I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
The premise is the tomb of the pharaoh that united upper and lower Egypt was never found -- Narmer. His tomb contains something of incalculable value -- of coarse.
The central plot-line is interesting and a new slant on the same-old tired 'let's find a new pharaoh tomb' with new and varied challenges. All of that is good stuff. The subplots were pretty thin and mixed with mysticism that Child just really didn't pull off. I look for change of some sort in the main character -- they should have a pivotal moment of truth and start or stop doing something. The main character didn't -- he was static during the novel and didn't add much in the way of tension or illumination.
I think Child should scrap the characters, keep the plot and try again; make me connect with the characters and care about them. There wasn't one character that I really want to know what happens to after the story is over. I also felt trial and tension points of the hero's evolution were weak. Instead of Child pushing you up a mountainside of conflict and reversals, it was more like a bumpy road of problems and resolutions with clumsy foreshadowing. Child is a great author and McClain did a good job of narration.
So if I am so negative, why am I recommending reading it? Well it is written by Lincoln Child and I am a fan. Plus I return to the idea that the plot is interesting. Give it a listen it won't blow you away; but it does have entertainment value.
Author, rabid Audible listener.
Did you watch the movie Prometheus? The Third Gate is like a more earth-bound version of that movie with a slightly different plot surrounding a mysterious find in Egypt.
I really enjoy Lincoln Child so naturally, I enjoyed the characters and whether his historical knowledge is real or faked, I bought it.
The bad news is the book speeds along a bit too fast, misses on some really important points and there are some supernatural bits that just aren't believable given people's reactions.
Overall, I was underwhelmed with the story and the ending was very predictable.
I was disappointed in this book, but as I have read/listened to quite a few of Lincoln Child's work (alone and with others), I think it may be time for me to set aside this author for a while, as I found this one predictable and so similar to others as to be a bit formulaic. If I were not familiar with his work, I would probably be giving it a much higher rating. However, I must say this is the first time I have found him wonting a bit in his research (on NDE's.) The entire plot was a little trite. As with his other books, I find myself curious about the location of this story, and about the history he describes, so if you are interested in ancient Egypt and the early pharohs, you might find this to be a great choice. The narrator does a fine job. I will watch for his name elsewhere, and Mr Child's descriptions are engaging and very effective. He has a superb talent for descriptions and action. For all of that, if you are familiar with Mr. Child's work, you may find this one a bit of a letdown, as did I. Not saying it is a bad book, just that, for me, it was just too much like his others to stir me.
The whole time I was listening to this book, I expected Freddy, Velma and Daphne to come along and tear the mask off the villain. It was the worst attempt at a plot ever made by Lincoln Child. I love their stuff, esp Pendergast but this was so corny it was uncomfortable to listen to.
Pass on this one guys.
Lincoln and Child, both individually and collectively, used to write great novels. I am sad to conclude that their novels are just not as good as they used to be. In particular, this novel was, at best, half-baked.
The set up was fine. I was hooked! And the story went along . . . until . . .
I found myself hearing plot details like (quasi-spoiler that I will try to be vague enough to avoid) "Well, that will only be a problem if it's X, and we know it's Y!" (At which time you KNOW that they were wrong, it is going to turn out to be Y, and you have a very good idea exactly what is going to happen.)
Worse, was after the book ended, and I suddenly realized all the loose ends that were never tied up. Personally, I hate that as much as anything.
If you want to have a good listen in the nature of a quasi-mystical thriller, I commend many of Lincoln & Child's earlier collaborations UNTIL "The Wheel of Darkness." That is when, if I may borrow the metaphor, these guys "jumped the shark."
For example, try any of the following:
The Ice Limit (Very Good)
or any of the early Pendergast novels, up to said "Wheel of Darkness":
Relic (Also very good)
Still Life with Crows
The Book of the Dead
Dance of Death
Well rounded characters, more suspense, a better narrator
It was blah, utterly forgettable! It had all the right stuff for a suspenseful, intriguing story and it fell short in every way. The characters were all equally neutral, none possessed any particularly likeable or even unlikeable qualities.
More nuance, variation in the voices. It was hard to tell at times who was speaking b/c the voices were all the same. And all were virtually toneless.
It had a good premise and was written by an author who has written some wonderful books in the past. That's what kept me listening, I kept thinking it would be great any minute!
I'll be VERY hesitant to purchase any future books by this author, I'll probably wait for any new books to appear at my local library rather than waste my money on a something that the author seems to have not put any particular effort into.
But this book was really disappointing. Most of the work was done by conversations like --'Where are we going now?'--'Sorry, but you'll have to wait and see.' --'What do you want from me?' --'I can't tell you yet.'--'Why am I here?'--'It's mysterious. No, really. It is very mysterious.'I found the characters superficial and unrealistic. The story line was is not stimulating. Maybe the author wanted to target teenagers and I am just not the right demographic.
the story line, I pretty much knew the whole time what was going to happen
After reading other reviews about this book, I most likey will check out others from Child. Looks like others are much better then The Thrid Gate.
he has a nice voice
The story was interesting mostly for the info on Egyptian history. My biggest problem was the narrator. He just didn't seem to care about the story at all. No emotion, no attempt to make the characters distinct. Not one of the author's best stories,made worse by the narration.
Child's latest is entertaining, if not up to the high standards set by his best collaborative efforts with Douglas Preston (I thought the two authors explored an archeological mystery far more successfully in Thunderhead) . In The Third Gate, Child takes an interesting mix of subjects ranging from near death experiences and scientific exploration to an ancient curse, sets his story in a typically remote location and spins a well-paced, exciting tale. Fans of books like The Ice Limit, Riptide and Deep Storm should have a good time with this one. I did!