Karen Brooks's Reviews > The Templar Legacy

The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry
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's review
Aug 06, 2011

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Read in August, 2011

I usually really enjoy Berry's adventures featuring former CIA operative and lawyer, the wonderfully named Cotton Malone, who is now a bibliophile living in Europe, however, this one about the Templars just didn't do it for me in quite the same way. It had the usual ingredients that make Berry's books so readable - great characters, wonderful premise (the Templars fighting between themselves and searching for an object that to them is invaluable), and a quest that if successful can change the nature of Christianity... But.... For the first time, I found myself speed reading. I think it was because, while it's clear that Berry does a great deal of research, painstakingly ensuring that his novels have, for all their improbability, a great deal of veritas and factual grounding; and while he includes back story and history, this time there was just too much. Instead of adding richness and depth to the adventure, reading it became onerous and the level of didacticism overtook the pleasure of the narrative and Malone's adventures.

What may have also made this less enjoyable for me is the proliferation of Jesus-lit: novels that base their premise upon a religious secret that's been kept for centuries and involves all sorts of conspiracies and cover-ups and rely on the rest of us being pig-ignorant about a great many things. From Holy Blood, Holy Grail (a terrifically interesting non-fiction work) to Dan Brown and many others, the theme has been resurrected so often I just want it to die. While Berry can't be accused of over-doing it, my opinion may unfairly rest upon having consumed too many poorer versions than his that also insisted on quoting from sources and retelling religious history ad nauseum.

Mind you, while mildly disappointed with this one, it won't stop me picking up another - he's still Berry good :)
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