May 29, 2005

Guardian of the Horizon, by Elizabeth Peters

I finished this book almost two weeks ago, and I've been sitting on it instead of writing a review...mostly because I'm not sure what I think about it. It's an Amelia Peabody novel, but with a difference. Heretofor, every book in the series has represented a chronological advance. In this case, Peters has jumped back to the years prior to the first World War--which is to say, back to those years when Ramses was still stressing over whether to tell Nefret how he felt. Not a time period I was with child to revisit.

And then, it's a direct sequel to Peters' homage to H. Rider Haggard, the very odd The Last Camel Died At Noon. It's been about ten years, and the Emersons and sundry go back to the Lost Oasis and the lands beyond. There's bluster, derring do, adventures, arch comments, surly villains, and all manner of colorful atmosphere--all very promising.

But it takes a long time to get started. And though there were bad guys galore, there was never any great sense of danger. And the denoument seemed both too simple and a little contrived.

I dunno. I suspect Peters had fun writing it, and I found it mildly entertaining, but she's capable of better than this.

Posted by Will Duquette at May 29, 2005 04:43 PM