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Official Review: Alexandria by Gregory Ness

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Official Review: Alexandria by Gregory Ness

Post Number:#1 by MarisaRose
» 29 Mar 2017, 15:14

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Alexandria" by Gregory Ness.]

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2 out of 4 stars
Review by MarisaRose
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Alexandria by Gregory Ness is the second book in the Sword of Agrippa Series. The series is a hybrid between science fiction and historical fantasy and also includes an erotic twist. Alexandria follows two distinct stories told via alternating chapters. The first story takes place in Alexandria during the period of Roman rule and features prolific historical figures like Cleopatra and Agrippa as they explore a sealed temple in search of treasure and historical artifacts. The second plot, set in the near future, follows Roy Swenson’s innovative research into dark energy through the study of dreams. A group of wealthy individuals are eager to cease Roy’s studies due to the financial losses they previously suffered with the development of new forms of energy like wind and solar. Despite the attempts to thwart Roy’s research, Roy and his peers begin live trials where they watch the dreams of preselected individuals. Things seem to be going as planned until, during the first trial, Roy is spoken to directly by a spirit from the specimen’s dream.

Dream psychology, past life regression, and the ethical implications of human trials are all explored in Alexandria. The scientific idea behind Roy’s story (the ability to view dreams) is both interesting and inventive. The author poses compelling questions about the ethical ramifications of viewing another’s dreams and the psychological impact of viewing your own dreams.

The major issue with this novel is that the story taking place in Alexandria doesn’t live up to the excitement found in the story set in the future. At the conclusion, the plot for the past story seemed half-baked and was made worse by some cringe worthy and out of place sex scenes. Moreover, the two stories don’t appear to be connected. Though a connection may come to light in the third book, the alternating plots proved to inhibit suspense because they appeared to be completely unrelated.

Overall the writing felt shallow at best. Though this is a three part series, the book is too short to fully develop the complex ideas and multiple storylines it takes on. Important plot developments are rushed and major revelations throughout the book aren’t portrayed as critical or shocking like one would expect. Similarly, the characters felt superficial and were mostly indistinguishable from one another.

The ingenuity that forms the framework for Alexandria, though exciting, lacks the detailed substance required to give this book a fully fleshed out feel; therefore, I rate Alexandria 2 out of 4 stars. Those who are fans of sci-fi stories that explore future technologies and their ethical aftermaths may find this book enjoyable. However, I would recommend starting with the first book in the series, Antioch. Lastly, the book contains mature content and thus should only be read by an appropriate audience.

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Re: Official Review: Alexandria by Gregory Ness

Post Number:#2 by Donnavila Marie01
» 30 Mar 2017, 05:41

This is what I do not understand with some books. The inserted sexual activities which are not actually helpful in the story.
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Re: Official Review: Alexandria by Gregory Ness

Post Number:#3 by MarisaRose
» 30 Mar 2017, 05:51

Donnavila Marie01 wrote:This is what I do not understand with some books. The inserted sexual activities which are not actually helpful in the story.


I agree; if not done well in line with the story they end up being more a distraction and take away from the more interesting aspects of a book. Thanks for stopping by! :tiphat:
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Re: Official Review: Alexandria by Gregory Ness

Post Number:#4 by kandscreeley
» 30 Mar 2017, 08:09

I agree with what was stated as well. It's like the author just has to throw that in there even if it doesn't fit within the story. Too bad this book wasn't done better. It sounds like it has potential.
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Re: Official Review: Alexandria by Gregory Ness

Post Number:#5 by MarisaRose
» 30 Mar 2017, 08:11

kandscreeley wrote:I agree with what was stated as well. It's like the author just has to throw that in there even if it doesn't fit within the story. Too bad this book wasn't done better. It sounds like it has potential.


Definitely a lot of potential! Just too bad things weren't fully fleshed out or better connected.
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Re: Official Review: Alexandria by Gregory Ness

Post Number:#6 by bookowlie
» 30 Mar 2017, 10:54

Nice, insightful review! It's a shame the book had a rushed plot and complex ideas that weren't fully developed, since the premise sounds interesting.
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Re: Official Review: Alexandria by Gregory Ness

Post Number:#7 by MarisaRose
» 30 Mar 2017, 10:55

bookowlie wrote:Nice, insightful review! It's a shame the book had a rushed plot and complex ideas that weren't fully developed, since the premise sounds interesting.


Thank you for the kind words :) The premise really does have potential!
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Re: Official Review: Alexandria by Gregory Ness

Post Number:#8 by kimmyschemy06
» 31 Mar 2017, 10:16

I'm so interested in 'dream psychology and past life regression' so I find the premise of the book very promising. Too bad, though, about the overall execution. Great job on the review.
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Re: Official Review: Alexandria by Gregory Ness

Post Number:#9 by MarisaRose
» 31 Mar 2017, 10:18

kimmyschemy06 wrote:I'm so interested in 'dream psychology and past life regression' so I find the premise of the book very promising. Too bad, though, about the overall execution. Great job on the review.


Thank you @kimmyschemy06 for the kind words! I too am fascinated by dream psychology as well. The author makes some interesting points about future research into the subject but I just wish the idea had been better developed!
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Re: Official Review: Alexandria by Gregory Ness

Post Number:#10 by Kitkat3
» 09 Apr 2017, 23:29

Sounds like this book had a lot of potential. It's too bad that there were so many problems with it. Good job on the review and your constructive criticism.
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Re: Official Review: Alexandria by Gregory Ness

Post Number:#11 by MarisaRose
» 12 Apr 2017, 07:47

Kitkat3 wrote:Sounds like this book had a lot of potential. It's too bad that there were so many problems with it. Good job on the review and your constructive criticism.


Thank you for the kind words :)
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Re: Official Review: Alexandria by Gregory Ness

Post Number:#12 by bobRas
» 13 Apr 2017, 06:18

Do you believe one would have to read the first part of the series to understand it, or is it somewhat self-contained?
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Re: Official Review: Alexandria by Gregory Ness

Post Number:#13 by MarisaRose
» 13 Apr 2017, 06:28

bobRas wrote:Do you believe one would have to read the first part of the series to understand it, or is it somewhat self-contained?


Hi @bobRas , I had no problem understanding the premise of this one by the end, but I would recommend starting with the first one as this book jumps right into the action without any real recap at the beginning.
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Re: Official Review: Alexandria by Gregory Ness

Post Number:#14 by TPau
» 29 Apr 2017, 05:08

Since the title of the story is Alexandria, it seems to me that the whole story should be set in Alexandria, modern as well as historical. Even if the main character in the modern half is American (?), he still could have been doing his research in modern Egypt as well. Would have made for an interesting contrast.
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Re: Official Review: Alexandria by Gregory Ness

Post Number:#15 by Ceciltrixiedom
» 29 Apr 2017, 05:52

A bit confusing. This can be beneficial to those who are good in History and who has high memory on name of persons and locations. One should have a full familiarization of the place. Sex activity mention is not well emphasized or nor clearly presented.
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