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Experiencing "THE THIRD GATE" BY Lincoln Child

  • Dec 28, 2012
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Rating:
+3
The idea of the "paranormal" or the "woo-woo" element is strikingly popular these days. If such books bother you, or you find them offensive, The Third Gate by Lincoln Child is not for you. The paranormal as well as the idea of near death experiences play a major role in this novel.

Professor Jeremy Logan bills himself as an "Enigmologist" and is quite successful at it in addition to being a professor of Medieval History at Yale. What really drives him is explaining the unexplainable---whether it be spiritual or scientific. It is precisely that aspect of his life that, after considerable cloak and dagger, will have him stationed in the legendary "Sudd."

"'Imagine: a region thousands of square miles across, not so much swap as a labyrinth of papyrus reeds and water logged trunks. And mud. Mud everywhere, mud more treacherous than quicksand. The Sudd isn't deep, often just thirty or forty feet in places, but in addition to being horribly honeycombed with braided undergrowth, its water is so full of silt, divers can't see an inch beyond their faces. The water's full of crocodiles by day, the air full of mosquitoes by night.'" (pages 45¬-46)

It is in this wet and foul place treasure hunter Porter Stone has assembled a team of scientists and workers of all types and placed them on a floating multiarmed station with any equipment they need. They are to locate the tomb of King Narmer. The pharaoh that many believe united all of Egypt thousands of years ago long before the birth of those who built the pyramids in Egypt. Time is of the essence as the Af'ayalah Dam is near completion near where the team is working. When the dam is completed it will not only destroy a legendary ecosystem, its deep waters will flood the area making it impossible to find the tomb.

Not only is time running out to find it there seems to be a curse on the project. Beyond the fact that every tomb has a curse on it of some type to protect it, there are very strange happenings at the isolated station. Scientists and others report hearing voices chanting ancient texts, figures appearing out in the marsh, floating lights, and various other strange occurrences are happening. As the days progress and some sort of entity makes its presence known more and more survival becomes an issue for Logan and others as they work to discover the tomb and true history of King Narmer.

Despite its heavy use of the paranormal and near death experiences, at its heart this is an adventure story featuring modern day scientific explorers pushing the envelope in their quest for knowledge. In this case it is a legendary King of Egypt, an inhospitable place with difficult and dangerous working conditions, and a group of folks who will start to crack in various ways under the increasing pressure of isolation. Add in the element of the strange using near death experience - little of which can be revealed without undermining the book and is not mentioned on the jacket copy for good reason- and all the elements are there for quite the thriller.

As the author notes he has taken considerable liberties with Egyptian History to tell this tale. A tale that borders on the fantastic by the end while still being utterly believable. The Third Gate, while a little bit more out there than some of his other books, is still a very good one. Not only should it appeal to mainstream readers, it should also appeal to those who deliberately look for a bit of the strange or paranormal in their reads.

Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2012

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More The Third Gate: A Novel reviews
review by . December 28, 2012
The idea of the "paranormal" or the "woo-woo" element is strikingly popular these days. If such books bother you, or you find them offensive, The Third Gate by Lincoln Child is not for you. The paranormal as well as the idea of near death experiences play a major role in this novel.    Professor Jeremy Logan bills himself as an "Enigmologist" and is quite successful at it in addition to being a professor of Medieval History at Yale. What really drives him is explaining the unexplainable---whethe …
review by . June 22, 2012
An exciting page-turner with a bit of a limp.
If you are a fan of stories about Egyptology, mummy's tombs or curses, you will definitely enjoy The Third Gate by Lincoln Child. Even if you aren't a fan of those things (and I am not really), it is still an exciting, fast-paced mystery/adventure that I think almost everyone could enjoy.      I am very sensitive to supernatural elements and am not a fan of the horror genre, and this book leaned that way from time to time; however, the strong writing and exotic location …
review by . June 17, 2012
So what do you get when you take a rich archeologist and plenty of technology, and mix it with a search for an Egyptian tomb complete with an ancient curse? You get Lincoln Child with his novel The Third Gate. You also get a novel that has plenty of tense moments, paranormal activity, and a sense of wonder when it comes to imagining things not yet discovered or still buried after thousands of years. This was not a novel that I found easy to put down...      The main twist that …
review by . May 16, 2012
Novelists have had a field day with books about Egyptian tomb curses, ever since the uncovering of King Tut's tomb in the 1920s. Some of these books have been good, and some not so good. There have also been a plethora of mummy movies scaring (or not) the daylights out of viewers. This well written book is the latest entry into the mummy curse field.      The main action takes place in a desolate and dangerous place on the upper Nile called the Sudd, where an archeological …
About the reviewer
Kevin R. Tipple ()
Ranked #123
My stories have appeared in such magazines such as “Lynx Eye,” “Starblade,” “Show and Tell,” and "The Writer's Post Journal" among others and online at … more
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“Lincoln Child’s novels are thrilling and tantalizing.” 
 —Vince Flynn

"Bestseller Child (Terminal Freeze) more than succeeds in making a mummy's curse terrifying in this superb supernatural thriller...Child evokes fear through understatement...Readers will hope to see more of [lead character] Logan in a sequel."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Ample gadgetry, New Age soul-shifting, and pyrotechnics sufficient to employ a stable of stuntmen when brought to film: Child’s newest is the sort of thing to delight all those who got wrapped up in The Mummy.Think, a Dan Brown-ian adventure amongst Pharaohs ready with a pocket full of curses."
--Kirkus 

"Its characters are well drawn, and the mystery is nicely handled, keeping readers guessing as to whether something supernatural is going on here. Of the author’s solo novels, this could be the best so far."
--Booklist
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