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Month in Review

Reviews
The Adventures of the Hotsy Totsy by Clive Cussler
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
As Long as He Needs Me by Mary Verdick
Bone: The Dragonslayer by Jeff Smith
Bone: Old Man's Cave by Jeff Smith
Bone: Rock Jaw by Jeff Smith
Cat and Canary by Michael Foreman
Celestine, Drama Queen by Penny Ives
Elena's Serenade by Campbell Geeslin
Gentleman Takes a Chance by Sarah A. Hoyt
Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance by Paul Park
Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech
Halloween Town by Lucius Shepard
Iris by Nancy Springer
Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo
Kiss My Math by Danica McKelar
The Language of Bees by Laurie R. King
The Last Ember by Daniel Levin
The Magic Gourd by Baba Wagué Diakité
Monster Motel by Douglas Florian
Mr. Darcy Vampyre by Amanda Grange
Our Town by Thornton Wilder
Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
The Princess Test by Gail Carson Levine
Queen of Candesce by Karl Schroeder
The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel Miller
The Talking Baby by Jeremy and Karina Sweet
Thanksgiving on Thursday (Magic Tree House #27) by Mary Pope Osborne
Treehorn's Wish by Florence Parry Heide

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for The Last Ember

The Last Ember: 09/23/10

 cover art (Link goes to Powells)A couple of people recommended The Last Ember to me after I blogged about enjoying The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. Both described the book as a "Jewish Dan Brown mystery." After having read it, my response to that recommendation is yes and no.

Yes

There's an ancient mystery that surfaces when a very well preserved body is found. Jonathan Marcus, an archeologist studying at the American Academy in Rome is called into help. The discovery gives clues that leads him and others on a race to find the Tabernacle Menorah.

So on the surface, The Last Ember shares a similar set up and plot structure. There's a lot of racing around famous spots in Italy. There are rival factions who want the same treasure for their own nefarious reasons. And there's a lot of tangential discussion of ancient facts.

No

Dan Brown's books are silly. Although they are just as predictable as The Last Ember ended up being, they are over the top and fun to read. I figured out the location of the treasure and the person who would end up being the most knowledgeable and important character of the ensemble when he first showed up. In the case of The Last Ember, it made reading the remainder of the book (about 2/3) tedious to read.

I don't read Dan Brown's books because they are serious mysteries. I read them because they're like Hardy Boys books for grown ups. They start with a real place, a real piece of art and then they throw in madcap adventures, ridiculous pseudo-science and all sorts of other malarkey. The Last Ember was presented much too seriously to be any fun even though the basic mystery was just as simplistic and cheesy as a typical Dan Brown book.

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