A knucklebiter of a thriller

The Atenisti is not for the faint-hearted. Morrissey has written a thriller of our time, with a moral issue at its heart. When, in conscience, should a criminal deed be carried out for the right reasons? The international paedophile ring uncovered in this plot is breathtaking in its scope, reach and sense of impunity. Who can be trusted? Who is watching? Morrissey as a keen sense of setting and time, whether he is describing western European (apparent) sophistication or the agonisingly slow grind of the justice system in India. Who is there to protect the most vulnerable, those who cannot protect themselves?


Katherine Mezzacappa

The Atenisti

Not for the Faint-hearted

Having read and loved The Awakening Aten I was looking forward to this new offering from Aidan K. Morrissey.

Although the title has its roots in ancient Egypt, the two books could not be more different. This is a fast-paced thriller with some harrowing detail. A real page-turner that takes the reader all over the world – clearly written by someone who is well-travelled.

The Atenisti is not a comfortable read and raises some moral and ethical questions. That said, a brilliant book from a talented author!

Gayle S

The Atenisti

Classy, disturbing, globe-trotting noir.

A novel based around a secret vigilante group based on ancient Egyptian custom. The main protagonist eventually discovers other members of the group as the story unravels. However, although there are several murders, the central question is whether you believe these people should die? As the main thread is international paedophilia, then the murders are justifiably deserved. There are fabulous locations, high-culture and amazing eateries (don’t read this book whilst hungry) and some lovely pompous asides in the darkest moments to relieve the intensity. A remarkable achievement and a book all should read. The plot and action pulse in a high-octane rhythm and is deeply engrossing. Loved every page – but some of the darkness will rightly stay with me. Impactful.

David and Nicola Peat

The Atenisti

This is a well written novel, from someone who knows the period, and which can be read on several different levels.
For the lover of historical fiction it is rich in detail, containing descriptions of real battles, military strategy and the forces at the command of the Pharaoh. Boat and tomb building and religious festivals are all accurately depicted.
For lovers of character driven novels, there are so many to enjoy in this book. The irascible Haqwaset is one of my favourites. His struggles, both internal and external, are well handled. Guilt and how it affects several characters in different ways is a theme throughout.
Kha, Merit, Djoser, Maiherpri and Nahkt are all well-formed and rounded characters, with Yuya a constant presence, both on and off stage, being the thread that binds the main protagonists together.
The story of Barratarna is brilliantly told and, although I despised him when first introduced, I felt his pain and suffering, sympathising with him and his plight.
Anyone interested in the religion of the time, or tomb desecration, will not be disappointed.
The historical notes at the end of the novel I found fascinating . It is clear the author has done his research. There is so much to admire in this novel. I thoroughly recommend it.
I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Amy Ford

The Rising Aten

A beautiful, epic story of intrigue and survival, set in ancient Egypt. This author has accomplished a monumental task, bringing to life the hopes and dreams of various characters over time. This novel will thrill all those who are enamored of such a fascinating culture. There is a large cast of characters, thankfully notated at the beginning, which helps one to keep track, but their stories are so compelling and so richly detailed, I was drawn in immediately. The author, with evident expertise and knowledge of this region, invites us to enter an exciting, but sometimes dangerous world. Excellent historical novel. A must read.

Anne (on Troubador)

The Rising Aten

A remarkable achievement. Not particularly interested in Egyptian history or historical fiction, this book may have swayed me. The author has obviously researched painstakingly to ensure the sense of time and place are correct; however, it is the inner stories which make this novel. Of course, the motivations are very human, but here they are subtle. Beautifully written and crafted, the necessary rape, murder and sometimes vile behaviour are well- observed. There is also a fabulous hidden coming-of-age story at the end. Brilliant

David Peat

The Rising Aten

An accomplished first novel, The Awakening Aten is a well written and informative introduction to the world of intrigue surrounding ancient Egypt’s royal family. I enjoyed following Yuya’s rise from prisoner to being Amenhotep, and his successors’, right-hand man and that of Yuya’s fellow prisoners to key players in the life of The Two Lands. This novel has a slower start than I might have liked but, as the first in a series, it covers a lot of ground whilst settling the reader in the lives of the royal court and we’re soon reminded of the brutality that political intrigue could bring about. In order for me to be more invested in the individual characters, I feel the next story in the series would do better to focus on either a smaller cast of characters of shorter period of time, but I look forward to the next of Aidan Morrissey’s books and finding out whether Yuya’s stable influence can guide the royal family through the drama hinted at in the final scene of The Awakening Aten.

Juliet Coe

The Rising Aten

I love anything and everything to do with Egypt so I was excited to read this book. The setting is beautiful, the characters dynamic, and the plot engrossing. I loved reading about Ancient Egypt. I hope to read more from this author.


The Rising Aten

I’m fascinated by the Amarna period and live in the city where the artefacts from the tomb of Kha are. This is means I was more than happy when I read this book.
It’s well researched, enjoyable and entertaining.
I appreciated the fleshed out cast of characters, the historical setting and the plot.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.


The Rising Aten

I don’t know a lot about ancient Egypt and I am still relatively new to historical fiction. I am so glad I decided to read The Awakening Aten. This novel is remarkable. The amount of research that went into this is evident. What I loved most about it was author, Aidan K. Morrissey kept as much of the historical information factual. He only made up parts that can’t be found through research.

This is a very character driven novel. It is quite a handful of people to keep track of, but luckily, Morrissey gives us a handy reference in the beginning of the book. Each character is so richly developed that honestly, once I got the hang of who everyone was, I had no issues getting lost or confused.

The plot is told in rich details of real battles, culture and struggles. It was perfectly paced to keep me glued to the pages. This is a relatively long novel, but I read it in just a couple days. I had trouble putting it down because I felt so immersed in a culture I didn’t know much about. I learned so much through this, and I can’t say enough positive about this novel.

Fans of historical fiction will love The Awakening Aten. Though some of it is fictional, this novel is based on accurate facts and clearly well researched.


Highly recommended!!

Jessica Belmont (New York)

The Rising Aten

Partly based on factual elements of Egyptian history.

The story revolves around three men who escape jail, are then given positions by the King of Egypt and become rich and powerful….

There  are a lot of characters and it does take quite a while to get these in your head and let the story flow, but once you do you become immersed in the politics, and the culture of the gods, with murder, lies and even tomb robbing….

A character driven epic with beautifully descriptive writing that brings this ancient world to life.

@lelbudge (UK)

The Rising Aten

If you like ancient historical fiction novels that have a huge amount of factual detail incorporated, then you should consider picking up a copy of The Awakening Aten. It is set in 1420 BCE Egypt and it is the first in a planned 5 Book Series.

I enjoyed this story so much and rather than write a review about the story itself I am writing about the things that stood out for me. It is just that when I try and write a review on the story it sounds so confusing because it is such a big story, and I don’t feel able to do it justice. That makes it sound like the story is confusing, and actually, once you get into it flows wonderfully and makes complete sense!

The story has quite a large cast and the main characters have a mention in a handy list at the front of the book. What I liked about this list was that is was broken down into family groups. The author has also noted which characters are real or fictional.

The cast covers a diverse range of backgrounds from those facing death to the King. In between, there are priests, mercenaries, artists, builders and princes just to name a few. This is where that handy list comes in useful as I started to get to grips with them all.

The story itself charts the lives of the key characters, the roles they play as well as the everyday things. Here the author manages to weave individual stories that gradually build into a far bigger picture.

The research and knowledge are very evident and the inclusion of some very interesting notes from the author adds to that feeling that the details were right. I am not knowledgable in this era of history, I do know bits and pieces like most others but things just felt right as far as I was concerned.

The story itself had so many things going on and though it follows the lives of the main characters, I also felt as though I was getting a grand tour of ancient Egypt and all that was involved at the time. The story has a lot of drama and it is explored through various means. There is murder, corruption, power-struggles, religion, social etiquette, tombs, mummification… in fact, pretty much everything I would expect from this period and then a whole lot more!

This was such a fascinating and very insightful novel with some fabulous detail. Following different families as they made their way through the story. It has left me very eager to read the next in the series.

This is a book that has left me wanting to read more and it is one I would definitely recommend.

Yvonne MB – Me and My Books (UK)

The Rising Aten

I haven’t been able to read much fiction set in Ancient Egypt, I tend to stick with nonfiction on this ‘subject matter’ and I’m pretty passionate about history and for years as a child, I wanted to be an Egyptologist, but that’s just me fangirling over Egypt. So, let’s get to the heart of the matter.

The Awakening Aten. This is a promising start to a generational saga. Morrissey obviously did his research for this book, I was really impressed by the dedication shown in the history of this book. There are characters that were straight from the pages of history, many real, some purely fictional but all flowed seamlessly together and unless you recalled the list at the start that stated who was ‘real’ and who was fictional, they all blended together.

Some of you may be familiar with the story of Joseph, a biblical figure who rose from slave to being a respected and powerful man in Egypt. If you read this you’ll see similarities between him and Yuya, the man who he could have been based on. [Also a cool DreamWorks film that I really like haha]

Yuya rises from slave to the most powerful man in Egypt but he keeps his own ideology and faith while supporting those of family and friends who worship as most do in Egypt at this time period.

There is a long cast of characters for this, from all walks of life and backgrounds. An older generation their children and grandchildren those surrounded in their world.

Yuya’s friend Kha was one of my favorite characters and I really enjoyed his arc and the others as well. Being recalled to a world over 3000 years gone, it doesn’t lessen the connection I had with these characters. They were men and women who loved, toiled, and went through tragedies and triumphs no matter if they were Royalty, powerful men risen from their circumstances, or just artists who were passionate for their work.

There is a question of faith whether mono or polytheistic, and it’s interesting to see how Morrissey has taken the shift of many gods to one in Egypt’s history.

The ending has left me unable to contain my enthusiasm to read book two and I am already waiting for its release.

A rich and in-depth novel on Ancient Egypt and characters who connect to us across the ages.

I’m a huge fan and know I will return to Yuya, Kha, and the others again and again.

Hayley Reneé – The Caffeinated Reader

Hayley Reneé – The Caffeinated Reader: Review (UK)

The Rising Aten

I’m an enthousiast when it comes to everything (Ancient) Egypt so when I saw this book with ‘Aten’ in it I just thought GIVE MEEEE.
I do that often for this time period and not all books are great, but this one most definitely is!
It’s well written, with lots of details about life in all its facets in Ancient Egypt.
Certainly greatly researched.
How I envy the author after reading about it.
This said, he really did a thoroughly job and I loved every page of it.
The characters are well rounded and I sympathised with them.
I also loved that there were multiple layers or levels hidden in the book.
A brilliant, recommendable book!
I want more.

Stefanie The Magic of Wor(l)ds Review (Belgium):

The Rising Aten

The Awakening Aten is a sweeping saga set in Ancient Egypt following two families through multiple generations. One royal and one common, this epic covers themes of religion, politics, war and tomb building among many others.

I loved the setting of The Awakening Aten the most. I have not read many, if any, books set in this time period and there was a lot of detail about the customs and way of life. The description of the tombs and burial rituals were very interesting. I personally did find it drags a little in places, but I am sure a fan of character driven novels and sweeping family epics would enjoy the pacing of it more.

It is obvious how much the author knows and loves the time period and it was a very informative and interesting read.

Lisa B Reads @LisaBReads (Edmonton Canada)

The Rising Aten