What the River Knows – 5 Star Review

Releases November 14, 2023

1000/ 5 stars

This. Book. As soon as I saw the pitch for “The Mummy meets” I didn’t have to read any further. And then I binged this book in a handful of hours. Buckle up, because I’m about to give you a long list of reasons why this book is amazing. The short version is: a great heroine, a believable romance with hilarious and flirty banter, adventure, plot twists (and plot turns and plot bombs), ancient Egypt, magic, and an overall fun plot that kept me hooked from beginning to end. Will the end of this book make you need therapy? Maybe. But it’s so worth it.

Let’s start with Inez. She’s immediately a fun, strong, stubborn heroine that is easy to root for. Her cousin Amaranta sums up her personality perfectly in the beginning of the book:

“Your curiosity will get you in trouble one day.”

Inez is strong willed in the best way and despite having a relatively sheltered upbringing, she immediately finds her own strength and resilience. Inez will stop at nothing to get answers about what happened to her parents, and that is what I loved most about her. Her natural curiosity for the world paired with a stubbornness to figure out what happened to her family made her so easy to root for. She’s smart, she’s witty and funny, and she always finds a way out of the trouble she willingly and not-so-willingly gets herself into. I loved seeing Inez’s growth throughout the book and how certain aspects of her personality tie into the plot (if you’ve read this….you know what I mean.) I can’t wait to see her develop further in the next book…which seems unbearably far away.

Next we’ve got the love interest, Mr. Whitford Hayes. A morally gray bad boy who’s actually a gentleman at heart, Whit serves as the perfect swoony foil and romantic interest for Inez. He’s smart and witty just like she is, and knows his way around the underbelly of Cairo. He makes you swoon with his protectiveness, his charm, and his soft heart under his tough exterior. Their banter is 100% the best part of this book. I can also see in their relationship why The Mummy is mentioned in this pitch–I may or may not have kept picturing Rick and Evie. Also, young Brendan Fraser is exactly how I pictured Whit (even if I wasn’t supposed to…oops).

I also loved the side characters and how complex they turned out to be. Isadora is a character who is introduced later in the book and I immediately wanted to know so much more about her. She’s beautiful, a perfect lady, but also willing to shoot crocodiles in the head. I really hope we see more of her in the sequel, too.

“She looked like a damsel from a romance novel, just waiting to be saved. Except I couldn’t get the picture of her firing that gun out of my mind.”

I loved the ups and downs with Tio Ricardo, too, a really interesting character with hidden depths. I would say more about his character and his relationship with Inez, but there’s a lot of spoilers tied up in that so I won’t. Let’s just say I want to see more of him and his backstory in the next book!

The plot is another huge plus to this book. Ancient Egypt, a mystery, magic, adventure…what more could you want? As one of those kids who had that golden Egyptology books….this book immediately captured and held my interest. I loved the intertwining of magic/ magical realism and real history. The book starts a little slow, but once we get into the real plot things go quickly and don’t slow down. This book is the perfect adventurous read, especially if you like ancient Egypt like I do (and even if you don’t–it’s really that good.).

I could go on and on and on about how much I loved this book, but let me just sum it up with this: READ IT. You can thank me later.

Review by Shelby

I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Review also posted to NetGalley and Goodreads

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