Review: Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire by Dan Hanks

Captain MoxleyThat’s a mouthful, but it sounds amazing, doesn’t it? I had to have this book as soon as I saw that amazeballs cover (*^^*) but also because this is a story that sounds entirely up my alley.

Thanks to the author, as well as Angry Robot for the review copy!

In post-war 1952, the good guys are supposed to have won. But not everything is as it seems when ex-Spitfire pilot Captain Samantha Moxley is dragged into a fight against the shadowy US government agency she used to work for. Now, with former Nazis and otherworldly monsters on her trail, Captain Moxley is forced into protecting her archaeologist sister in a race to retrieve two ancient keys that will unlock the secrets of a long-lost empire – to ensure a civilisation-destroying weapon doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. But what will she have to sacrifice to save the world?

“Nobody discovered Egypt because it wasn’t lost, my girl. The people were already there, as they had been for thousands of years, and as they still are today. To think otherwise is to take the perspective of Empire and colonisation, neither of which do the study of archaeology any favours at all.”

This was an amazingly fun book, to start! This is the story of Captain Samantha Moxley. Sam was a pilot during the war, then went on to work for a shady US government agency. The war is over and she’s left the shady agency business, but things have a way of catching up with her. Her sister Jess has found an amazing relic, and the shady agency is after it. Sam will do anything it takes to protect her sister as she finds the relic’s twin in the hopes of unlocking untold historical knowledge. Cue shenanigans.

This book was an absolute thrillride from start to finish, I have to say It’s really fast-paced, full of action and intrigue, and I ended up reading almost all of it in one sitting. I really liked Sam as a character. She’s snarky, clever, and foul mouthed: all things that I love in a main character. I started off thinking that I wasn’t going to like Sam’s sister Jess, but I ended up really liking her as well, along with her boyfriend Will. It’s rare that I really like all of the protagonists in a book with more than 2 of them, but this is an example of a book where I liked all of them.

This book felt very cinematic, and so it can of course be compared to cinema. Mostly Indiana Jones and The Mummy, I think. The whole archaeologists-having-insane-adventures vibe is 100% there. They’re the obvious comparisons here. Personally, if we’re comparing this book to movies, I’d say it’s something along the lines of Indiana Jones with a huge helping of Tomb Raider meets The Mummy with a bit of Men in Black, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and The Matrix sprinkled on top. You’re either like ‘holy shit that sounds awesome!’ or ‘JFC what is wrong with you?’ right now, and I can totally understand both points of view (still… awesome tho, amirite?).

So, all told, if you’re looking for a fast paced archaeological thrillride reminiscent of pulp novels then this is your book right here. 5/5 stars!~

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