Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx by Max MccoyIndiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx by Max Mccoy

Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx

byMax Mccoy

Mass Market Paperback | March 26, 1999

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It is the most coveted of all ancient artifacts. In it is written the history—and the fate—of every human being. And he who owns it writes his own destiny. Now Indiana Jones follows a trail of danger, magic, and archaeological mystery through the war-torn Orient, from Rangoon to the Egyptian desert, searching for the secret underground hiding place of the all-powerful Omega Book. But with a beautiful woman seeking her missing magician husband, and a vengeance-crazed Japanese spymaster hot on his heels, Indy is running out of time. If the Omega Book falls into the wrong hands, not only his own fate but the fate of the world will be at the mercy of a madman bent on writing humanity’s final chapter!
Max McCoy is an award-winning journalist and author whose novels include The Sixth Rider and Sons of Fire. He lives in Pittsburgh, Kansas.
Title:Indiana Jones and the Secret of the SphinxFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 6.86 × 4.21 × 0.76 inPublished:March 26, 1999Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0553561979

ISBN - 13:9780553561975

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good, solid Indy fun. Max McCoy is my favourite of the Indiana Jones novelists, and "The Secret of the Sphinx" is a fine example of why. More than any of the other authors, who have been good in some of their outings, McCoy honours the characters. He does not fall prey to the cheesy sentimentalism that makes Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade painful for Indy purists; instead, he makes sure that Sallah is a smart man, and not a foolish middle eastern stereotype, and he does the same with Marcus Brody, ensuring that he is an honoured professional rather than a boob. Some of the new characters McCoy introduces suffer for not having a background that we all instantly know, but these characters always fit into the story well and they do serve a purpose that is always connected to Indy (and that's what you want in an Indy adventure). If you're looking for a fun read now that the Crystal Skull has rekindled your Indy-curiosity, "The Secret of the Sphinx" is perfect for you.
Date published: 2008-05-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx In the adventurous pursuit of the Omega book, a magical tome that can predict the future, Indiana Jones must first seek out the staff of Aaron, the legendary walking stick wielded by Moses to stop the Pharaoh king, part the Red Sea and bring down the ten plagues of God. It's a mystical battle from Japan to Calcutta, from Egypt's streets to the deepest regions of the Temple of the Sphinx, to find the truth and defeat a maniacal Japanese warlord intent on world domination. Very cool story. Compares to Mark Frost, Katherine Neville and Rob MacGregor.
Date published: 1999-05-06

Read from the Book

1 The Tomb of Terror Mount Hua, Shaanxi Province, China--1934 "The door," the villager croaked and rapped the side of the Sacred Mountain with his walking stick. "I leave now." "No," Indiana Jones said as he batted dust from his fedora and struggled to catch his breath. The climb had been tougher than it had looked at dusk from the bottom of the mountain. Now half the night was gone and there was still much to be done. "The deal was to take me back down the mountain as well," Indy said as he placed his hands on his knees and leaned forward to ease the pain in his chest. "Or don't you think I'm coming back?" The old villager smiled serenely. He hugged his walking stick and regarded the gasping American through milky eyes. Then he gave a lazy smile that revealed a mouthful of jagged teeth as he leaned forward. "Jones pay Lo now," he said. Indy gritted his teeth. Looking at Lo's face from this distance reminded Indy of holding a pet rat and peering down its grinning snout--you didn't know when the rat was going to sink his teeth into your fingers, you just knew that eventually it would. Lo was the best guide in the province, but he was the most notorious liar as well. When Indy first came to the village of Lintong, three days ago, Lo had bragged that he had been inside all of the important treasure tombs of the Wei Bei Plain. And although Lo could name the occupants of each of the tombs anddescribe in blood-curdling detail what horrors lurked in each, Indy knew it had been a long time since the villager had seen the interior of an unlooted grave, if indeed he ever had; otherwise, he wouldn't have found him living on top of a garbage mound, begging foreigners for money to buy opium. "I don't see any door here," Indy said. Indy took a rag from his back pocket and wiped the blood from his palms, injured from scrabbling for holds in the face of the mountain. His elbows and shins ached from several near-falls, and the muscles in his lower back quivered like rubber. "Door there," Lo said. "Feel." As Indy's fingertips touched the outlines of what did appear to be a doorway, his cuts and bruises were forgotten. His hands skittered over the granite like curious spiders, tracing a perfect circle about a yardstick in diameter as they followed the edges of the door, then moved inward. When his right hand came to a stone handle carved in the middle of the door, his fingers closed tightly around it. He gave a tug. It felt as solid as the mountain to which it was attached. Lo giggled. The villager continued to chortle as he covered his mouth with his left hand, and eventually it became an insulting, lilting laugh. "Told you," Lo said. "It cannot be opened. Some say it takes the right kind of magic, others say that the door is just picture carved into the mountain." "What do you say?" Indy asked. "I tell you when I get my money." "All right," Indy said. As he counted out a fistful of bills of various countries and denominations from the pockets of his leather jacket, he asked Lo: "Why aren't you tired? I'm tired." "Americans breathe too shallow, always out of air," Lo said and made an elaborate gesture with his hands of air flowing in and then out of his diaphragm. "Must breathe all the way to stomach and feed chi, the life force." Indy shook his head. "You're not so bad for an opium addict," he said as he thrust out the bills. Lo snatched the colorful wad of money out of Indy's hand, counted it, then tucked it inside his sash. "Not always addict," Lo said. "Once best damn grave robber in mausoleum district. Then the Japanese come." Lo spat. "Now, no way for Lo to make honest living." Since the Imperial Japanese Army had seized Manchuria, raiding parties had been crossing the border with some regularity and searching for plunder in the fabled mausoleum district. The district contained the tombs of eleven dynasties of Chinese royalty, and lay just north of the provincial capital of Xi'an--or Changan, as it was called in ancient times--the "City of Everlasting Peace" at the end of the Silk Road. Bristling over the plain like a dragon protecting her lair was the jagged outline of Mount Hua, the Sacred Mountain. All of the easy tombs had long ago been plundered; for most, it was just a matter of digging into the conspicuous-looking mounds the locals called "lings." Still, Indy believed, there must be some that were beyond the reach of a shovel. Beneath the river, perhaps, or inside the mountain. Indy was counting on the latter. Besides, it wasn't all guesswork on Indy's part. He had been guided here by the inscription on the blade of a knife which said the Sacred Mountain was the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, first emperor of China. The knife had been given to Indy by a descendant of Genghis Khan during an expedition across the Gobi. "The Japanese raiders will be back at first light, so we'd better work fast," Indy said. "Tell me about this door." "Just picture carved into mountain," Lo said arrogantly. "Once, seventeen years ago, Lo and his cousins came to this spot and tied a thick rope around the handle. Then we put a log over boulder there, tied rope to end of it, and all pushed on end of log." "What happened?" "Rope broke," Lo said and turned to leave. "Good-bye." "Not quite yet," Indy said as he smoothly placed the fedora on his head, then grabbed the villager's shoulder with the same hand. "What else to do?" Lo asked. "Research," Indy said as he took his notebook out of his satchel. He held the pencil in his mouth as he flipped to a page marked by a rubber band. There was a sketch of a round door, along with its dimensions, that Indy had copied from an ancient Arab manuscript. The manuscript was unrelated to the Qin treasure, but Indy had discovered that the architects of secret places thought alike, even if they were from different centuries and cultures. The tip-off for Indy was the last line of the inscription on the knife blade: The breath of the Sacred Mountain protects the tomb of Qin. Indy now had a tape and was comparing the measurements of the door with those of the sketch. When he was satisfied, he took a piece of chalk from his satchel and, measuring carefully from a small indentation in the center of the handle, made an X on the right half of the door. Then he took a metal protractor, measured the angle from the edge of the tape, and made another X at the same distance, but forty-five degrees from the line of the first. Finally Indy measured the distance, halved it, and placed a larger X between the original marks. "Qin, old man," Indy said. "X marks the spot." "What kind of magic is this?" Lo asked. "Geometry," Indy said as he replaced the chalk and notebook and removed a rock hammer and a chisel from the satchel. The chisel was tapered to a sharp, needlelike point. "Now, I'm going to make some noise. It shouldn't take long, but it could attract some unwanted attention. Keep a sharp eye out." Lo nodded. Indy placed the tip of the chisel against the chalk mark, drew back the rock hammer, then struck the butt of the chisel hard enough that sparks flew. Lo covered his ears against the clanging sound. Indy continued to hammer, quicker and with more vigor, turning the chisel as he went. More sparks and bits of granite erupted from the point of the chisel. He stopped after a dozen blows, blew away the rock dust, and inspected the depression he was making in the stone door. "Maybe I've got the wrong spot, but from the book I found in Cairo--" Indy gritted his teeth. "No, this is it. I haven't made a mistake." Indy placed the chisel firmly against the spot, drew the hammer back, and struck. The chisel broke through--accompanied by a sound like a rifle shot--then disappeared from Indy's hand as it was snatched through the door by some unseen power. Lo placed a hand to his mouth and stepped back. There was a whistling sound as a torrent of night air was sucked in through the hole. Within seconds, the surface of the door around the hole was coated with a white layer of frost that was quickly turning to ice. "Black magic," Lo stuttered. "Not quite," Indy said when the rush of air had subsided. Indy grasped the handle and pulled. The round door, which fit like a tapered cork into the pipelike tunnel behind it, began to come forward. Lo rushed to help Indy with the door, and soon the three-hundred-pound cork was resting between them. "But how?" Lo asked. "Vacuum," Indy said. "The tomb had been sealed with a partial vacuum. Just a slight difference in air pressure makes locks and chains unnecessary. You found out that a team of horses couldn't have pulled that door away. But break the seal and equalize the pressure, and it becomes rather simple." Lo nodded. "The chisel broke through the mortared-over holes where the tomb builders stuck their hoses to pump the air out," Indy said as he brought out a battery-powered light. He strapped the lamp and reflector over his fedora and clipped the battery pack to his belt. To keep the power cord out of his face, he ran it through a belt loop over his back pocket before plugging it in. "What Jones think is inside?" Lo asked, his eyes gleaming. "The stories I have heard since childhood--mountains of gold, rivers of silver, a skyful of jewels." "I intend to find out," Indy said as he climbed into the tunnel.   

From Our Editors

Nothing comes easy to Indiana, but he doesn’t mind. The risk is worth it for the treasured and fabled items he chases. This time it’s the mythical Omega Book, hidden in a labyrinth beneath the Sphinx at Giza. The possessor of the Omega Book can learn the personal histories and destinies of every human being. Indiana’s only concern is keeping the book out of the hands of an evil Spymaster, who wants to control human destiny. This is a lively story told by Max McCoy.