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The Book of Fate Hardcover – September 5, 2006

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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition edition (September 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446530999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446530996
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (259 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #839,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set against a backdrop of Oval Office corruption, bestseller Meltzer's overblown thriller opens with a frantic assassination attempt on President Leland Manning, who manages to elude the gunfire. Manning's deputy chief of staff, Ron Boyle, is killed, and his top aide, the cocky, ambitious Wes Holloway, is left facially disfigured. Eight years later, his motivation and confidence drained by his handicap, Holloway still toils away for the out-of-office Manning, fetching refreshments and handling the daily social calendar. On a goodwill junket to Malaysia, however, Holloway spots Boyle, surgically altered, but unmistakably the same man who was supposed to be dead and gone. From this turning point, Meltzer (The Zero Game) follows Holloway step by excruciatingly slow step as he tries to find out what really happened eight years earlier. Authentic details about Washington politics and historical mysteries enliven the predictable path. While readers looking for efficient plotting may be disappointed, Meltzer's many fans will enjoy this substantial meal of a book. 15-city author tour. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Wes Holloway, a hotshot presidential aide, is wounded in an assassination attempt that kills the president's close friend. Eight years later, the dead man reappears, disfigured but very much alive and apparently stalking the former president. Wes thinks he can figure out what's going on, but to do so he must decipher a two-century-old code and penetrate the secrets of Masonic history. From his first novel, The Tenth Justice (1997), through his sixth, Identity Crisis (2005), Meltzer has served up exciting thrillers that take readers behind the scenes of American politics. The pattern doesn't change this time. Like the television series The West Wing, Meltzer's novels focus on the political people the public never sees and tells the stories we never hear. He could be accused here of jumping on the Da Vinci Code bandwagon, but that wouldn't really be fair. He's too good a writer to waste his time imitating someone else's work, and this novel is much more skillfully written--and far more plausible--than Dan Brown's tedious best-seller. The characters are genuine human beings--not all that common in the world of high-concept thrillers--and the plot fluidly integrates historical fact and fiction, which is even less common. Fans of thrillers that reach far back into history will be, well, . . . thrilled. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Questions from Readers for Brad Meltzer

Brad I first was introduced to your work through your History Channel show. Being a college student who loves mysteries and comic books I was surprised to see your work with my DC Comics (my favorite comics)...Anyways I just finished reading Infinite...
JW Hamilton asked Jan 22, 2012
Author Answered

First, just marry me. I love all the people who have been trying out the books after watching the show. I will say, you can read the books in any order you want. Try The Inner Circle. And most important, thanks.

Brad Meltzer answered Jan 26, 2012

Customer Reviews

Popular Discussion Topics

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  • "Writing" 54
  • "Characters" 33
  • "Suspense" 17
  • "Action" 16
  • "Emotional" 2
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Brian Baker VINE VOICE on September 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I've enjoyed Meltzer's work in the past, and I have to admit that the title grabbed me. Further, the blurb on the inside jacket really piqued my interest. This book sounded like a combination of "National Treasure" and "All the President's Men", with a hint of the supernatural thrown in for good measure. I quote from the inside book jacket: "The Book of Fate holds everyone's secrets. Especially the ones worth dying for. The Book of Fate. What does it say about you?"

Well, after reading this book, I don't have the foggiest notion what that blurb's supposed to mean. I don't even have any idea what the Book of Fate is.

This book turns out to be simply a political conspiracy book, a pale imitation of a Baldacci book, and nowhere near as good. I have absolutely no idea at all what the title refers to, there's no Jeffersonian or Masonic history in here worth mentioning, and whatever that blurb's talking about never takes place. Maybe the blurb and title were meant for some other book and got mixed up in the computer; who knows?

The plotting is pedestrian. The characters are unsympathetic; I didn't care one bit about any of them. The "conspiracy" was so contorted I couldn't even follow it. And didn't even care. This was a very clumsy book.

1.5 stars, and I'm being generous with that.
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55 of 65 people found the following review helpful By clifford on October 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have read all of Meltzers books and have to say that I am shocked at just how bad Book Of Fate is. Meltzer has a lot of talent. Its apparent if you read his earlier books. Sadly it is greatly mis-spent here.

The Book of Fate has so many holes it is difficult to point to them all. From Wes, the main characters disfiguring involvement in an assassination attempt on a future president to the "three", a group of law enforcement officers who pull off evil escapades far beyond belief.

The whole story is a house of cards. One damnably idiotic silly plot strain stacked upon another and bringing it to a point in the end that is almost laughable. I wonder if Meltzer sketched out the story before starting on this book, or if he just had some idea and it built momentum as he wrote. Either way, its a disaster. I cant think of an author actually penning out the ideas for this book and saying "hmmmmm, this is a good idea."

The worst thing is Meltzers use of the Da Vinci code phenomena. He plops in a few bits of cryptic gobley gook pertaining to Thomas Jefferson and the Masons, only it leads nowhere at all.

I would not recommend this book to anyone. I was totally looking forwards to reading it, and ended with thoughts of disgust.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Peteris Mikelsons on December 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
This was the first book I got my hands on from Brad Meltzer. This was given to me by my friend. He said that book was fine.
I fell in love with it in first pages. This book is great if you like mystery, secrets, action and stories about Freemasons. Brad will take you spinning in the mystery through out the book. It will keep you up at night time and it will be hard to put down. Really recomend it to people who like mysteries and Freemason stories. After this book I started to read more about Freemasons. Also I thing Meltzer has done a good job on research for this book.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mom of (almost) 2 on November 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read Brad Meltzer's book "Zero Game" and loved it. I just finished "The Book of Fate" (easy read - quick to get through) and found that the title and masonry dropping left a lot to be desired.

In the author's notes on page 509 Brad said his information about freemasons are based on three years of research. If he said 30 minutes... I might believe it. There was little mention of fate or masons throughout the book. It almost seemed that Meltzer knew that a lot of freemason stuff is coming out with Dan Brown soon and wanted to jump on the bandwagon ahead of Dan. It feels like he wrote this book and then later came back and added a few freemasons things in to create more buzz.

Brad should stick with politics and interplay. He knows politics. He seemed way over his head trying to be the next Dan Brown. He should refrain from making profound statements about life - there is simply no gravity. He should write about things he knows about.

Saying that... was the book fun? Yes - but Brad should stop the pity angle with his main character... it was overplayed. Was the plot worth it? Not really. Too simple in a very complicated arena of intelligence (another area that Brad only seemed to understand just a little). Would I recommend "The Book of Fate"? Change the mason draw (since there isn't much at all about freemasons) and the title.. and then maybe just for fun. But definitely read "The Zero Game."
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56 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Robert Busko TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm always amazed at the disconnect between us nonprofessional book reviewers with our paid counterparts. Some of the early reviews of Meltzer's The Book of Fate are less than stellar. However, from the still very few reviews from real readers, The Book of Fate seems to have some redeeming value.

President Leland Manning and his entourage are attending the 4th of July NASCAR race. In the Presidential limo is Wes Holloway, a cocky, hotshot Presidential aide and center character of this story. Also in the limo is Ron Boyle, the President's oldest friend. Before they complete their visit, Ron Boyle is dead and Wes Holloway is disfigured.

Fast forward eight years. Wes is still working for the former President. On a junket to Malaysia Wes spots a man he takes for Ron Boyle, supposedly dead eight years earlier. It is this chance spotting that send Holloway on a fast paced and suspenseful adventure.

Meltzer who has such hits as Dead Even, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, may not quite hit one out of the park with The Book of Fate. However, it is a good read. Meltzer sprinkles enough suspense throughout the pages that he keeps you turning the pages. The story may be a little predictable in places but keep'll get better. The addition of secret codes and mysterious places adds to the atmosphere of the book. Masonic contrivance? You decide. I thought it worked.
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