The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx is an archaeological mystery aimed at middle school kids. I think that all the problems I had with this book stemmed from its target audience. I was not it and unlike many of the famous books – Harry Potter, Bartimaeus, Artemis Fowl, etc. – The Hidden Chamber will likely have a narrower appeal.
The book started off by introducing the protagonist Dr. Cliff Post, who’s a very nice guy but a little naive. I suspect that Cliff’s purpose was to help the reader feel smarter than him and see things coming. I think the weirdest part – and one that irritated me the most – was that Cliff, a college professor teaching archaeology and a member of the Archaeology Society – believed that aliens helped the Egyptians and other early peoples create their pyramids and other wonders.
Dr. Post has a friend in Egypt, Dr. Saad, and he discovers a chamber under one of the paws of the Great Sphinx. Dr. Saad invites his friend Cliff to join him on the exploratory dig to find out what is in the chamber. There is however a bit of a problem: Dr. Sadat hates having non-Egyptians working in Egypt because of their years of theft from the country. Dr. Sadat wants to have full control of the dig site and is trying to have it put into his hands.
After the site has been opened up, strange things start happening around Dr. Post, like sand in his gas tank. Dr. Saad thinks that Dr. Sadat might be behind it, but Dr. Post can’t believe a well known and respected person such as Dr. Sadat would ever try to do something so underhanded.
Things continue to escalate and actually become dangerous for our hero, especially after some of the artifacts found turn out to be a form of computer. (Subtly linking back to Dr. Posts belief in alien interference)
I think it would be a very good book for 5-7th graders who like stories about Egypt with a little excitement added in. It was written cleanly and it did tell a decent story. I suspect I would have enjoyed reading the book much more had I been in the target market. As things stand, I thought it wasn’t bad.
Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Book Publicity Services. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.