Review: Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire

Rating: 10/10

Synposis:

An ex-Spitfire pilot is dragged into a race against a shadowy government agency to unlock the secrets of the lost empire of Atlantis…

In post-war 1952, the good guys are supposed to have won. But not everything is as it seems when ex-Spitfire pilot Captain Samantha Moxley is dragged into a fight against the shadowy US government agency she used to work for. Now, with former Nazis and otherworldly monsters on her trail, Captain Moxley is forced into protecting her archaeologist sister in a race to retrieve two ancient keys that will unlock the secrets of a long-lost empire – to ensure a civilisation-destroying weapon doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. But what will she have to sacrifice to save the world?

Review:

Imagine you’re an woman standing proudly with your husband as you wait for the bus and an Western woman driving a half-damaged bus asks you in Arabic the next bus stop.

That, dear reader, is why you need to get this.

Tell me, what novel has robotic lizard engineered men fighting on an airplane with a kickass badass Samantha Moxley, and has undead Roman legions rising from the undead tombs of Paris, and then have an educated Colonel in the Egyptian army lusting for power?

This book has made me reminisnce of the times I used to read modern day thrillers about ancient conspiracies about 21st century experts dealing with ancient problems of the past. Point in hand. The Dirk Pitt Series by Clive Cussler. Andy Mc Dermott with his Andy and Nina Chase series. Steve Berry and his thriller series. In fact most of my reading went into that because I too was determined to find out what was the missing mystery. The missing series. The missing element. For far too long, I have felt that history just doesn’t go deep enough in many cases, and that is still being discovered even today. But the first man to discover Troy ended up destroying much of the city in the first place did he not? I refer to an Extra Credits history video on this.

I am finally glad that this isn’t the 21st century, but this is the 1950s. An unusual choice of setting, but it does make sense. Historically, most of the former German scientists did join America. In that sense, you can then see how Amercia’s growth happened. The 1950s is the birth of a new American Empire to say the least. And that makes for an ideal setting when we’re living in the world of a declining British and French colonial dominion. There are also winds of discontent in French Africa, not to include stirrings in Algeria. Part of my dissertation focused on French colonial rule in Algeria and Vietnam. Then there was the ironic fact although not focused on the review itself, the 1950s was a riveting time after the Axis Powers lost WWII. Former Japanese soliders were helping the Vietnamese against the French (which could explain a large portion of their defeat, as the Japanese themselves used Banzai tactics, hiding and ambush tactics a lot.) This may, or may not be relevant to the review, but I just wanted to draw attention to the fact this could be a primary reason that Dan chose this setting.

For me, I will express my thoughts of why I want more books like this at the end of my review. The fact that Dan related to this Egypt and the history of archaeological excavations dating back to Napoleon’s expedition in Egypt, was a fascinating context. And what a wonderful concept he has used to make the world-building come alive. I did feel that Smith and Sam’s relationshop was under-developed due to the fact that this book could have been a lot longer than it needed to be – and that’s not a bad thing. Likewise, I felt Sam and Jess’s chemistry was superbly built.

I also liked the Nine, but I did feel they were a bit too complicated, and needed more explanation of their goals. I understand their motivations, but I needed a little more apathy in them as an organisational institution so to say. And I can just as well as imagine that this novel would be a riveting Assassin Creed story. It has that good setting and good ambience to give it off. This could be a fascinating graphic novel series that Starz, HBO or Netflix could pick up. The writing is that good. There’s undead Roman Legions (And seriously, why hasn’t anyone made a novel on the undead in Ancient Greek/Roman times, Mesopotamian times?) underneath the catacombs of Paris. There is so much stuff waiting to be discovered.

I can tell you one thing. There is a sore lack of Indiana Jones style mystery and thriller books that combine ancient civilisation and the periods that come after this. This has cinematic value dripping at its every page, every length, and every corner. Lost Empire of Altantis? Count me in. I wanted MORE of this discovery, more of this Altantis stuff. Heck give us more! Dan’s done some solid research, and I would want to see more sequels. I’d love to see some sorta ancient Greek expedition led by Herodotus to discover the secrets of Altantis, except its all happening in the ancient period or something. I can tell Dan was influenced by Indiana Jones and Assassin Creed that there is no doubt about.

Let me be clear. The World of the 1950s gives us a sort of similar experiencing in 2020 except we don’t have that many wars, but more political spats between countries. There’s a lot of events happening in world politics that really gives you a sense of how everything works. This could have well been done in WWII, but it would have become a little tiring. The 1950s is right at the time of the Cold War, where the cracks begin to emerge and we get the full start. This reminds me of the Disney Adapation of Altantis. I want more man. Don’t hestiate, show us more.

I would love to see more novels like this, in the vein of the Ancient World. The Egyptians themselves considered the Altanteans as ancients. Like we do now as with the Ancient Egyptians. I’d love to see a Roman expedition in Ancient Egypt doing the same thing Sam’s doing. Or an Ancient Egyptian expedition to the mysterious lands of Punt in the same style. I crave for more books like this. I really do. Though, that’s my preference as a reader.

Though, this novel is fantastic. There is cinematic marvel dripping at its every page, rip-roaring exploding action with world powers battling for the mysteries of long-lost civilizations. The next sequel could be set when the Persian army disappered in the sands of Egypt. That would be an interesting choice. Regardless, amazing dialogue, description. There’s a lot more to this. I’d put this next to Clive Cussler. Also, thank you for adding in mythology in this. Too many novels in this vein lack it, and I think it needs to be added in.

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