Review of The Sphinx by Bob Mayer

May 14, 2013
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

SphinxThe Sphinx  (Area 51 #4)
By Bob Mayer; Performed by Eric G. Dove
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
11 hours [UNABRIDGED]

Themes: / military sci-fi / aliens / hybrids / nuclear /

Publisher summary:

Dr. Lisa Duncan and Special Forces officer Mike Turcotte know better than anyone that no secret is safe for long — especially one that offers untold power. Case in point: no sooner does Turcotte’s elite Area 51 team uncover a dormant alien ship in earth orbit than a group of alien-human hybrids seizes it and uses its technology to commandeer a satellite array bristling with nuclear missiles. Now they’re demanding that humankind hand over the key to an ancient stash of alien technology…or watch an entire continent be reduced to atomic rubble. Doom seems certain, as the required key is believed lost to the ages — until an unwitting anthropologist discovers the first of many clues to its hiding place. As Duncan and Turcotte race to reach the key — and the powerful treasure it can unlock — ahead of their alien foes, the quest leads them deep into a deadly maze within the Great Sphinx of Giza. The prize? Nothing less than the legendary Ark of the Covenant.

For fans of this series, Bob Mayer delivers a story that lightly scratches the military SF itch but never arrives at satisfaction.  If you don’t mind foreshadowing and rather flat characters that encounter somewhat predictable puzzles, then I think you’ll like this installment of the Area 51 series.  I’d say that Mayer has written the equivalent of a bacon cheeseburger.  You know what you’re going to get before you order it, and if you are in the mood for a run of the mill bacon cheeseburger, then I say “Dig in and don’t be shy about using napkins.”

Eric G. Dove acts as narrator and I am on the fence with his delivery.  So here’s the down and dirty with Dove.  When he reads dialogue, Dove is on top of his game and carries this audio performance.  When Dove is left to recite, I mean read exposition; he becomes the human equivalent of narrator elevator music.  Seriously, Dove reads exposition like most people might read a road map but with less enthusiasm.  But when Dove engages a character, everything changes and this somewhat average audiobook becomes almost enjoyable.

Final thoughts.  If you’re even thinking about reading this book then it’s a fair assumption to think you’ve read the previous books in this series.  If you have and are considering reading on, I encourage you to do so as I think you will be happy.  If you have read the books in the series are aren’t sure if you want to continue, then I say “Turn back when you still can.”

Posted by Casey Hampton.

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