard 7) (Paperback)
Again takes a little while to get into the meat of this, but as Eygptology and anything, fact or fiction, linked to it is very interesting I stayed with it. I much prefer an adventure book that sets off from page one, as with Andy McDermott, and envelopes the reader into the plot immediately.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pharaoh, 29 July 2014
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Sadly I felt disappointed when reading this latest in the Jack Howard series of books. I have been reading about Jack Howard and his team for many years and have thoroughly enjoyed every book, waiting not too patiently for the next one to be published. However, I felt this one was disjointed and although I 'love' to read historical detail - too much in this book and not enough of the 'story'. I also like a 'cliff hanger' but the end of this book wasn't so much a 'cliff hanger' - more an abrupt ending. As I said - disappointed
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Pharaoh (Jack Howard 7)
Pharaoh (Jack Howard 7) by David Gibbins (Paperback - 26 Sep 2013)
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