Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Fifth Assassin
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on January 24, 2013
I really don't like being critical of authors because writing a book is hard work. And, according to his acknowledgements, this book took him 4 years. So I'm sorry but there are 2 main problems with this book.

First, for folks who didn't read the previous 2 books with these characters, he should have considered some recap or summary. Even though I did read the books ("The Book of Fate" introduced Nico Hadrian and "The Inner Circle" introduced the Culper Ring), I didn't remember everything from before and found myself thinking "where did THAT come from?!" (e.g., who is the dead First Lady that Nico keeps talking to?).

Secondly, mysteries are good but hopping all over the place to "create" mystery isn't good. Some chapters were 2 pages then you'd hop to 18 years ago for some snippet to explain why the main character feels the way he does about his friend. That whole 18 years ago story just seemed forced and not that relevant to the story.

When the book finally, painfully, ends, it turns out that the whole thing isn't finished. Probably for another book, which hopefully will be more tightly written than this jumble.

I've read all his books but unfortunately have to say this was my least favorite and one that I had to force myself to finish.
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on January 27, 2013
I have read many of Brad's books and they are usually pretty good. I wish i could say the same about this book, but it isn't good. This is the literary equivalent of Ishtar...this book is unreadable. It jumps all over, and is just not one of Brad's better efforts. While the concept of the book sounded good, when you get into the book, it doesn't live up to any of the hype.
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on January 15, 2013
Most of the time it takes me 50-60 pages to get into a book. I was turning the pages like a madman in this one by page 5.

This book has action and intrigue from the start to the surprising and chaotic end.

Meltzer and Baldacci seem to both be able to make librarians work as a heroes in an action/suspense book. Amazing! You take an awkward character who does what he needs to do when it is in the line...makes for great and interesting reading to anticipate how the character will adjust to the situations.

My only complaint is that the premise regarding the assassins is a bit far fetched and casts a bit of a "REALLY?" in your mind as you read the book. In a way it makes the story more interesting but a bit too unbelievable at the same time. Read and judge that part for yourself though.

This does not however detract from the fact that this is a really good action/suspense read that is imaginative and even though it is in a crowded writing genre comes off as original. The fact that Meltzer throws a lot of historical data into his books just makes them that much more enjoyable for me.

Thanks Mr. Meltzer for giving me a book good enough to distract me from the misery of a rainy day stuck at the airport.
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VINE VOICEon January 16, 2013
I tried to stick with this book, I really did. It quickly became apparent that if you haven't read The Inner Circle (I haven't) this book makes no sense at all. The characters were numerous and the plot was confusing but Brad Meltzer can write so I figured if I stuck with it, at some point I'd feel drawn in to the story. But when Beecher saw an important piece of evidence at Marshall's and Marshall's answer was "the police said wrap it in bubble wrap and bring it in" and Beecher actually believed that story, I had to stop reading. That's not exactly (at all) how police would handle a murder investigation. So I put the book aside without the slightest curiosity about what happened next or how the crimes were solved.
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on January 20, 2013
The author says he spent 4 years researching this book. The result is 4 years of his life wasted. One of the worst books I've ever read. Apparently this is a series because no one can know what's going on without reading his last book.
The plot is convoluted and confusing and really made no sense and is silly. The characters are poorly developed, shallow and have nothing to say.
Most of the questions in the plot were left unresolved, awaiting his next book I presume. No resolution at the end.
Have read several of Meltzer's prior books but never again.
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on January 20, 2013
The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer was too disjointed---it jumped around too much. I was unable to follow, got frustrated and just quit reading.
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VINE VOICEon January 24, 2013
I have loved every Brad Meltzer book that I have read. So when I saw this on pre-publication I ordered it. I was excited when it was delivered and got to it as soon as I could.

It is a conspiracy theorist book working two secret groups against each other. The first group, is a group founded by George Washington who wanted a group that would protect the Presidency of the United States. Not necessarily protect the President, but protect the institution of the Presidency. The other group is a secret society that came together to eliminate certain Presidents that were causing division in the country, mainly division through their attitudes towards the Church.

So, here we are, one group wanting to bring the fifth assassination of a President because the current President wants to unite all religions together and be tolerant and this group thinks that is an Abomination against The Lord. The other group wants to thwart this attempted assassination so that the Institution of the Presidency is not sullied by another death.

So, this is a conspiracy theory book that weaves a good story. I did think the plot was well conceived and that it did develop throughout the book. BUT, and this is a big BUT, I think that the book jerked too much back and forth from one group to another from the present to the past and kept mentioning things that seemed to have no connection truly to the story.

I will admit that Meltzer drew his characters in such a way that you thought you knew who the bad guy was but then started to question that thought and eventually you were either proven right or wrong, mostly wrong.

So, the book kept my attention, but the first half was so jerky that I had to really concentrate to finally figure out the writing style. After that it became a bit clearly and the plot started to develop.

So, I liked the book, but I can't give it a rave review because it was difficult to read, follow and digest for a good portion of the book.

So, if you are a Meltzer fan go ahead and buy the book but beware that it will be a bit harder to get into than some of his other books.
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on January 17, 2013
Some of the location and historical details are fun to read, but overall the writing style feels a bit amateurish. The story jumps around and clues are revealed without suspense and without any cleverness... The writing feels weak - characters reveal details and clues in awkward and unnatural conversations with other characters. This technique makes the reader feel stupid and takes the joy out of piecing bits of information together to try to figure out what's happening. I saw the author on TV talking about the book and wanted to like it, but was disappointed and stopped reading about 75 pages in. Sorry.
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on January 22, 2013
Did 4-star reviewers REALLY read this book?? Found characters to be unbelievable, plot muddled, and writing inconsistent with other Melzer books which I generally liked. So disappointed. And the story, such as it was, did not end....will we be given another Culper tale?
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on January 26, 2013
I thought it would be an interesting anaysis, I found it more a farfetched fiction, I never finished it. I really dont recommend it.
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