Customer Reviews: 30 Pieces of Silver: An Extremely Controversial Historical Thriller (The Betrayed Series Book 1)
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on July 14, 2011
30 Pieces of Silver is a very controversial religious thriller. The style is a bit similar to the DaVinci code in that the characters are on the search for controversial religious relics, and a secret society does not want the relics found. That's it for the similarities though. 30 Pieces of Silver is very much it's own story. The premise in 30 Pieces of Silver is forensic archeology natured, and definitely unique. The novel blends a touch of romance, action adventure, and dangerous situations together.

30 Pieces of silver is a compelling, brave, controversial novel that will leave readers contemplating possibilities long after the story has been read.

This review is not an easy one to write, as the book is highly controversial, my thoughts are a bit mixed. As I said earlier, 30 Pieces of Silver is a religious thriller. The characters are all in search of a discovery that could drastically change modern Christianity. I myself was raised with a very conservative Christian upbringing, and, while still Christian, I am now more progressive and have a pretty open-mind (I loved DaVinci code and had no problem with the religious implications at all). However, the assertions in 30 Pieces of Silver are very shocking and so outrageous that my comfort level was tested and pushed. In the end, whether I just did not believe the assertions or they were just too much for me, my impressions of the book were affected.

I loved the thrilling action and the depth created between the characters and their motivations, but the controversial religious assertions were a bit too controversial for my personal tastes. Even so, I still find myself thinking over the book and the assertions, definitely a thought provoking story. I must commend the author for creating such a memorable, standout novel.

Who would like this book: Readers who enjoy controversial or religious thrillers will enjoy this novel. 30 Pieces of Silver is thought provoking and exciting, a good read.

Who would not like this book: Readers who hold and value traditional Christian beliefs, or conservative readers will most likely not enjoy this novel.
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on January 15, 2011
Wow! I am so impressed when a (relatively) new author creates such a compelling, exciting and potentially controversial novel. The action is non-stop, the locations are intriguing and the characters are appealing. There is tension, romance, harrowing escape after harrowing escape all weaved within a story that captures your interest and keeps you guessing until the very end when you are floored by a surprise hook followed by an even more unexpected uppercut of an ending.
From the opening explosion at the base of the Eiffel Tower uncovering a trove of skeletons to the final scenes throughout Italy, the story involves a search for the remains of Jesus. Rebecca Monroe is "saved" from the clutches of a snake by Sgt. Brandt and his special ops team deep in the Ecuadorian jungle and directed on a mission to aid her former professor/mentor/lover Dr. Lochum. This begins a rollercoaster ride that is intertwined with an equally interesting tale of Jesus and Judas and their travels and trials.
The characters are likeable and believable while not being stereotypical of the genre. Sgt. Brandt is a macho, military type but also a devout Catholic very knowledgeable in Bible history while Dr. Monroe is attractive, intelligent and handles herself well under pressure. The adversaries are a shady organization known as The Knot, with an intriguing pair Tok and Petir as emissaries. The pair are more than the sum of their parts as you will realize as you read the story.
There is a blossoming romance between Brandt and Monroe that is interrupted by Dr. Lochum. Although their attraction may be predictable there many detours along the way that keep the reader unsure of their fate, The secondary characters are developed in a way that makes them not only more important to the story but more interesting to the reader.
Thirty Pieces of Silver blends action, science, romance, history, and geography all into a fascinating thriller reminiscent of James Rollins, Steve Berry or Dan Brown. It has everything any reader would want and, perhaps the best thing is, there is already a follow-up on the way continuing the exploits of Monroe, Brandt, Lopez and the rest.
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on April 17, 2012
This poorly written novel is riddled with annoying errors in grammar and syntax, missing words, and misused words that should have been caught by Word. At one point the author states that a woman is "sucking her child;" I presume the author meant "suckling." If there was an editor, he was remiss.

The plot is a riff on the Da Vinci Code, but there is no research that makes it the slightest bit historical. The author even places a disciple named Paul among the original twelve of Jesus' disciples prior to the crucifixion.
I can suspend belief and enjoy a good story, but this one was just stupid.
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on February 15, 2011
I really had a blast reading this novel! The romance was wonderful, not too over the top and the writing was superb! Don't let the fact that this is an Indie book scare you, please. It was well fleshed and better than a lot of A list authors whose work is at the big publishing houses.

I don't know how to classify this novel, it was mystery, thriller, romance, all interwoven and it was so good. If some novels feel like cotton candy, this was steak and potatoes!

I will say, however, if you are a die hard Christian (like I am) you have to keep reminding yourself this is FICTION. The writing was top notch and I look forward to the coming sequel, Havoc. Hopefully Ms. McCray won't be too long...
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on August 21, 2012
Normally I don't take the time to review an item whether it is positive or negative. However, this item was begging to be negatively reviewed simply as a warning to others not to waste their time. The amount of grammatical and spelling errors in this book is embarrassing, you will notice several in almost every single chapter. The author clearly thinks she is clever as it shines through in her writing style but it is truly common and repetitive. She appears to find a word she likes and beats it to death while not being able to come up with other synonyms, "blanched" and "hissed" immediately come to mind. While the concept seems interesting it is so poorly executed that is loses all appeal. Proofreading would have helped this book as the author seems to forget what she previously wrote. At one point she spells it "Levi" then a few pages later she spells it "Levy" and towards the end she spells it "Carpuchin" and then again a few pages later "Capuchin." Truly embarrassing.
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on November 20, 2012
This has got to be one of the very worst books I've ever read. It is ridiculous. Do not be concerned that it is controversial; it isn't. For that to be so it would have to make sense. Not even in an Indiana Jones movie have there been so many gun battles, explosions, secret underground chambers, rocket launches (sometimes underground--how do you do that?), sword waving monks who appear from nowhere toward the end--but who don't seem to deter our intrepid heroine from reading tiny scriptural notes on bones--pretty neat, translating ancient text, under fire and then performing an impromptu transfusion underground as well. I kept on to the end because I honestly wanted to see if it could get any more over the top. It did but still I'll never get those hours back. Is there any way to assign a book 1/2 a star--for unintended levity? Really, the rating system fails to indicate how bad this is. Be warned.
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on March 14, 2012
The controversial part of this book is how it got published, I read the first part for free on my kindle and then was asked if I'd like to buy it. It was pretty interesting up to then, so I bought it. Boy, did it go down hill. The typos and words missing increased (who proofs this stuff). The plot was not developed and the action scenes were totally improbable.....they kept getting more and more rediculous as the book went on. The ending was bizare as nothing was developed to support the conclusion; little or no groundwork was laid for the conclusion. Plus, the DNA testing for a 'super gene' never went any where. I have this book on kindle....I will put it up for loan and you can keep it!
2727 comments| 155 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 19, 2011
If you're looking for globe-trotting adventure in pursuit of ancient secrets, check out Carolyn McCray's 30 PIECES OF SILVER. This ambitious blend of religion, science, and para-military is sure to hook fans of the genre. McCray's description of the world, from the rainforest of Ecuador to the streets of Budapest and from the Judean past to the globalized present, is filled with just enough of the right kind of detail to make you feel as if you are right there with her characters hunting each new piece of the puzzle. All of her characters are memorable and deeply human. The relationships between them are as much a part of this story as the twisting, breathless plot. I'll admit it took me some time in the beginning to get my bearings in this book, and at times throughout I felt pulled along by the narrative, however, by the end I felt it was a worthwhile read and a successful first novel for McCray.
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on May 5, 2012
I should have known from the way the author hyped her own work that it was not going to be very good.

The plot was interesting in the overview, but the details were un-researched. For instance - speedboats that go 200 mph across open ocean and in which one can sleep while doing so (obviously there was no research done at all on boats). The battles started out ok, but then devolved into nonsense, way beyond belief.

The plot twist about Christ and Judas was seen coming pretty early on.

The ending was disappointing.

And the plethora of hype that the author puts into the additional material after the end of the novel has enough desperate self-promotion to ensure I will avoid any further work by this author.
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on December 18, 2011
Although, at this point, there are 27 people who hated this book, I found the story interesting and exciting. The same features they criticized--too much violence and implausibility--are also part of Dan Brown's popular works (which they claim to have liked). 30 Pieces of Silver can also be compared to the Indiana Jones and Laura Croft movies. It is an adventure novel first, with a controversial religious angle. If that genre is to your liking you will keep turning the pages. Were I the editor I would have changed some parts but it's still not a bad read as is.
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