What happens is that there are some artefacts from Akhenaten’s era that these bad guys want. The artefacts are supposed to give them all sorts of powers. The good guys, named Kurt and Joe, are trying to stop them. Kurt and Joe kind of deal with the retrieval of artefacts from what I got; they’re adventurers too I guess, for a lack of better words. Joe is most likely an archaeologist since he mentioned doing work in that area, but he’s also apparently an engineer, so I guess we’re just supposed to roll with what ever it is that these characters specialities are. Any ways, so the whole thing culminates with them facing up against Osiris.
Considering the blatant mentions to ancient Egypt (hey, it’s right there in the title), I must admit that I was disappointed by the lack of historical discussion about Akhenaten (the pharaoh of focus), the gods, and ancient Egypt in general in The Pharaoh’s Secret. It seemed like a really great missed opportunity to have a grand clash of the past and present with a decent dose of adventure. I found the history sadly neglected for most of the book in favour of heavily packed adventure in boats and scuba diving and traipsing around in caves and shooting at people. There is technically nothing wrong with this “criticism”, it’s just that it wasn’t what I was expecting from a book titled The Pharaoh’s Secret (note the emphasis on Pharaoh). I felt very misled when, at the end, Osiris was an organization of human beings that they had to face, and the actual god whose name that is made absolutely no appearance. It wasn’t what I chose the book for, I thought it was going to be a clash of history and present with some fantasy because of the references to the gods and all that. But no, it was literally just a big ol’ adventure against the bad guys. Cussler actually did a better job of talking about the drought and political upheaval in Egypt, Libya, and two other countries than talking about ancient Egypt. I think I would have liked the book a lot more if that is what I knew was going to be happening, but the description obviously wasn’t clear (I read it more than once, and I got no indication that this is how it would go down).
That said, I didn’t dislike the book; I actually didn’t mind it. It was easy to read, and sometimes it is fun to read an easy adventure book instead of a book with a lot of historical or complicated cultural details that takes more concentration, The Pharaoh’s Secret was easy to read in comparison and easy is sometimes fun. I think that if what I described is what you know you’re going to be getting out of the book, then it is most likely a lot easier to enjoy, instead of feeling annoyed because you thought it was going to be something else and it just literally never happened.