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Amira Aly
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YA Fantasy/Paranormal Reviews > Review: Egypt: The Uprising, The Battle for Maat

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message 1: by Dale (new)

Dale Ibitz (goodreadscomdale_ibitz) | 298 comments Egypt is in the midst of political unrest resulting in a bloody uprising against the pharaoh (based upon real events in Egypt in January, 2011). 16 year-old Aya tries to shield and protect her twin brother, Shedy, from the blood-shed and violence. When he is kidnapped, Aya becomes entangled in the magic and the myths of the ancient Egyption dieties, setting her on a quest to save not only her brother but the world from a mis-guided plot to end the world.

On the whole, the premise is good, and I looked forward to reading this story wrapped in Egyptian mythology. There seemed to be a good amount of science in the author's research, which I admit, much of was lost on me, but that is not the fault of the story or the author. The story intertwines ancient mythology with current events, bringing the reader to historic landmarks such as the Sphynx.

I would have liked the author to spend more time introducing us to the characters, and the story moved quite quickly into the action so that I didn't have time to bond with Aya and didn't get to know her brother at all, who was pivotal in Aya's decisions. Setting is important in a story such as this, but the sights and sounds of Egypt were meager, and didn't quite immerse the reader into the story. For me, the mythology and science were introduced at break-neck speed, which at times was hard for me to digest. I would have preferred the story develop a little more slowly and evenly, taking a little more time so that I could taste, feel, see, and hear one of the most ancient places on Earth.

The author has a solid platform, and riveting historic and mythological wells to draw from, which I hope she brings into the sequel.

Egypt The Uprising The Battle for Maat (Volume 1) by Amira Aly

message 2: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
OH - This is going on my TBR list!

message 3: by Dale (new)

Dale Ibitz (goodreadscomdale_ibitz) | 298 comments It was interesting to read about the mythology. I've always been fascinated with Egypt!

message 4: by Amy Eye (new)

Amy Eye | 1841 comments Mod
ME TOO!! I love the pyramids, the gods they had, their beliefs...everything.

message 5: by Dale (new)

Dale Ibitz (goodreadscomdale_ibitz) | 298 comments If I could visit one place in the world, it would be Egypt. I wish this book was a little more descriptive on the sights, but I could still visualize.

message 6: by Amira (new)

Amira Aly | 7 comments Thank you for your review, Dale.

It is always interesting to hear how readers perceive various aspects of the novel. Interestingly enough, quite a few people commended me on the lack of "unnecessary details" which tend to bog down many fantasy novels. I guess it is a matter of personal preference.
In fact, this is one of the reasons why I chose to self-publish. Hard-core fantasy fans tend to prefer exhaustive descriptive details--which I felt did not suit the narrative style of Aya, my protagonist.

Thank you for your insights I appreciate them :)

Amy... I am really glad you find Egypt fascinating.
And as I told Dale before, I live not too far from the pyramids actually. And I extend a personal tour invitation to anyone who would like to come to Egypt ;)

message 7: by Cassie (new)

Cassie McCown (cassie629) | 713 comments Amira wrote: "Thank you for your review, Dale.

It is always interesting to hear how readers perceive various aspects of the novel. Interestingly enough, quite a few people commended me on the lack of "unnecess..."

Woohoo! I need to start saving up money for my world tour! ;-)

message 8: by Dale (new)

Dale Ibitz (goodreadscomdale_ibitz) | 298 comments Yeah! Amira, it's funny you mentioned that, because as a fantasy writer myself, I was also told (mostly by non-fantasy critiquers) that I had too much I chop chop chopped, and now I have 3 people who said "not enough detail...too fast!" so I am in the same boat as you. Sometimes you have to do what your gut is telling you, so I know I won't be so quick to chop away.

message 9: by Amira (new)

Amira Aly | 7 comments Traditionally, the fantasy genre is one of the most descriptive--which is why I was originally reluctant to dub the book as fantasy at all in fact. Readers coming in expecting high-end fantasy have certain expectations.

I guess ultimately writers need to do what they feel is best for their story and hope for the best :)

Oh and Cassie, let me know when your world tour launches ;)

message 10: by Dale (new)

Dale Ibitz (goodreadscomdale_ibitz) | 298 comments Absolutely! I think I don't follow my gut often enuff, and I plan to do that in the future!

message 11: by Matt (new)

Matt Posner (mattposner) | 70 comments I'm going to use this thread to write a message to Amira.

Hi Amira,

I am looking forward to receiving a review copy of this book. I sent my book to your email address on 31st July as per our previous correspondence. Any electronic format is OK.

As a lover of your country from afar, I am hopeful for excellent news from all quarters regarding Egypt's present and future as a place to live, work, and travel.

As a side issue, one of my students gave a presentation on Akhenaten last Tuesday and an issue of interest arose for me which I'll bet you have a lot to say about. Given that Akhenaten was always depicted in statuary and painting of his time as having an unusual appearance, what is the most popular explanation among Egyptian students of pharaonic period? Is it more commonly believed that he had some genetic deformity to make him look that way; or that he had himself shown in an otherworldly, androgynous manner for a religious or political reason; or is there another explanation?

Thanks, look forward to hearing from you.

message 12: by Amira (last edited Aug 07, 2011 07:47PM) (new)

Amira Aly | 7 comments Hello Matt,

Thank you so much for your warm wishes :)

It's rather interesting that the unusual appearance of Akhenaten is usually ignored by most Egyptian archeologists and interpreted as "just an artistic depiction."

I posted the question on an Egyptian archeologists FB group, maybe we'll get some other answers.

message 13: by Amira (new)

Amira Aly | 7 comments Hello again :)

I got pretty much the same reply from my prominent archeologist friends on the FB group I told you about.

They said that Akhenaten had revolutionized not just religion but also the arts by allowing artists to deviate from the regular Egyptian standards. The androgynous representations are thought to emphasize that his god, Aten, was both man and woman at the same time.

message 14: by Matt (new)

Matt Posner (mattposner) | 70 comments I am excited to tell my students that my theory -- Akhenaten had himself depicted as androgynous for religious reasons -- is preferable to the ludicrous theory that he was genetically deformed. Thanks, Amira!

If anyone is on the fence about reading Egypt: The Uprising, then get off the fence -- the book is strongly worth the read. It combines the familiar elements of YA with a unique and complex perspective on Egyptian culture and history. A real winner!

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