It’s always fun to mix a little history, a little military, in with your science fiction and/or horror. In this case, the story is of an art history professor who serves during World War II in Europe and is assigned with another soldier to recover precious art taken by the Nazis. The two of them are given directions to an iron mine outside Strasborg, Germany in 1944 where they discover a sarcophagus. A freak explosion ends their expedition. The next thing you know, the main character is in the U.S., minus an eye, out of the military, and back at his job at Princeton University, where Professor Albert Einstein is also working.
The sarcophagus reappears, along with a mysterious, beautiful Egyptian woman and her father, and lots of very strange, mystical occurrences follow. The story is somewhat like Monuments Men, sorta like Indiana Jones, and has some other elements thrown in. It’s kind of fun, and somewhat different from what I usually read. The author took a lot of time to research Einstein, his friend and famous mathematician Kurt Goedel, Robert Oppenheimer, Bertram Russell and other famous people for the story, and does a decent job of portraying them. That’s probably the best part of the story.
I did, however, have problems with a couple of other things. First, his history was a bit off in several places. He makes reference to Rommel taking the sarcophagus from the Cairo Museum even though the German armies never got anywhere near Cairo. In another scene, he makes reference to archeologists traveling across the Egyptian desert in “Jeeps” before World War II, even though the Jeep was created for the U.S. Army in World War II. There are other slip ups, but you get the idea. That’s always the danger when you write historical fiction.
Second, I thought the whole story was just slow. It seemed like it took forever for anything to happen. He tried to build suspense, but I’m not sure he was very successful at it.
This book is considered a bestseller on Amazon right now, but I am not sure why. I give it two stars out of five.