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He Shall Thunder in the Sky

(Amelia Peabody #12)

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  9,599 ratings  ·  425 reviews
1914 finds archaelogists Amelia Peabody, narrator, and husband Radcliffe Emerson back in Egypt for another dig, despite civil unrest. Defiantly pacifist son Ramses hides his spy activity with cousin David. He rescues Molly 12ish, and his dazzling smile conquers yet another female. An artifact from Giza confirms the return of archnemesis Sethos.
Hardcover, William Morrow First Edition, 400 pages
Published June 2000 by Harper Collins (first published 2000)
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Average rating 4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,599 ratings  ·  425 reviews

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Start your review of He Shall Thunder in the Sky (Amelia Peabody, #12)
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-2020
Easily five stars - maybe the best book in this series so far. Definitely the one with the best ending.

If I had been reading this book in 2000 when it was published I would have assumed it was going to be the last in the series. Many of the ongoing story lines were satisfactorily concluded and it reached an emotional level that the previous books have not done. However I read it in 2020 and I know I have still got lots of reading pleasure ahead of me.

He Shall Thunder in the Sky is about war and
Jun 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Book 12
This book deserves 6 stars
Left me in a daze of joy. Ramses is the hottest thing ever put in print. Damn.
Jamie Collins
This is my favorite Amelia Peabody adventure so far - but I've said that about the last several books. They keep getting better. The early books were amusing enough, but they were light, frivolous reads. Peters has gradually increased the drama and the emotional intensity. After I finished the previous book, The Falcon at the Portal, I was so caught up in the story that I immediately started this one.

It's set in 1914, during the Great War. Peabody and Emerson have been granted permission to exca
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-in-11
Skip River in the Sky and read this one right now.
You can go back later if you want to, but I am *telling* you, go read it right now. I'll wait.

Okay, not really. I have to wonder if Elizabeth Peters thought this was going to be her last novel, because just a large number of stories get resolved here. (It took me forever to read this. I stayed up late. You have NO idea how much I like to sleep, and I GAVE IT UP to finish this book.)

I won't give away spoilers, because you'll just get mad at me. Bu
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Peabody Emersons are back two years after the shocking events of the previous novel. Ignoring the more recently published The Painted Queen, this story sheds light on what happens after the horrible cliffhanger. It's now 1914-1915 and the winter excavation season is complicated by world events. Britain has officially declared Egypt a protectorate and is at war with Germany. The Ottoman Turks threaten to join Germany in a war that will span in the globe and leave no family untouched. The nati ...more
May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
*Much* better than book #11 in terms of plot, though also enjoyable because of the way the Emersons interact. This is the most caring I've ever seen them toward each other, and it's adorable. Amelia and Ramses have some especially lovely moments, but there are some nice Emerson-Ramses and Emerson-Amelia moments, as well.
Of course, there are lots of things to chuckle at, too.
The plot was deliciously complicated, and several things that seemed extraneous at first ended up being important. There
Nora Hood
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves
Holy fuck this book is amazing.
Elizabeth Nixon
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is by far my favorite Amelia Peabody mystery yet. I am absolutely floored.
Christiana Martin
***Update: This re-read was just as fantastic as every other time I've read this book. Now that I'm (slowly) completing a chronological re-read of the series, I was dancing around shouting "Yes! Finally!" and reveling in the revelations of this book. In terms of series progression, it is as satisfying as its predecessor is angst-inducing. I'll likely return to it many more times over the years, it's simply one of those beloved books you circle back to again and again.***

I basically can't write a
Finally! Finally Finally Finally Finally!! :D

I won't leave it at that, though. There were parts of this book that were hard to read because they were too real. War is hard, and painful, and sometimes seems pointless to those involved in it. I agree with much that Ramses had to say about the pagentry of war, especially at the time and place they were. Also, my overwhelming hatred for Percy really made some parts hard to stomach, but the end more than made up for those, to be honest. So, what did
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-audio, series
Excellent, my Dear!
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
He Shall Thunder in the Sky takes place two years after the previous book, The Falcon at the Portal. World War I has started, and Amelia’s nephews are headed to the front. Meanwhile, in Egypt, Ramses is being given feathers by young women, designating him a coward for not enlisting and joining the fight. David is being held in India, as punishment for his involvement in the Egyptian freedom movement. Amelia’s evil nephew Percy one again is causing problems for Ramses in Egypt. After the grim end ...more
Rebekah Giese Witherspoon
Whew, this book is intense! The Emersons spend the epic winter of 1914-1915 in Egypt, while Britain is at war with Austro-Hungary and Germany. Although nobody has a clue what they’re fighting about, brave young men (including two of Walter and Evelyn’s sons) are flocking to the muddy trenches of France, willing to die for their respective countries.

Meanwhile, the Emersons are fighting their own battle in the back streets of Cairo, undercover, in true Emerson style.

“[Ramses is] walking a tightrop
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mother. Archaeologist. Detective.

That is Amelia Peabody.

Quite possibly, this is my favorite in the series to date. Things finally come to a head with Ramses and his one and only true love (romantic sigh)... but no spoilers here! You'll have to read to discover what Nefret thinks...

It's 1914, and the war is heating up politics in Egypt. I felt like this added another dimension to the story. Everybody has secret missions for the war effort, it seems.

And to topple it all... Sethos. This book is th
elizabeth • paper ghosts
I don't really have anything else to say except that these books are flawless. It's been a while since I visited this series, and this one immediately made my Elizabeth Peters fever flare up again. I want to reread all the previous books, I want the next one in my hands immediately. I can't even contemplate reading another book by another author right now.

Elizabeth Peters represents an epitome of talent to me. She knows how to balance humor, romance, and danger in a way that no other author I'v
Jun 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
June 2019: This time, electrifyingly good.

June 2012: Re-read. Can't recapture the joy I felt in this book after the last (Falcon at the Portal) was such a cliffhanger, but this holds up pretty well with lots of interconnected plots and Peters poking fun at her own series. Ah, that Ramses! especially as voiced by Barbara Rosenblat...
Emma Rose Ribbons
The whole Emerson clan, back in Egypt, tries to save each other from various plots having to do with WWI.

I'll be quick - the ending is insane and it's so satisfactory for everyone involved that it felt like the ending to the whole series. I mean, where else do you go now? However, WWI is the main plot of this book (and it was hard to follow everything) and while it was interesting to read about Egypt's fight for independence and have different perspectives, there was hardly any archeology invol
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A visit with Amelia Peabody, Emerson, Ramses and friends and loved ones is always entertaining. This one was not as much of an archaeological discovery as were previous Amelia Peabody books. Peabody and others have traveled to Egypt for their usual archaeological dig, but double agents and those from both sides of the soon to be global conflict are present in Egypt as WWI begins to spread across the region. This one is more of a spy thriller than the typical historical mystery of the others in t ...more
Nov 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite Peabody books; in fact probably the best one of the books involving the adult "children", Ramses in particular. Ramses, in fact, improves dramatically in this book and attains full Romantic Hero status, notably because Amelia finally sees him as the kind of heroic man she likes rather than the difficult child over whom she's spent years despairing.

This one is set in World War I so we have German spies and the Great Game to entertain us rather than the usual mix of sinister Mas
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the best Amelia Peabody book I've read yet!! So satisfying!! ...more
The best in the series so far.
Ed Mestre
The last time I read a book in this series I thought it was my last because of rubber stamp formula had left me bored. I went ahead & grabbed this one off my shelf for another go with Emerson, Amelia, Ramses, & Nefret. After all I had paid for the darn thing already. Well, the formula was there, but the start of WWI brought a new dimension & opportunities for characters. Yes, the dry British wit weaving about the melodramatic late 19th/early 20th century theatrics continue the formula of strong ...more
Dec 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah, finally .... this one of the Amelia Peabody series has thrill after exciting thrill as the Emersons become involved in the mess that was World War I in the Middle East. True to form, Ms. Peters has done her research, with the real events of that time interwoven with the fictional adventures of this family. Espionage, traitors, plots for revenge and uprising all interweave with developing romance among the younger Emersons, while Amelia and Radcliffe try their best to protect those they love ...more
4.25 stars because the last 75 pages are so tense.

This is the last of the handful of books I own in this series, and it's probably the one I've reread the most. There's less humour in it than others in the series, but considering it's set during World War I, it's only appropriate that the humour be dialled back.

Where the previous Amelia Peabody books have been pretty much straight up murder mysteries with a side of archaeology, this one is far more political. It's tense and fast paced and full
Leonide Martin
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amelia Peabody fans, Egypt fiction, mystery-adventure readers
Another marvelous Elizabeth Peters tale weaving mystery, adventure and humor in early 20th century Egypt, seen through the discerning eyes of Amelia Peabody. Just after WWI breaks out, Amelia and Emerson's son Ramses becomes enmeshed in counter-intelligence work for the British involving an insurgent militant group in Cairo. While Emerson grumbles and curses while pursuing mastaba excavations, Amelia ferrets out dangerous information while trying to keep everything from their adopted daughter, N ...more
Zoe and the Edge
Ramses - “You used to sing me to sleep. When I was small. Do you remember?”
Amelia - “I remember.” I had to clear my throat before I went on. “I always suspected you pretended to sleep so you wouldn’t have to listen to me sing. It is not one of my greatest talents.”
“I liked it.”

Agh! So adorable! Amelia and Emerson have truly raised a remarkable child. Ramses is such an incredible young man. I just melted whenever he was sweet to his mother. Even though throughout the series Amelia seems to
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elizabeth-peters
I have read all the Amelia Peabody series many times and I still enjoy them with each reading. This book is not a stand alone and earlier books will help you understand the family. I feel this is one of her best book as she brings the faimily together.It 1912 and the world is at war and the Emersons are in Egypt to work at the archeology site. This time it is good one given to Emersom by a French archeologist. All the characters are present including Abdullah. The are funny scenes and emotionall ...more
Lynne Tull
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Ms. Peters has reached the pinnacle with this installment of the Amelia Peabody journals. I love the continuing characters and the introduction of new ones. I am also intrigued by the resolution of old mysteries that keep popping up to get in the way of their excavations. It has always puzzled me that Amelia is so intuitive about solving mysteries, but doesn't intuit what is going on in her own family. Not to be a spoiler, because you know he will appear...even Sethos remarks upon it.

I did have
I'm having to think about this review. I love this series because they're good stories with interesting historical details and they're fun. This book wasn't fun. Perhaps that's only right, as it's about the build up to WWI, which wasn't funny at all. But I really missed the sense of humor and joy that I usually get from reading about Amelia and her family. I also missed the incredibly unlikely events that the earlier books were filled with.

I rated what I thought it deserved as a book, but it rea
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #69 - He Shall Thunder in the Sky 1 4 Mar 22, 2016 11:39AM  

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Elizabeth Peters is a pen name of Barbara Mertz. She also wrote as Barbara Michaels as well as her own name. Born and brought up in Illinois, she earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago. Mertz was named Grand Master at the inaugural Anthony Awards in 1986 and Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America at the Edgar Awards in 1998. She lived in a historic farmhouse in Frede ...more

Other books in the series

Amelia Peabody (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody, #1)
  • The Curse of the Pharaohs (Amelia Peabody, #2)
  • The Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody, #3)
  • Lion in the Valley  (Amelia Peabody, #4)
  • The Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody, #5)
  • The Last Camel Died at Noon (Amelia Peabody, #6)
  • The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog (Amelia Peabody, #7)
  • The Hippopotamus Pool (Amelia Peabody, #8)
  • Seeing a Large Cat (Amelia Peabody, #9)
  • The Ape Who Guards the Balance (Amelia Peabody, #10)

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80 likes · 22 comments
“As Ramses did the same for his mother, he saw that her eyes were fixed on him. She had been unusually silent. She had not needed his father's tactless comment to understand the full implications of Farouk's death. As he met her unblinking gaze he was reminded of one of Nefret's more vivid descriptions. 'When she's angry, her eyes look like polished steel balls.' That's done it, he thought. She's made up her mind to get David and me out of this if she has to take on every German and Turkish agent in the Middle East.” 12 likes
“He hesitated for a moment. Then he said softly, 'I love you, Mother.' He took my hand and kissed it, and folded my fingers round the stem of the rose. He had stripped it of its thorns.
I was too moved to speak. But maternal affection was not the only emotion that prevented utterance; as I watched him walk away, his head high and his step firm, anger boiled within me. I knew I had to conquer it before I saw Nefret again, or I would take her by the shoulders and shake her, and demand that she love my son!”
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