Tomb of Gods by Brian Moreland is an engaging account of an epic quest for the secrets of the pharaohs.
Harlan Riley is the only archaeologist to survive the ill-fated expedition to an Egyptian cave in 1935. His appearance, a year later, gains widespread attention as he is covered from head to toe in mysterious scars and keeps talking in a strange language unknown to man. His granddaughter, Imogen Riley, an Egyptologist herself, is desperate to know what caused her only living relative to lose his sanity.
She joins a team of archaeologists and soldiers to find the answers. The cave, which turns out to be a tomb, is a maze of tunnels that, according to the leader of the group, Nathan Trummel, holds the most prized secrets of the pharaohs. However, as the explorers venture deep into the ancient tomb, they discover a deadly fate awaits them.
Brian Moreland’s Tomb of Gods is equally thrilling and terrifying.
He deserves credit for interweaving the mythology of Egyptian gods with the concept of subterranean life into a suspenseful, action-packed, horror tale. The internal fight in a man between right and wrong is the greatest arc of this story.
Moreland brilliantly executes the concept of an unknown-creature-lurking-in-the-shadows. His vivid description of the pitch-black, claustrophobic caves, the ancient tombs, their alien symbols, and the gory action within the caves provides an atmospheric feel to the book.
Further, short chapters help sustain the momentum of the novel. Moreland spares us the gruesome gore; instead, he allowed me to imagine the macabre events by focusing on the aftermath of the grisly events. He heightens suspense by allowing only a glimpse of the horrendous creatures existing in the underground world of the caves.
However, as the story progresses, especially in the middle of the novel, the novelty wears off. It feels more like a videogame where the characters have to cross a series of levels, each level more difficult than the previous one. Moreland does not spare enough time to grieve for the casualties. Further, the characters came across as stereotypical to me. Even though the story delves on each character’s past mistakes, the good people stay good, and the villains continue to be villains.
The book redeems itself in the last few chapters. I couldn’t wait to find out the fate of the explorers and leafed through the pages eagerly. The revelation at the end stunned me. It’s clear Moreland conducted exhaustive research into Egyptian mythology. Brian Moreland’s Tomb of Gods will thrill history, horror and action lovers. However, if you can’t handle gore, stay away from this book.
Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a free e-ARC. I opted to provide an honest review on my blog. || Background Image courtesy – freepik.com