Complete change of setting in this book: we move from a small and foggy American town to the heat of Egypt, as Whyborne and Griffin join Christine at her archaeological dig. I freely admit that I was always biased towards this book. Right after I finished book #3 I made a list of things I wanted from the series: “Spinoff of Christine fighting mummies and ancient Egyptian curses. Christine dragging Whyborne (and Griffin) with her across the world. Just give me Christine and I’ll be happy.” When Necropolis was announced a couple of months later, it seemed as if it was tailor-made for me. So, yeah, I might be biased when I say that I loved it. But it was a really entertaining read.
Whyborne and Griffin are still the protagonists, but this is one of those times when I care more about the secondary characters. Christine was always described as uncomfortable in polite society, she insisted through three books that field work was what she did best: and it was fun to see her finally in her element. The good thing about a series is that you get emotionally attached to the characters as you go along. I definitely cared more about the plot because it involved Christine, and that’s why I like long-running series.
On the downside, some things in the series are getting really repetitive. Could Whyborne and Griffin please stop being insecure about their relationship? Every book Whyborne has a minor breakdown because he’s not sure Griffin can love someone like him, and I just want to bang my head against the wall because it’s the same rubbish all over again. Whyborne was rather dumb throughout the whole book, to be honest. The “cryptic” line about the sea sounded a pretty obvious reference to the events of the previous book to me and I was quite annoyed when neither he nor the other characters picked up on that. Overall those are minor quibbles, though, and I enjoyed the fact that at the core this book is more of an adventure than a romance.
The mystery was a little more transparent than in the other books, right from the start I saw huge signs that made me suspicious of a certain person, so I wasn’t much surprised by the plot twists. But I still didn’t manage to guess all of it, and I enjoyed the adventurous ride through the desert. It did feel more adventure than horror, though. I was expecting to be scared shitless by the setting, because I can’t stand mummies, but actually… it wasn’t very scary at all, especially compared to the rest of the series. That might be because I read it on a hot sunny day instead of at night in bed, though. Or maybe I’m getting used to scary monsters. Either way, not complaining about the lack of scariness.
The change of scene definitely made the book stand out from the rest of the series, and in a good way: I loved the description of old Cairo and of the dig site. I’m also hoping to see more of Kander in the next book, because I have a feeling his story’s not done yet. Four books (plus a short story and a novella) and I still want to read more about the characters! When I whined on Twitter about the lack of info on book #5 (like the class act that I am), the author said it’ll be called Bloodlines and she’s hoping to have it out in early October, so I’m definitely marking that on my calendar.