Customer Review

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Multiple Motives Mystify Amelia, 3 May 2004
This review is from: Children of the Storm (Amelia Peabody) (Paperback)
Before commenting on this novel, let me observe that it would be an unhappy error to begin the 15 book Amelia Peabody series with Children of the Storm. You would have a very hard time keeping track of all the characters and the mystery's solution would be totally invisible to you before the solution is revealed. You would probably rate this a one or two star book.
My rating assumes that you have read at least the last 8 novels in the series.
The setting and cast of characters are a major shift from the books in the series set during World War I. With the War to End All Wars having ended, all of the Emerson clan (and I do mean ALL) come together in Children of the Storm. Ramses and Nefret are now parents of active two-year-old twins, so the family has also expanded into a third generation. Those with faulty memories will appreciate the Editor's Note which describes who all these people are and how they are related.
The book opens in Luxor with Cyrus Vandergelt concerned about how much of his large archeological find involving four princesses will have to be presented to the Cairo Museum. The Emersons are working on a messy site with seemingly limited potential which looters and poorly disciplined archeologists have ravaged in the past. M. Lacau from the Department of Antiquities arrives to inspect the Vandergelt artifacts and mummies. Soon he will choose what will remain in Egypt. Consternation reigns when "reformed" antiquities thief, Signor Martinelli, disappears as do several of the best pieces of ancient jewelry. The Emersons vow to recover the jewelry before M. Lacau discovers it is missing. Their search takes them to Cairo where Ramses responds to a note offering a warning only to find himself abducted, drugged and manipulated by a beautiful young woman dressed as the Veiled Goddess Hathor. As the mystery develops, there are mysterious deaths, attacks on individuals, sabotage of conveyances and a reappearance of Hathor in Luxor! Amelia and the rest of the clan are more than usually puzzled. They cannot see a pattern in what purpose could lie behind the baffling activities. When the pattern becomes clear, there's deadly danger to overcome and an exciting finish!
Children of the Storm is exceptional from two perspectives. First, the title captures a myriad of meanings in the context of the story that will enrich your appreciation of the story. Nicely done! Second, I cannot think of a novel that weaves so many characters and story lines together with accuracy and meaning. It must be like carrying the world on your shoulders to plot and develop this complex a story. And it works.
Some things are lost in the process. The story often feels over peopled. This requires a lot of development to fit everyone together in a meaningful way. This development sometimes feels bulky. In addition, a third of the book's length is caught up with details of day-to-day life like looking after for the children, arranging work schedules to appease Emerson, organizing Nefret's clinic in Luxor, and dealing with Emerson's latest toy. The mystery itself would have required about 250 pages, and would have been a page turner. The mystery feels diluted amidst all of this detail of daily life.
The Emersons focus on domesticity also limits the amount of detecting they do compared to earlier novels. So you get less of Emerson's investigative derring-do in Cairo, fewer forays by Amelia on her own, and limited searching by Ramses and David. Sethos plays his mildest role yet even though he is involved throughout the book.
As a result, much of the material in the book feels more like The Forsythe Saga than an early Amelia Peabody thriller. In fact, the book almost felt like a whole new genre . . . the three-generation extended family as detective.
A bright light to look out for in future novels is that the twins seem destined to be very interesting characters which may ignite all of this clan expansion into something more exciting.
After you finish this book, think about how you balance your family, your friends, your work, and your personal interests. How could you make them more positively integrated?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in

Review Details


4.9 out of 5 stars (18 customer reviews)
5 star:
4 star:
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist

Location: Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally

Top Reviewer Ranking: 239