Heidi's Reviews > The Eight

The Eight by Katherine Neville
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Sep 28, 09

bookshelves: historical-mystery, historical, written-review
Read in March, 2009

I bought this book because the combination of history, suspense and mysticism seemed promising, and because I'm writing a book which partly takes place in a France of the past, as this one does. Alas, while the story was mildly diverting, the characters were so one dimensional it took my breath away. Our heroine goes through more perils than Pauline while barely turning a hair, and the parade of incredibly handsome men with mezmerizing (green, blue, grey, amber, take your pick) eyes was just embarassing. However, I gave three stars for this reason: the author knows her history and geography. Having lived in France, I know when language or history sounds inauthentic, and this was pretty much spot on. The travel, from the French revolution in Paris to the OPEC conference in Algiers to the haunts of the wealthy in New York City, was entertaining. She's read enough science and knows enough about chess to make it sound right, though I'm not sufficiently knowledgeable about these topics to be sure. And she kept her butt in chair long enough to write a lengthy and intricate book -- I know from experiece how difficult that is!
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Heidi I bought this book because the combination of history, suspense and mysticism seemed promising, and because I'm writing a book which partly takes place in a France of the past, as this one does. Alas, while the story was mildly diverting, the characters were so one dimensional it took my breath away. Our heroine goes through more perils than Pauline while barely turning a hair, and the parade of incredibly handsome men with mezmerizing (green, blue, grey, amber, take your pick) eyes was just embarassing. However, I gave three stars for this reason: the author knows her history and geography. Having lived in France, I know when language or history sounds inauthentic, and this was pretty much spot on. The travel, from the French revolution in Paris to the OPEC conference in Algiers to the haunts of the wealthy in New York City, was entertaining. She's read enough science and knows enough about chess to make it sound right, though I'm not sufficiently knowledgeable about these topics to be sure. And she kept her butt in chair long enough to write a lengthy and intricate book -- I know from experiece how difficult that is!


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