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The Medusa Amulet

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  829 ratings  ·  151 reviews
Benvenuto Cellini, master artisan of Renaissance Italy, once crafted a beautiful amulet prized for its unimaginable power—and untold menace. Now the quest to recover this legendary artifact depends upon one man: David Franco, a brilliant but skeptical young scholar at Chicago’s world-renowned Newberry Library. What begins as a simple investigation spirals into a tale of da ...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Bantam (first published April 26th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,059)
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Jennifer
First, I won this as a First-Reads giveaway and appreciated the opportunity to get an early look! Reading makes up about 90% of my job, but every script or novel I pick up is still exciting; books that arrive in the mail at random are an extra delight.

There is a tremendous idea in this book, and the core of the story itself is clever and interesting. Truly, an excellent beginning.

That said, the writing leaves something to be desired. So much of the book is dependent the reader investing in the m
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Jennifer
I Love Kirkus Reviews. They're generally the bad guy of the review world so if they like something, odds are it'll be good. They loved this and I only thought it was okay.

A librarian at the prestigious Newberry Library in Chicago is asked by a wealthy patron to locate an item created by an idol of his, Benvenuto Cellini, an Italian Renaissance artist and sculpter. In return, she will pay his expenses to Italy and assist him in prolonging his sick (with cancer) sister's life.

Here begins his whi
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Rick Fisher
Excellent follow up to "Blood and Ice".
This novel has to be broken down into two parts. Past and present. The historical sections dealing with Benvenuto Cellini are excellent. Four star ratings. I did not enjoy the present day scenarios as well, until the ending.
Still, a nice read. I thoroughly enjoyed historical Italy and reading about some of the masters of the art world.
Elena
Diciamo 2,5, dato che la trama nella seconda parte diventa meno melensa e un po' piu' accattivante. Ma e' inaccettabile che qualsiasi libro, di qualsiasi genere, tratti cosi' alla leggera l'uso delle citazioni di una lingua straniera, probabilmente con l'idea che tanto nessuno si rendera' conto che quelle citazioni non hanno alcun senso o sono completamente sgrammaticate.
Marsha
First, I must say that I won this book through First Reads and I'm glad that I did.

I actually enjoyed this book and it brought me back to a genre that I used to read voraciously, but haven't done so for a while. It did remind me of the Da Vinci Code in that it combined history, mystery, a connection to the present day, and action. But, this book did have its own personality and allure for me. In this book, David Franco, a renaissance scholar at the Newberry Library in Chicago was approached by
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Vicky
How can a twenty-first century man meet a great renaissance master and battle one of the darkest historical figures of all time? That’s what you’ll find out in the Medusa Amulet.

Historical figures are given immortality in the books we read, but is it enough? For some, the guarantee of athanasia is something to be taken, achieved not in books and art or actions, but in purpose.

David, of Chicago’s Newberry library, is given the task of finding the Medusa Amulet, crafted by Renaissance artist Benv
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Denya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anna-Lisa
It was a nice and fast read. I enjoyed it most for Cellini and Caterina, yeah even more for them as for David and Olivia.


*** german review ***

Inhalt: David Franco restauriert alte Manuskripte und ist ein Bewunderer des florentinischen Künstlers Cellini. Er bekommt von einer reichen Frau den Auftrag, ein Artefakt zu suchen, das angeblich von Cellini, der nicht nur Künstler, sondern auch bewandert in den dunklen Künsten war, geschaffen worden sein soll, um ewiges Leben zu schenken. David ist skept
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VJ
I savored this book, with all of its historic and artistic references. I was exposed to fictitious facts that caused me to go back and research some historical figures and works of art. I like a work that makes me seek more knowledge.

The slow development of the story was very good for me. I dislike having too many elements and characters introduced all at once. By the time I reached the final part of the narrative, the resolution of the story fairly flew along with me hanging on in the tailwind!
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Julie
I won this book through the Goodreads First Read Giveaway on 04/08/2011 and received it on 04/20/2011!

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time!!! I absolutely love how Masello wove fiction and history together to make this wonderfully mysterious and gripping story. Masello really grabs you by the collar and pulls you into the storyline quite quickly and then yanks you around a little. That sounds really horrible ... but it's amazing!! You really think that the story is going into
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Jennifer
First of all I won this in a Goodreads Giveaway so Thank You Goodreads!!

3.5 stars...the last 100 pages might get 4 stars! It was good and I really enjoyed it. The blend of art, history, mythology, love, and the supernatural made for an interesting read. It was not a super fast read for me. There was a lot of history aspects and art that although I enjoyed made the story slow going in many parts. I wanted more ACTION!! The story felt like it was missing something most of the time and there were a
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Billjr13
I won this book so I would like to thank Goodreads for an advance copy. I am happy to say I enjoyed this book quite a bit, it had some interesting and unexpected surprises and it was really well written. In The Medusa Amulet, Robert Masello, who also wrote Blood and Ice, brings us a thriller with an unusual mix of the supernatural. David Franco, a bright young renaissance scholar at Chicago’s Newberry Library, is in search of an artifact that could help save his sister’s life and earn him a prom ...more
Sara
I won this first-reads copy so a big thanks to Goodreads for that!

I took a while to read this book because there was so much information to absorb and I didn't want to miss out on anything, hence my review being so late.

To start, I will say that I loved the history in this book. The historical references to Rome and Florance simply fascinated me as does anything pertaining to Italy. The fact that there was a medieval, renaissance undercurrent kept me reading! I also liked the settings in France
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Caroline
The Medusa Amulet is of the archaeological-thriller genre of novel, with a magical/mystical bent (think Raiders of the Lost Ark). It is about the search for La Medusa: an amulet, created in renaissance Italy by artist Cellini. Cellini was a student of the dark arts and the amulet is said to have the power of immortality. Wealthy Kathryn Van Owen believes so, and she hires idealistic scholar David Franco to find it. The bad guys have also sent men after it. And David, meanwhile, has a personal mo ...more
Gracie
I won this book on goodreads giveaways!

So this is how i think this book was written. The author was just sitting around one day and wanted to write something but couldn't figure out what so he wrote a bunch of historical terms on slips of paper then pulled three at random out of a hat and wound up with: 15th century Florence, black magic and the Nazis. I say this because those are 3 pretty disparate themes that he managed to tie together in this book. I'm trying not to say this like its a bad th
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Natalie
I received an ARC of this novel through Goodreads.

This book was a fairly typical action-adventure story with a touch of the supernatural. The plot was interesting and the characters decently written, but there was nothing really special about it. The ending and the identity of the mysterious villain was very predictable but not unsatisfactory.

I rather liked the idea of the Medusa legend being used to give immortality. However, when you have all of the villains in history to choose from, why pick
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Rebecca
I won this book through first reads, which was exciting!

I enjoyed this book, even though thrillers aren't my preferred genre, which is romance. My preferences in reading could have prejudiced this reading somewhat, so keep that in mind. I found the historical and international settings of Florence, Rome, and Paris truly fascinating. I also really appreciated the author's descriptions of archival research since I, too, am an academic.

However, I enjoyed the historical couple of Benvenuto Cellini
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Nikki
I won a copy of this from the First Reads section and I have to say, I was really excited about it! Thanks GoodReads!

I loved all the travel, art, architecture and art history that was a major part of this book. I enjoyed the 2 intertwining stories of present day vs. Renaissance and how they were brought together in the end. I'm not a literary critic by any means; I just know a good story when I read one and this is it. My husband started reading it as I was about half way through and we had to f
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Jonathan Tomes
I would not have purchased Robert Masello’s The Medusa Amulet based on the title or even the jacket blurb. The jacket blurb sounded interesting, but as my epublishing editor says, “So many books, so little time.” I probably would have passed on it except that I had read the author’s Blood and Ice about a year ago and thought that it was brilliant—somehow making a mix of vampires, cryogenics, and Antarctic explorers entirely believable with a thrilling, scary plot. So I bought his latest book bas ...more
Chris
Very good book involving some ancient legends of Perseus and the Medusa leading to an amulet that offers Immortality. The story is mainly broken into two distinct storylines that eventually weave themselves into eachother all at once.

In the first, present day, David Franco is a librarian at a museum in Chicago. He is tasked to find La Medusa, an amulet created by Benvenuto Cellini that offers its user immortality if operated in the correct method. In his search he meets Olivia Levy, a Jew living
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Bonnie
What first drew me to this book was the historical aspect, and I wasn't disappointed. I was expecting a quest set in the present that would unravel the history as it progressed, but instead there were almost as many chapters dedicated to the past as the present, and all of them were described in a way that leads me to believe Masello must have done quite some research into the time periods.

It is an easy to read book with descriptions that lead to questions and revelations. The main protagonist
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William Bond
After finishing The Medusa Amulet: A Novel by Robert Masello I must say that I am a little disappointed. I really enjoyed the read, and even though the pace lulled at a few points, I found myself still enjoying the possible twist and turns yet to come.

(view spoiler)
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Kristen
*I won this novel in a "first reads" giveaway. Thanks, Goodreads!
Entertaining read. Art history meets mythology and conspiracy theory. The novel jumps back and forth between present day scholar David Franco's search for an amulet carved with the head of Medusa believed to have powers to grant immortality, and the journey of the artist Cellini through the centuries who crafted the amulet.
Great premise, but with all the jumping around in time, the author doesn't dwell long enough in any one scene
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Monica
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Giuseppe
Un bel libro che mi ha fatto appassionare alla storia, che però in alcuni punti risulta diluita.

Una nota: il titolo del libro c'entra poco e niente con la storia: Dante, infatti, è solo uno spirito che compare a Cellini, nel prologo. Il suo ruolo è marginale, perciò non capisco perché la Newton abbia tradotto il titolo originale "The Medusa Amulet" con "333. La formula segreta di Dante"...
Robert Dunn
This book is similar to those by Will Adams, Steve Berry , Dan Brown and Simon Toyne that use old mythology with a good guy / bad guy situation. The history was interesting but the story so far fetched that it was silly in parts. Not my type of book.
Carlos
Una historia muy bien planteada, llena de elementos que llaman a leer el libro: investigación, magia negra, artistas de renombre, épocas clave de la historia europea y mundial... El trabajo de documentación que ha hecho el autor es meritorio. Para aquel que le haya gustado un libro como The Last Cato, le recomiendo que le eche un vistazo. Además la manera en la que plantea el desarrollo del libro, alternando el protagonismo de los capítulos entre los distintos personajes, hace que se haga muy ll ...more
Betty
The story charges between past and present, with the time periods cleverly connected through the mysterious amulet. Historical anecdotes and art history are smart background to a novel that moves forward at breakneck speed. The author has a light touch with supernatural elements, making them integral to the story without ever feeling forced. The novel is grounded in facts about the artist Cellini and the author's deep knowledge and intelligence shine through at every turn. The hero David Franco ...more
Pam
I won this book through first reads

This story is a historical mystery kind of along the lines of the DaVinci Code. The story goes back and forth between the present and the hunt for the Medusa Amulet and the past, shortly after the amulet was made.

The story follows a college professor/library curator's quest to find the Medusa Amulet for a very rich widow, Mrs. Van Owen, who promises him a lot of money as well as a cure for his dying sister. Of course there is another faction trying to find the
...more
Trelesa
Thank you Katie for listing the giveaway, and thank you Goodreads for hosting "First Reads". - received 4/20

A fascinating story with fully developed characters, plot twists, and a great ending! Great details of art and history are woven in to form a vivid backdrop. The story switches between the past and present - adding more clues, characters and details that build to the final confrontations and resolutions. Masselo slowly unfolds the mysteries of the story for the reader, until all the bits
...more
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Robert Masello is an award-winning journalist, TV writer, and the bestselling author of many novels and nonfiction books. His most recent thrillers include BLOOD AND ICE, THE MEDUSA AMULET, and THE ROMANOV CROSS, all published by Bantam/Random House.
He is also the author of two popular studies of the Occult -- FALLEN ANGELS AND SPIRITS OF THE DARK and RAISING HELL: A CONCISE HISTORY OF THE BLAC
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