He Shall Thunder in the Sky: An Amelia Peabody Novel of Suspense Mass Market Paperback – Feb 23 2010
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He Shall Thunder in the Sky completes an internal quartet (which also includes Seeing a Large Cat, The Ape Who Guards the Balance, and The Falcon at the Portal) within Elizabeth Peters's legendary series starring Amelia Peabody, the intrepid Edwardian Egyptologist, her husband, Emerson, and her extended family. The quartet comprises not only Amelia's diary of those years but also parts of a mysterious "Manuscript H," an omniscient viewpoint that allows a glimpse into the minds of Amelia's son--the dashing and brilliant Ramses--and her ward, Nefret Forth, as they mature into adults with their own secrets and agendas. The Falcon at the Portal left readers hanging impatiently in the enormous rift that book's events gouged between Ramses and Nefret, both madly in love but unrelentingly proud.
The winter of 1914-15 finds the Peabody-Emerson family back in Cairo--now under British martial law, with the Suez Canal under constant threat of attack from the Ottoman Empire. The city's young Englishmen are rushing to enlist, except for Ramses, who is widely scorned for his pacifism. Yet Amelia and Emerson soon find out that Ramses is (literally) playing a mysterious and potentially explosive part in the conflict between Egyptian nationalists and the British authorities, for reasons both political and familial. Nefret, for her part, is still running a health clinic for the city's fallen women and trying to avoid the attentions of Percy, Amelia's odious nephew. In the meantime, the Emersons' excavations at Giza reveal an unexpected treasure so remarkable that the uneasy Amelia immediately senses the fine hand of Sethos, the Master Criminal (who through many previous books has alternately plagued her and protested his boundless affection for her), at work. The climax and denouement are entirely worth the price of admission--tying up a decade's worth of loose strings and explaining some nagging points so subtle that less observant readers might easily have missed them. It's Peters's great gift that in the grand scheme of things, no clues are wasted. Her plotting is wonderfully complex and intriguing, and it fits seamlessly into the detailed historical background she builds so carefully. It may have taken years for her to complete this four-part dance (she promises more Amelia Peabody mysteries in the future), but she's charmed us right out of our dancing slippers along the way. --Barrie Trinkle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Excavating in Egypt on the eve of World War I, Amelia Peabody is in trouble with the British ex-pat community for her pacifist beliefs even as her nemesis--Sethos, the Master Criminal--reappears.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Peters has outdone herself with this novel. Descriptions of Egypt are as colorful, and her characters as lovable, as ever. But in this book Ramses, Peters' best character, truly comes into his own. For the first time the action really focuses on him rather than Amelia, and we see inside his head more than ever before. This book is a must-read for fans of mysteries, historical fiction, or romances. So pretty much everybody!
What are this book's bad points? Sometimes it is unclear whether it is supposed to be a romp or deadly serious, fun or high art. Archaeological digging and mystery is kept to a minimum, and Amelia and Emerson do not get much of a role. The focus is squarely upon the boring Ramses and Nefret, their son and ward, respectively.
Exactly why Peters has chosen to go with this departure from what made the others in the series I have read (with the exception of Falcon at the Portal) so much fun, I really couldn't say. But since I care just as much about a good plot as I do about the characters, I would not class this change as a success. In Thunder in the Sky, the bulk of the plot is concerned with Ramses' double-dealing as he attempts to unmask a traitor within the British administration in the early stages of World War One. Woven within this is the unresolved romantic tension between him and Nefret. They love each other, but the usual litany of misunderstandings, assumptions, and misplaced pride still keep them apart. As with Amelia's manoeuvrings with the Master Criminal, it's really only of interest if 1) you have read the other books in this vein and 2) want the focus upon family drama and tying up loose ends. Myself, I prefer the usual archaeological adventure with a mysterious twist.
Thunder in the Sky is competently written, by Peters' standards, though I do think she overreaches herself occasionally in tone.Read more ›
The ending ties up several storylines and questions from the rest of the series. All in all a most satisfying read on all levels.
Also, I love the way Peters tells the story in this book - with references to 'manuscript H' which are Ramses point of view, we finally see behind his normally inscrutable mask. It is wonderful for while Amelia Peabody-Emerson makes a fine and ironic narrator - Ramses is a character that needs deeper insight and revelation. Anyway - onto the story -
The dogs of war are released in Europe, it is the winter of 1914-15 and while Europe is at war, Egypt is poised with the threat of a Turkish invasion. The Peabody-Emerson family are in Cairo for their winter season of digging at Giza (Pyramids!). But no one is immune from war even this far away - all of Cairo's young Englishmen are rushing to enlist and the rest of the community are patriotically determined to humiliate those who aren't enlisting by presenting them with white feathers. Ramses is a loud and unapologetic pacifist and is not just getting white feathers, but is also the target for violence. Yet we soon find out, along with Emerson and Amelia that this is all a front for other activities, condoned by the Government, but still deadly secret. A secret which puts all those who know in deadly danger.
The secret is concealed from Nefret to protect her - but it becomes increasingly difficult to do so.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I think I've fallen in love with Ramses, a main character in this series. This book is so good!Published on Jan. 24 2004
I couldn't put it down. Couldn't wait for the end and never wanted it to end at the same time. Ties up loose ends from previous books in the series. Can't wait for the next one.Published on Dec 2 2003 by Trish
This is just one in a series of wonderful books by Elizabeth Peters about Amelia Peabody, her husband Emerson and her family. Read morePublished on March 19 2003
This book is one of my supreme favorites! It was great, and I totally recomend it for any fan of the series. Read morePublished on Feb. 28 2003
There are three or four series that I especially love and this is one of them, perhaps the #1. Elizabeth Peters has created, over the years, characters that are so 3-dimensional... Read morePublished on Oct. 21 2002 by Louis M. Perdue
I began reading the Amelia Peabody series in the middle with Hippopotamus Pool. I figured I would not be as attached to the characters if I had read them from the beginning. Read morePublished on June 3 2002 by jakecarew
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