Member Reviews

I just couldn't get into this book. It is well written and I think I was expecting it to be different - less about the magic for some reason.
Recommended for someone on vacation as Inex travels and it might put you in mind of that while on a cruise, for example.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC. #sponsored

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Part historical fiction, part fantasy, this book captures the imagination and brings you along to Egypt with Inez Olivera! Growing up, Egypt was always a place where Inez's parents lived most of their lives, with occasional visits to her at her aunt's house in Buenos Aires. She always knew she was competing for their hearts with the other country. Then, one day, she learns that her parents will no longer return home because they have mysteriously died while working on a potentially big discovery, Cleopatra's tomb. Inez, in search of answers, sets off against her family's wishes across the ocean. Once in Egypt, however, Inez realizes she may not be able to trust anyone, not even family.

I enjoyed the atmosphere of the novel, and the puzzles Inez had to put together! There were some parts that were slow, but the romance was cute and there were some exciting twists. I also noticed there seems to be some Easter eggs for people who enjoy the story of Aida (which I love the musical!). Definitely a fun read, and I plan on continuing the series!

Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for the ARC copy!

Read by audiobook 🎧 The narration was fantastic and captured the character voices so well!

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This is like if the mummy met death on the Nile in the best way possible-the description absolutely nails it!! I didn’t find it slow at all, and the twist completely threw me. I can’t wait for the next book!!

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I had zero doubts as to my rating, and that's because this could probably be used as the perfect example of what a 3 star book looks like for me: had potential, but got too repetitive, and didn't inspire enough enjoyment.

This is often categorized as YA Fantasy, and it is my humble opinion that calling this book a fantasy is quiiiiiiiiite the stretch. Perhaps I am being too anal with the difference between a fantasy novel and a magical realism novel, but I honestly would forget that there was magic in this world whilst reading. And maybe that's because there is also huge focus on Egypt—be it Ancient Egypt or when the book is set, the early nineteenth century. I do think Ibañez did a good job with crating this atmosphere that transported me to Ancient Egypt, but in no way was I pulled in by the "fantasy" aspect. Maybe this is just something different, a mix of historical fiction, magical realism, and mystery?
Unfortunately, this novel, with its many elements, did not work for me. I didn't like the overall feeling of an intensely detailed book that transports me to Egypt with just the word "magic" thrown in to explain what might seem an important plot point, but is barely treated with any sort of whimsy.

The repetitiveness. I don't know why this book has 400 pages. Because I am pretty sure I read like three main narratives over and over again. I don't even think it's worth to expand on this point. Repetitiveness is something that tends to put me off, and in this book it's what started killing my enjoyment. I didn't even get halfway before it started feeling like I wasn't getting enough information or pull from the chapters.

Why is it not lower than a 3?

Becauseeeee I really enjoyed Ibañez's writing. And, that's part of how I know it's a 3 star, because it had potential.
I feel like I could have totally loved this if it just felt more concise and structured as a whole. Or even just better plot execution.

I am tempted to grab the sequel...I will have to wait and see how I feel.

I would recommend this to its age demographic, or just any YA reader. I am glad an author like Ibañez is giving the YA crowd something different. The overall concept shines through despite any qualms, and it's all due to Ibañez's writing.
I felt like I could very clearly see what was being described to me. I can even close my eyes right now and look back on scenes I pictured whilst reading. It was so vividly written that they are now quite visceral memories, in a way.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press/Wednesday Books for an ARC of this in exchange for my honest review.

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2.5 stars!

I went into this book extremely excited because I love the movie The Mummy, and this was supposed to give The Mummy vibes. Unfortunately, instead it took me almost four months to read and in fact in that time I watched both The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, which highlighted how this was really a poor comparison.

Unfortunately, I can't say there was a single character that I enjoyed. Inez had little to no personality besides wanting to literally exist in Egypt and pine after Whit (who wasn't giving anything), Whit was described as brooding and intriguing (honestly where???), and Ricardo was SO annoying and treated Inez poorly for reasons I still don't understand.

The pacing of this book was also kinda awful. I was excited for them to do some archeological things but most of this book was spent just meandering. I often found myself skimming because I was simply so bored. Don't even get me started on the villain of this story...

Finally, the magic system of this book was completely unexplained and also seemed like it barely mattered? It did not seem that there was much thought about the magic except as a vehicle for moving the plot forward.

I will say, I did appreciate how well researched the Egyptian history was and it did feel as if the author was very passionate about the entire process. This was just unfortunately not the book for me and I don't think I will be continuing this series.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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What the River Knows is touted as "The Mummy meets Death on the Nile" and I'd say that was a fitting description based on my experience with it.

What I liked a lot:
🎧 Excellent audio narration
🇪🇬 Different than usual setting
😱 a cliffhanger that suggests I will for sure need to read the next in the series
👍🏻The mystery storyline
✨the magical elements

What worked a bit less well for me:
⌛ The pacing
🤷🏻‍♀️The young adult drama and tantrum like moments
🙈 Trying to remember a couple of the characters (I'm sure this is a *me* problem)
😕One frustrating family moment

Overall, I'm not mad I read this but I expected to live it more than I did. So - you win some, you lose some. A few of my friends loved it significantly more so I'll share their reviews!

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This was originally sent to me as a digital ARC from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley and I never got around to reading it until now.

This seems to be marketed as a readalike for the 1999 film of The Mummy. I'm so glad I did not know that because I didn't feel like it resembled that at all and I would have been disappointed otherwise.

I can tell you that this was a vibrant blend of ancient Egyptian mythology, historical fiction, mystery, romance, and magical elements. The magic system created through the ancient Egyptian artifacts felt unique. It was fun to see how that magic system worked throughout the story.

Ines was a little too naive for me at times, but I appreciated her determination and steadfastness. I think I would have actually given this book an additional star if it didn't take Ines and Whit so damn long to admit their feelings for each other. Almost 15 hours in the audiobook is how long I had to wait for them to kiss!

The writing in this book was very immersive, from the boat rides on the Nile, the markets in Cairo, to the dig site. I was able to envision these all clearly from the way Isabel describes them. The cliffhanger ending!! I am on the edge of my seat waiting for November to come so I can find out what happens next!

I need to talk about the narrator for a second, Ana Osorio. She did such an amazing job with multiple accents. I believe throughout the book, she used accents for the following dialects: Spanish, British, French, and Arabic. They all flowed so well! An amazing talent.

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A fantasy set in Egypt? Count me in!

This was a fun read, once I separated out that it was not like The Mummy as it was advertised. It had some elements that were a little reminiscent of the 90s movie, but just because it is set in Egypt in the same relative time period with some archeological elements, doesn’t quite make it like The Mummy. Once I made that distinction in my mind, I was able to enjoy it a lot more.

It was hard to figure out some of the character’s motives, but that didn’t really take away the rich world or the history included in the story. The magic system was really interesting but I wish it was explored a little more.

I will definitely be picking up Where The Library Hides when it is released.

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press/Wednesday Books, and Isabel Ibanez for an e-arc of What the River Knows in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and author for the copy of this eARC for my honest review. All ratings and any reviews are opinions of my own.

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A fun and interesting adventure that kept me guessing. This reminded me a little of the Samantha Knox Novels by Jenny Elder Moke. If you are a fan of this books you will love this book. It is an adventure full of mystery and deception.

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I had such a fun time with this story!! I cannot wait for the sequel to come out! I loved these characters and the comparison to the Mummy movies was spot on! I couldn't stop picturing the main characters as Rick and Evie. The one thing that I struggled with was the magic system, I am a little shaky about how "magic touched items" happen, but I am sure I will be able to nail it down on a re-read before the second book. My library has ordered several copies and they're constantly on hold/checked out and I am so glad I was able to read this story early and purchase this title for the collection!

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Wow, this was such a fun read! I was immediately sold on the premise, and the fact that it was billed as THE MUMMY meets DEATH ON THE NILE. I really enjoyed every part of this novel. The pacing was pretty good throughout, considering the length, and I absolutely loved Inez's journey from a somewhat sheltered and neglected girl to someone who puts her life at risk for those she loves. The magic was well-explained and believable, and the author's descriptions of the setting were lush and transportive. Overall, I felt it was a very strong first book of a duology, and I am very excited to pick up the sequel in the fall.

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Absolutely love this adventurous tale of a girl searching for answers about her parents’ mysterious dealings. The estranged uncle and the reluctantly helpful love interest who deludes himself into thinking he is uninterested in the fmc are only the surface level aspects that led to me enjoying and yearning for more of this book, this world, and these characters.

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I was so excited with all the marketings, cover, and timeline at the front of this book. However, the reading experience itself is such a let down.

I can't stand the FMC. She's far too naive and gullible. The MMC didn't impressive at all and there's no chemistry between them.

The history has a potential to be better written and make it more exciting. The whole vibe is flat and gloomy and I don't like to be in Inez's head much longer.

There are a lot of plot twists which for me personally, didn't work out. The sacrifice in the end was unnecessary and despite everything they've been through, come in just passing in the end.

Idk I don't understand the author's stand does it mean the characters in this story are another visitors digging up Egypt's rich history and jeweleries??? If indeed the author is with the Egyptians, it would be much better to include native Egyptians in the books, and I don't vibe with the book revolving Egypt mythology without Egyptian characters.

Oh, and the magic system!!!! It could be better written bcs it started off good but didn't really useful when needed in the crucial time.

The only thing I like is how Inez is excellent at drawing.

If you're into character driven story started in Egypt laced with murder mystery and plot twist, with a smallest hint of magic and strangers to lovers romance, you might want to give this book a go.

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*I received an e-arc via Netgalley from the publisher. Thank you for the opportunity to review. All thoughts are my own.*

I loved this book so much and it was one of my top reads from 2023! It’s been compared to The Mummy and Death on the Nile, and it totally gave me those vibes! I loved the setting in Egypt and felt like I was transported there to the past though the beautiful writing. Isabel took me on an unforgettable adventure!

If you love witty banter, romance and ancient Egyptian history I think you will enjoy this one too! It had such an astonishing finish, and I CAN NOT WAIT for book two!

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I really enjoyed this intriguing and beautifully written story! It takes place in 19th century Egypt and folllows the main character Inez as she hunts for answers after her parents' mysterious death. I loved the world building and depictions, I could picture everything so vividly as I read! The characters were so well written with a lot of debth and secrets, you don’t know who to trust! This story was full of adventure and twists with a hint of magic and romance. The ending was definitely an emotional rollercoaster and I can't wait for the sequel after that ending!!

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I feel like I’m getting a lot of five stars lately, but is it really a bad thing? Maybe I just have GREAT taste? Either way the streak continues with this one.

Since last books was on Egyptology I felt like this was the perfect next read for me. This book follows Inez as she journeys through Egypt, accompanied by Whit,her uncle’s secretary/spy/muscle, trying to figure out what happened to her parents and also find Cleopatra’s tomb.

This has a delightful sprinkle of magic in an interesting new expression for me, and I loved the liberal dosage of Egyptian history and archaeology. This was booster as giving The Mummy vibes, and as an archaeologist who was inspired to my field by that exact movie, I have to agree. The forbidden flirtation, enemies to lovers tropes did it for me. The scenery? Did it for me. The TWISTS? Shooketh. The author has a glorious way with dialogue, I loved how Inez and Whit bantered throughout. I really enjoyed this and stayed up until 1 am last night to finish. I am now desperately waiting for the second book!!

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Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an e-arc of What The River Knows by Isabel Ibañes in exchange for an honest review.
I was immediately transported into the world of 1880’s Egypt. The way Isabel Ibañes uses her words to create these rich and vibrate scenes is nothing short of extraordinary.
Inez’s wit and conviction not only had me giggling but kept me locked into the story.
And the last act of this book- wow. Just wow. I lost sleep because I simply couldn’t out it down. And now I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel that comes out later this year.
5/5 stars

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I thought I knew the trajectory of the story was and was definitely wrong, and excited to be wrong. The end definitely took me by surprise and I can't wait to see where the story heads! I hope to get more details on how the magic system works and maybe 🤞🏻 some resolution. What is real and who can Inez trust?

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Since reading WHAT THE RIVER KNOWS, I have not stopped thinking about or recommending it. Isabel Ibañez’s book is one of the most creative and fun novels I have read in a long time. The description of “The Mummy meets Death on the Nile” suits it perfectly. I haven’t read many historical fantasy books set in Egypt, but I loved this one!

I didn’t expect the twists and turns of this adventurous race, and the rivals-to-lovers romance kept my pulse racing! I loved the FMC Inez Olivera so much. She is so cool—everything I yearn to be, lol.

And, oh, the ending! 🤯 I need the next book now!

Thank you, Wednesday Books and Netgalley, for the arc!

Content warnings: familial death, grief, gun violence, kidnapping, abandonment, misogyny, gaslighting, classism, infidelity, alcoholism

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