HE WAS THE KEEPER – Arno Holmstrand is about to die, his life cut short by an organization intent on laying claim to the secrets he has spent a lifetime guarding: the location of the lost Library of Alexandria, and the vast knowledge it has hidden for centuries.
SHE WILL INHERIT HIS LEGACY – Emily Wess is about to have her life change beyond all recognition. One minute she is a professor of history, the next she is on a journey to the far corners of the world, deciphering strange clues left by her mentor, Arno Holmstrand. She is being tested, but for what?
THEY WILL KILL FOR CONTROL – They are the Council and crave power and position. Their corruption spreads from the highest levels of government to the assassins they employ to commit their crimes. They will kill for the ancient knowledge contained in the Library. And Emily Wess has exactly what they want.
The Lost Library is an entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable adventure that includes a heady mix of secrets, Washington politics (loved this part!), history and discovery taking you, the reader, to Oxford, Washington, Alexandria and many more cities in-between – a veritable worldwide romp! A debut title for AM Dean the book moves along at a rapid pace – read in just two days – for the most part, I never once tired of Alexandria and the secrets the city holds or old school Oxford but every now and then the book seemed to stutter a little and the pace slowed down but it always regained its momentum.
I did find that the author repeated a few snippets of discovery here and there and every now and then it lacked a little suspense, caused I believe by the occasional repetition of the plot related between characters but for the best part the story moves along swiftly and intelligently ending in a fluid and satisfying conclusion leaving you wanting more. With just 100 pages left I couldn’t put the book down; I just wanted to find out what happened.
I have always had an interest in Egyptology, ever since I was a young boy and this storyline had me hooked from the very first chapter with bountiful intrigue and a healthy – or should that be unhealthy – smattering of murder. I’ve always wanted to travel to Egypt and discover its history but never considered Alexandria, Egypt’s second largest city. The Lost Library has made me re-evaluate my thinking and I’d dearly love to pay a visit to the modern Bibliotecha in Alexandria one day, seems to me it holds more than enough secrets for me!
The blend of history and fiction allows the book to work on multiple levels. I really enjoyed how the author brings a wealth of historical knowledge to the book and there are more than enough facts and figures to satisfy the most demanding reader. Inevitable comparisons to Dan Brown will give you a sense of what you are likely to find between the covers. Puzzles galore, secret images, hidden meanings and a quest for knowledge and power The Lost Library is an intriguing conspiracy thriller written by a professor of Theology whose identity remains a secret.
The chapters are short and help with the pace; I particularly liked the chapter headings and timeline that give you an idea at how quick events are changing as you make your way through the book. Set over a few days there’s little time to catch your breath. The clues are well thought out and aren’t at all obvious, I did enjoy how the main character solves each problem and with a number of twists and turns throughout, along with a multi layered plot, it’s clear to me that the author has given the puzzles a lot of consideration. Highlight of the book for me.
Characterisation is interesting; I really enjoyed Emily Wess, the book’s protagonist and thought the author developed her well giving her more than enough history to give the reader a sense of who she is and what made her tick, a great female lead. Another character that caught my imagination was Peter Wexler although I think the author missed out here and didn’t develop him as much as I had personally wanted, others may disagree! Wexler shows great promise and I really wanted to discover more about the guy and learn more about his past history, maybe that’s still to come in Dean’s next novel!! The baddies are ruthless and leave no stone unturned as they strive to discover the secrets of Alexandria and make sure no one stands in their way but I wanted to learn more.
With my imagination satisfied and my interest in history heightened I found The Lost Library an entertaining and well developed thriller that shows a great deal of promise to a new writer in the field. I’m looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next!
- Paperback: 508 pages
- Publisher: Pan (16 Aug 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1447209516
- ISBN-13: 978-1447209515
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