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The Book of Fate Mass Market Paperback – MP3 Audio, October 1, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
When you've got a jaw-dropping plot that includes a secret 200-year-old Masonic code map hidden somewhere under Washington, D.C., plus a top aide to a former U.S. president who's killed in an assassination attempt in chapter one, but then is discovered alive and kicking in Malaysia in chapter two, you need all the skill and professionalism you can muster to avoid overkill. Luckily, Meltzer's latest bestseller has Scott Brick, a solid veteran narrator who reads every word as though he believes it, adding fresh nuance to characters who range from a Bill Clintonesque ex-president named Leland F. Manningnow making more money as a public speaker and fund-raiser than he ever did in the White Houseto the formerly dead Ron Boyle and especially Wes Holloway, a tragic figure who might remind listeners of Ronald Reagan's press secretary James Brady. Holloway, wounded and disfigured by the lunatic who tried to kill Manning but apparently hit Boyle, is at the center of most of Meltzer's hyperactive hyperbole, and Brick helps build a strong foundation by making him both touching and believable. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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."
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.