I would givet this a 2. 5 stars, but can't do halves, so three it is. "Secrets of the Sands" is a book that has many good aspects contained within it. The idea as to whether or not the Sphinx, etc. were connected to a possible alien visit/settlement from Orion is a concept that has been discussed over the years by many different groups. The shifting between the two time eras was a good idea as well. I found the main characters, of the present times,however, to be almost cartoonish, or better suited for video games. Maybe I am expecting more delineation of character through description and less through the 'Gee wizz' high school level dialogue that thoroughly littered the scenes set in the present. Surely the two main characters are a BIT more mature than how they were presented? Their side kicks in the lab were nothing more than mere cartoons in development, trying to 'out-silly' each other. The lead archeologist, as the 'bad guy' was really just too far fetched and simplified. Far more difficult to create a 'bad guy' person who has good points as well, which we all know make the character much more believable. The whole set up in the current times was just too unbelievable and simplified as to characters, I was turned off by them.
The concept of the Pharom, which when I read it brought immediately to mind the ancient wonder of the world set in Alexandria was a clever idea and a great lead in to a continuation of the series, which one hopes the following volumne will carry forward.
The setting and action of the ancient era was much better written, almost like two different people wrote the two sections, so did the two of you divide up the story and each do your 'part'? I found the Royal family characters more believable and better delineated in their strengths and weaknesses and relationships to those around them.
So overall: A lot of ideas,action and dialogue but not much development. You have some very good premises for creating some exciting stories, they just need more work. Hopefully,you will be able to get some needed guidance and help in these areas to take your action adventures to a wider reading audience.