LJ's Reviews > The Eight

The Eight by Katherine Neville
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Sep 12, 08

bookshelves: suspense, new_york_city, france, middle-east, contemporary_post_1945, georgian_1714-1811_1820-37
Read in December, 1988

The Eight - Ex
Kathleen Neville

The Montglane Service, an ornate, jeweled chess set given to Charlemagne by the Moors, is said to hold a code which when deciphered will bring great power. Nations and individuals have schemed to possess all the pieces. As the set is dispersed during the French Revolution, a young novice risks her life to safeguard it. Alternating with her story are the present-day efforts of a U.S. computer expert and a Russian chess master to assemble the set and solve its mystery. Studying the code involves musical notation, chess strategy, Fibonacci numbers, and mysticism.

I loved this book and have re-read it a couple times. Fans seem to gravitate either to the story in the past or the contemporary story. I'm on the contemporary side. I loved the character Cat and Cat's romance, albeit a small part of the story, with the Russian, and her friend Lily with the Rolls, and the poodle. Overall, it was a captivating adventure and a great read.
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Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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message 1: by Meg (new) - rated it 3 stars

Meg I am in the middle of reading this book and I am starting to freak myself out! First, Bobby Fischer just died. Second, Heath Ledger, whose birthday is 4/4. Are you noticing any weird coincidences?
Meg



Cathie This story sounds wonderful and I'll have to get it. I like Barbara Erskine who writes both in comtemporary and past lives, which this review reminds me of.


message 3: by LJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

LJ I really enjoyed it. I personally liked the story in the present better than the past, but there are plenty of fans who will argue the opposite.


message 4: by Meg (new) - rated it 3 stars

Meg Most people haven't even heard of this book.


message 5: by LJ (last edited Sep 12, 2008 08:33AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

LJ There were a lot of people who read it when it first came out (1988) but it has been awhile. It's too bad none of her other books ever lived up to it.


message 6: by Meg (new) - rated it 3 stars

Meg Well it is funny my mother gave it to me to read a few months ago. I loved learning about chess and the mathematical connections. It was intriguing. I haven't read anything else by her.


message 7: by LJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

LJ I recommend not reading her other books. Her second "Calculated Risk" was okay but not great and her third "The Magic Circle" was, to me, awful. It's very long, the characters so convoluted I had to create a genealogical chart to keep track of them and I hated the ending. So it will be interesting for me to read her new book. I dearly hope she had a strong editor. We will see.


message 8: by Meg (new) - rated it 3 stars

Meg Please let me know. I am always interested in the nonbest seller authors. Formulaic writing is sometimes entertaining but not always what I am looking for.


message 9: by Deda (new) - added it

Deda Makinde What about her book, Fire? Is it worth reading? You've actually put me off getting the two you mentioned.


message 10: by LJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

LJ Unfortunately, I don't think "Fire" is worth reading. For me, Neville has turned out to be a one-book author. Sad, considering how much I loved "The Eight."


Gabriella Gaita Yeah - sadly... Fire didn't satisfy me either, even though it was fun to revisit with those great old friends Cat and ... Oh let's not ruin the " surprise"!


message 12: by LJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

LJ Sometimes, you just can't re-capture the magic of the first book.


message 13: by Carol (new)

Carol I have had this book forever and still have not read it. Thanks for letting me remember to dig it out and put it on my bedside table. Some of my favorite books have been written by authors who wrote only one books and that was enough for a lifetime.


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