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Review: The Eight, by Katherine Neville

The Eight started out promisingly enough: it's been compared to Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, but in actuality The Eight comes nowhere near that fabulous book. As I read, I hoped that Katherine Neville was writing a parody of an action-thriller, but I guess not.

Where to begin? Overly contrived plot with more holes than Swiss cheese; really, really bad writing style with an over-use of adjectives and past participles; too much historical inaccuracy; too much historical name-dropping, so much so that this novel read like an issue of US magazine (Catherine the Great, Napoleon, Robespierre, Voltaire, and many, many other historical figures are thrown in, sometimes gratuitously); too much foreshadowing, is in, “little did I know…”. The characters were extremely one-dimensional, and I absolutely loathed the heroine, Cat Velis. The book started off well enough, but I found myself rolling my eyes the further I read. I’m all for reading historical thrillers, if the plot is enough to draw me in, but this one didn’t do it for me, I’m afraid.

Also reviewed by: The Printed Page, Medieval Bookworm, Obsessed With Books


Heather said…
Funny, I recently read this and actually liked it. I agree with you about the historical name-dropping though, and I think it was way too long. THis may be a dumb question, but are you planning on reading the sequel, The Fire, which recently came out?
Heather-Book Addiction
Katherine said…
I have an ARC of this book languishing on my shelf right now, and that's why I read The Eight. After reading the firt book, however, I'm not sure I'll attempt the sequel!
Oh dear. I just got both of her books at one of her book signings. I'm screwed.


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