The Alexander Cipher – Will Adams

Title: The Alexander Cipher
Author: Will Adams
ISBN: 9780446404686
Pages: 336
Release Date: March 18, 2009
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Historical Thriller
Rating: 4 out of 5

From the dust jacket:

Workers in Alexandria are excavating for a new building when they discover the ruins of an old tomb, and all work crashes to a halt. According to federal law in Egypt, all discoveries must be properly catalogued by archeologists and this tomb has unusual relics and representations, apparently contemporary with Alexander the Great.

Daniel Knox’s first love is history and archeology, specifically on Alexander the Great. When he pisses off a local mobster on the coast of Egypt, he heads to Alexandria to an archaeology colleague’s apartment to hide out for a while. He learns his friend is getting to participate on the dig for this newly discovered tomb. Sneaking in with his friend, Daniel sees signs that the find is far bigger than anyone realizes and might hold clues to finally unraveling one of the world’s greatest mysteries: Where is Alexander the Great buried?

In his lifetime, Alexander was beloved as a god, and across the Mediterranean, everyone wanted to be close to him. Upon his death, there was a mad scrabbling among his former allies to secure his empire for themselves. Even now, nearly 2500 years later, Alexander is still being fought over. With the discovery of this tomb and the revelation of its relics, the race is on to find Alexander. Rival archeologists, Egyptian officials, and Macedonian nationalists all scurry and scramble, attacking each other along the way as they hunt for a glorious prize–the body of Alexander the Great.

I love books like this. They’re one of my guilty pleasures. I have a passion for history and archaeology; combining that with a modern adventure story? It’s just a lot of fun.

The Alexander Cipher is a well-written novel that is intriguing and full of historical tidbits. Happily, this novel is much better than the plethora of The Da Vinci Code knockoffs (trust me, I’ve read most of them). It stands on its own two feet, without relying on the tactics and tricks of a previously written book.

I loved the history contained within The Alexander Cipher. Alexander the Great is such an intriguing figure. The mystery of his tomb is extremely compelling and provides a great vehicle for this novel. Adams obviously did a solid amount of research; I learned a lot that I didn’t know about the history and the time period. Happily, however, the book was never bogged down in the quagmire of historical details. Adams manages to strike a healthy balance between interesting history and tedious minutiae.

Adams also balances the action and archaeology very well in The Alexander Cipher. Too often, these types of books have too much of one or the other, which takes away some of the fun of reading it. This book is a very good mix of the two.

I enjoyed The Alexander Cipher, as far as historical thrillers go. It was a light, fun, and interesting read. I look forward to reading Will Adams’ next novel!

Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book to review!

Comments

  1. I love historical thrillers! I’m adding this to my wish list. Thanks for this review; This is the first I’ve heard of this book!

  2. I love historical thrillers! I’m adding this to my wish list. Thanks for this review; This is the first I’ve heard of this book!

  3. Sounds interesting.. thanks for the review 🙂

  4. Sounds interesting.. thanks for the review 🙂

  5. Wow! Sounds like a great book!

  6. Wow! Sounds like a great book!

  7. I don’t read much historical fiction – except for historical thrillers (love the ones that go back and forth from history to contemporary, too)! This one sounds good.

  8. I don’t read much historical fiction – except for historical thrillers (love the ones that go back and forth from history to contemporary, too)! This one sounds good.

  9. I love books like this too, except most of the time they kind of suck enough that I’ve started avoiding them. I’m glad to hear that this is one of the good ones and I’m off to go add it to my list at the library.

    Seriously, at least half of the books on my list at the library are there because of you.

  10. I love books like this too, except most of the time they kind of suck enough that I’ve started avoiding them. I’m glad to hear that this is one of the good ones and I’m off to go add it to my list at the library.

    Seriously, at least half of the books on my list at the library are there because of you.

  11. This sounds good! I will have to add it to the list. 🙂

  12. This sounds good! I will have to add it to the list. 🙂

  13. So glad it’s a good one because I have a review copy of it myself. I really, really want to read it. I know I’m going to love it.

  14. So glad it’s a good one because I have a review copy of it myself. I really, really want to read it. I know I’m going to love it.

  15. This book sounds great! Seriously, I agree with Jen…if you don’t stop reviewing books soon, I’m going to reach my max on my library TBR list! 🙂

  16. This book sounds great! Seriously, I agree with Jen…if you don’t stop reviewing books soon, I’m going to reach my max on my library TBR list! 🙂

  17. I just purchased this book this evening at B&N. I will be sure to post my comments on here when complete. Thank you for the review.

  18. I just purchased this book this evening at B&N. I will be sure to post my comments on here when complete. Thank you for the review.

  19. I just heard the “audio book” mp3 version, of the same story. Holiday driving across NSW (13 hours). I’ll give it 7/10. Interesting Story, great historical setting (i am Greek), but for me personally, the action was a little less impressive. Still was worth listening, especially the ‘anti greek’ sentiment of the macedonians which was a vague concept for me and I had smoe fresh insights, I enjoyed the opposite point of view.

  20. I just heard the “audio book” mp3 version, of the same story. Holiday driving across NSW (13 hours). I’ll give it 7/10. Interesting Story, great historical setting (i am Greek), but for me personally, the action was a little less impressive. Still was worth listening, especially the ‘anti greek’ sentiment of the macedonians which was a vague concept for me and I had smoe fresh insights, I enjoyed the opposite point of view.

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