Shannon and I have discussed the fact that the novel (and, presumably, the entire series) is structured around some form of the zodiac, and so this first novel is divided into three major sections, each of which is divided into four sub-sections. This leads me to believe that -- combining this zodiac framework with the traditional plot structure of beginning, middle, and end -- this entire first book may be an introduction, a way of setting up the story that will come afterward, but I'm finding that it isn't much fun to read an entire book that feels like an introduction.
It reminds me of that Ang Lee Hulk movie: you sit through an entire 2 hours of "origin story," and at the very end ... the Hulk's story finally begins. And then the end credits roll. I hated that movie, and part of why I hated it was that it consisted entirely of the less interesting part of the Hulk story, the part that gets filled in purely as the way to help you understand the actual story.
And I feel like that's what we're getting with Ægypt: nothing but the drum roll. Maybe eventually the stars will come onstage and the show will begin and cymbals will crash, but in the meantime this is one looooong fucking drum roll! And drum rolls aren't that interesting, all by themselves.