The Mystic Sands by Alflor Aalto
The Mystic Sands by Alflor Aalto
Edwin Fowler is a curious specimen. He devours books on ancient cultures with a ravenous hunger, speaks a dozen ancient languages as fluently as his own...
And yet, this raccoon has managed to turn down every opportunity presented before him to see the remnants of these wondrous civilizations in the flesh. No one knows the root of this reluctance, and he least of all.
But one day, an opportunity comes along which Edwin cannot turn down – if only because he and his brother are wanted for murder.
About the Author:
Also includes a companion guide, discussing Victorian archaeology, Egyptian myth, and how fact and fiction came together to create this novel.
Customer's Reviews for The Mystic Sands by Alflor Aalto
I simply could not put it down! This book is an incredible accomplishment. With a plot that moves at a brisk pace, wonderful and fully realized characters, and lavishly detailed locations, this is one one of the finest adventure novels I have ever had the pleasure of reading! If you like stories with adventure and mystery, you owe it to yourself to pick up this book now. Scratch that, if you like good books in general, don't let this one get away!
Alflor Aalto's The Mystic Sands is a fast-paced, plot-driven story filled with Egyptology, archeology, and rollicking adventure. It is certainly a fun read that is hard to put down, and it rushes along so quickly and effectively that sometimes I hoped for scenes to be a bit longer, but that's not all; the novel is also quite thoroughly researched, and even contains an informative afterword explaining some of the source material for the artifacts and technologies that feature in the plot. Alflor may have stolen this habbit from Michael Crichton, but fortunately he also adopts Chrichton's knack for plausible science fiction, albeit in the setting of the 19th Century. If Indiana Jones were outfitted by an ancient Egyptian version of James Bond's Q, he might have accessories similar to those of the characters in The Mystic Sands. What do I mean by that? You'll just have to read to find out!
This is, hands down, the most engaging and difficult to put down book I've read in years. Alflor knows how to hold the reader's attention like a whip. Mysteries are solved, character complications are brought to light, and you no /not/ want to miss a single one, believe me. This really is a proverbial roller-coaster that will never find you bored or remembering that you have some someplace to be.
Played against the backdrop of turn-of-the-century Victorian England, France, Greece, Italy, and finally Egypt, this is one of those "globetrotting adventures" the likes of which seem to get more and more rare with time. Thankfully, Mr. Aalto keeps this storytelling tradition alive and well, mixing in his own brand of fully three-dimensional characters who all have something dark to hide. It's this darkness and moments of genuine shock that keep these characters so real and engaging. For each moment of darkness, of course, there comes a moment of love and affection that gives the reader hope. The brotherly love between Edwin and Robert is really something beautiful.
The narrative is just as layered as the characters. Numerous arcs run through this story, some obvious, some hidden deep. Nothing is done without some greater reason, making the story flow with a beautiful sense of purpose. More than that, the final destination of these characters and plot also swerves from predictability, with each reveal causing you to reevaluate just who each of these characters really is.
It is tough to say much more without going into spoilers, but if movies like Indiana Jones or The Amazon Queen are your cup of tea, and you had spent many a sleepless night following the adventures of Tintin in your youth, this book is not to be missed.
Two thumbs up, as our dearly departed Siskel and Ebert would say.
Alfor Aalto’s The Mystic Sands is a speed ride of adventure, excitement, and wonder. From the very start of the book, the reader is greeted to a fast-paced auction that helps drive the book into gear traveling from England, to Paris, to Crete, and to the pyramids of Egypt all in the search of an elusive secret, thousands of years old.
-You’ll never be bored while reading this book, events and changes occur quickly and often so nothing becomes too stagnant, and the fast pace of the book keeps you on the edge of your seat/bed/beanbag chair.
- The characters are extremely likeable and intriguing. Mainly the characters of Lord Charles Dobbs and Edwin Fowler will drive you to keep reading to discover their growths and flaws, eventually discovering just how far they’ll go when a situation arises.
- Archaeology. The symbolism of what it represents in the story and one character’s coming out and exploring it for the first time is enjoyable to read and experience.
- The ending. I legitimately felt sad that the book and therefore the adventure was over. It’s a lot like PCD, and if you get a reader to feel that way when the book is over, then it’s a plus in my book.
- Due to the pacing of the book, I felt that locations and events could have been delved into deeper, in some instances events and resolutions are resolved extremely quickly, when they could have been mulled over a bit and brought out more of the characters.
- The Rivalry. In the story, there is mention of a rivalry between two characters, which would be amazing to read, but sadly never goes anywhere.
Besides those 2 things, and very few grammatical mistakes and spelling errors, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and can’t wait for a sequel to come out.. Had the book been about 20 pages longer and addressed those 2 issues then I would have given it a perfect score.
TL;DR version: Awesome book, I’d recommend it, 4 out of 5 fish!
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