The Ape Who Guards The Balance, by Elizabeth Peters (Amelia Peabody #10)

>> Thursday, November 14, 2002

The second one is number 10 in the Amelia Peabody Series, by Elizabeth Peters. The title's The Ape Who Guards the Balance.

It's interesting how so many books in this series all have an animal in the title:

  • Nº 1 - Crocodile on the Sandbank
  • Nº 4 - Lion in the Valley
  • Nº 6 - The Last Camel Died at Noon
  • Nº 7 - The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog
  • Nº 8 - The Hippopotamus Pool
  • Nº 9 - Seeing a Large Cat
  • Nº 10 - The Ape Who Guards the Balance
  • Nº 11 - The Falcon at the Portal

Plot summary:

The Ape Who Guards the Balance begins in 1907 in England where Amelia is attending a suffragettes' rally outside the home of Mr. Geoffrey Romer of the House of Commons. It seems Romer is one of the few remaining private collectors of Egyptian antiquities, and a series of bizarre events at the protest soon embroil Amelia in grave personal danger. Suspecting that the Master Criminal, Sethos, is behind their problems, the Emerson Peabodys hasten to Egypt to continue their studies in the Valley of Kings where they soon acquire a papyrus of the Book of the Dead. As with past seasons, however, their archaeological expedition is interrupted. The murdered body of a woman is found in the Nile. Ramses, Radcliffe, and Amelia all have their theories as to the origin of the crime, but their own lives might soon be at stake if the cult of Thoth and their ancient book is, indeed, involved.
Posted later...

I also finished The Ape Who Guards The Balance, and it was also a B+. Good, but not one of my favourite Amelias.

The plot itself is good, no problem with that: it's pretty much standard Amelia (we do see Sethos again here, though, which is fun!). It's darker (the horrible murders!!), but ok. My problem is that the "Ramses pining for Nefret" is getting to be a bit too much, too drawn out. I love the two of them, and I think they'll be great together, but enough already!! I hope the next book is the one where something finally gets resolved.

Another thing I'm a bit sick of is all the foreshadowing. Especially when sometimes the "horrible event" which is foreshadowed isn't all that horrible, so you've got all bothered by something which doesn't live up to its billing. The horrible thing that does happen, however, comes out of the blue.

In a way, this one reminds me of the 4th Harry Potter. The characters are growing up, and in some ways their charmed existence is not so charmed any more.

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