Primary Genre: Mystery, Thriller
First published: 2 April 2019 by Post Hill Press
Page count: 432
Memorable Factor: Low
Ending: Very unsatisfying
Would I recommend it: Probably not
Commission Link: https://amzn.to/2DaJcRr
My rating: ★★☆☆☆
Synopsis from Goodreads
Rare book authenticator Carys Jones wanted nothing more than to be left alone to pursue her obsession with ancient manuscripts. But when her biggest client is committed to an asylum, he gives Carys an offer she cannot refuse. In exchange for his entire library of priceless, Dark Age manuscripts, Carys must track the clues hidden in a previously unknown journal, clues that lead to a tomb that could rewrite the history of Western civilization. But there are people who would do anything to stop Carys from finding what she seeks—for reasons both noble and evil. The hunt takes Carys to places she never thought she’d go, physically and emotionally; first to Wales, her estranged father’s homeland, then to bed with Dafydd, a mysterious Welshman who agrees to help her with the search, and finally, deep inside her own psyche, when the monk who wrote the journal 1,500 years ago appears and assists her in her search.
I started reading this book on March 24 and I didn’t finish it until April 11. Considering I typically finish a book every 2 to 3 days, nineteen days to finish one felt like an eternity. Something about this book just didn’t click with me and it didn’t hold my interest. I found I had to force myself to read it and that isn’t a good sign for a book. The synopsis really intrigued me though! This should have been right up my alley – adventure, old books, a mystery to solve! But it just fell flat for me in a lot of ways. Here are my pros and cons:
- Smart, strong female lead character.
- Good idea for an adventure story, but I didn’t feel like it was executed well (see Cons).
- So many story lines were dropped in this book. I won’t identify them here for fear of spoiling something in case you want to read this book, but there were minor and major storylines just left dangling.
- The major storyline that wasn’t resolved appears to be a purposeful attempt at creating a book series. If this was the case, it actually resulted in making the ending of this book wholly unsatisfying and honestly it didn’t make me interested in reading more.
- The book felt very fragmented to me. The last third of the book, where the story deals with Native Americans, is where it really went off the rails for me regarding storyline/plot.
- The supernatural aspect of the book was weird. It felt like an unnecessary element to the story and it just muddled everything up for me.
- Apparently the author felt she needed a good shock to the story, perhaps to resuscitate interest, because she started eliminating characters. Suddenly a bunch of people were getting killed! It wasn’t effective for the story and actually started making me angry. If you are going for a sequel (as I presumed above due to the unresolved ending and other plot holes) then killing off a bunch of your characters doesn’t make a lot of sense!
I really had mixed feelings about this book. I love a good adventure and this one has all the makings of a great one… but it just didn’t quite pull it off in my opinion. It almost seems as if there was a little too much going on. The book had potential but just didn’t quite get there.
Thank you NetGalley and Post Hill Press for a free electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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