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This was my first Steve Berry novel and I enjoyed it! I enjoyed it despite Scott Brick, (Brick has ruined more audio books for me than any other reader) and I almost didn’t get it because of him, but the premise was intriguing enough – I mean, who ever really thinks about Columbus? I didn’t, but I love this type of historical fiction because it inspires me to think about the past in new and interesting ways… and the next time I see a Columbus biography in the bookstore I just might pick it up and flip through it!
The writing and storytelling here is more solid than anything from Dan Brown, but the two main characters, Tom and his daughter Alle, are a bit melodramatic – we meet Tom just as he is about to commit suicide over an apparent mistake he made some years earlier. He is interrupted by a man with a video showing his daughter being held captive by a couple of guys with rude hands who threaten to do worse to her if Tom doesn’t agree to have his father exhumed, and with him, the bad guys hope, a secret of history and religion that links Columbus and ancient Judaism to the New World! This sets Tom and Alle on a world tour adventure to discover the ultimate secret before the bad guys. The catch? Alle Does Not like or trust her father, and Tom needs to get over himself and man-up if he’s going to win this one.
Berry packs a lot into this book – the father/daughter conflict, secret sects, a Jamaican crime lord, historical flashbacks and “fun facts” about Columbus, Judaism and Jamaica – but he keeps things moving briskly enough that not even Brick’s quavering voice and clipped cadence can slow things down.
I think I'm a new Berry fan.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Ever since grade school, we have heard the stories of Christopher Columbus and how he “discovered” America. But what if the things we learned were wrong? I never realized that so many of the details of Columbus’s life are unknown. Even the most elementary aspects of his life, such as where and when he was born, remain a mystery. Like Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code," Steve Berry is able to weave together historical facts with rumors and theories to present a possible answer to one of history’s mysteries, and does so in an enjoyable thrilling manner. I have read many novels where the author has put forth a theory regarding a historical mystery. Some I have agreed with, and some I have not. What matters more to me than accepting the authors premise is how they tell the story and is their theory believable. Another thing I liked about this book was the way Berry devoted several pages at the end of this book to discussing what is fact, what is fiction, and what is conjecture in the preceding chapters. I never thought history could be so exciting and I found myself wishing that Steve Berry had been my teacher. Overall a very enjoyable (and educational) read.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful