This took me forever to get through! I'm not sure why, since I enjoyed it, but it just seemed to get longer and longer as I went along. Well, up to page 400 or so, when things really started to take off!
Now, what to say about the story without giving too much away.... For most of the book, I found myself enjoying the modern storyline a bit more than the one in 18th century, although every now and again that would switch around. I think that was mainly because I enjoyed Catherine Velis's sense of humor, and you didn't see much like that in the earlier time period. The book is rich with details and appearances by famous figures, which, along with the plot, make it both fun and a bit overblown. The bits about the beginning of OPEC were very interesting to read, especially with the way fuel prices are once again a major issue. And all the little bits and pieces of information about the many locations in the story were fabulous! Perhaps that's why the book took me so long to read -- I didn't want to miss any of the nifty little details, and there's hardly a page without them!
Overall, a very good book. Not quite as great as I had heard -- and I figured out several of the twists in advance -- but a book that holds my attention for 600 pages with a plot based around a board game (blah!) has to be pretty great!
If you liked the DaVinci Code, than think of The Eight as a better written, better researched novel of the same genre, with a more complex plot. I couldn't put it down. I really liked the way Neville brought the past to life, and tied it to the modern narrative. Some parts are so jarringly real they are hard to read, but they drive the intensity of the book.
I've read this book twice, something I rarely do - and this book was equally satisfying both times. Katherine Neville does a great job of immersing the reader into both the 18th century and 20th century plotlines. There are rich characters, wonderful exotic locations, international intrigue and romance...what more could you ask for in a novel? A must-read in my opinion.
Similar to Da Vinci Code (although it came first), it centers around the mystical chess set of King Charlamagne. The story follows two storylines in different time periods. Although somewhat slow in the middle, it's a very good read.
This was a very good book. The twists and turns and the element of a treasure hunt was well done. That being said, this book took..me...forever!...to read. I don't know why. The story was compelling, and while it was extremely detailed, you could tell the amount of research that went into this book was huge.
There were a few too many historical figures thrown in, and at one point I actually laughed out loud when one recent historical figure barges into a room and makes a scene. It wasn't necessary but it was humorous.
The characters were well developed, and well liked, and even though there were quite a few players in the Game, it wasn't that hard to keep them straight. I did like the historical half of the book a bit better than the more modern, but it was also nice to remember what 1973 was like, with no cell phones, computers were just coming into play and the Cold War was ramping up.
Definitely worth a read.
This is a very good book, especially if you are familiar with the game of chess or like math. I'm neither interested nor knowledgeable in either, but I still enjoyed it. There are several places within the book where it drags or gets too wrapped up in details, but these instances are short lived. The pace always picks right back up and gets you hooked again. Feel free to email if you have any questions. ~LeAnn
The Eight is a fairy tale, romance, historical fiction and suspense story all rolled up into one novel. It's a little over the top and a little long at 500+ pages. However, it is a fast, entertaining read. And it helps, if you know anything at all about playing chess!
A well-told story that grips you from the beginning. It is filled with intrigue. While it reminds one of the DaVinci Code, it is not the same. Author Neville does an excellent job of taking one from the 1700s to modern times as she flips back and forth in time in telling the tale. Great development of characters, never a dull moment. Katherine Neville has done an excellent job of weaving in her characters with the story. This was a great read right to the last words. I look forward to reading the sequel "The Fire."
Like Dan Brown, Neville uses a few historical facts and events to base her story on. If you liked "Code" you'll probably go for this one too. It's a multi-level story of the hunt for Charlemagne's Chess set, which according to legend has magical powers. So pull up a beer (or iced tea) and some chips, it's gobnna be a long evening's entertainment.
This was a fast moving story, or I should say 2 stories. One takes place in the 1700's and the other in the 1970's. The author did a great job of melding the 2 stories to a common goal - to figure out the magic formula of the eight. The heroines reminded me of female Indiana Jones's. It was a fun ride, although it was quite a long book.
A reasonably good book, if you don't mind maintaining a major suspension of disbelief throughout, and can handle the writer's somewhat limited style. Purple prose, often clunky transitions from one scene to the next, and some rather predictable events (except when things happened for no apparent reason other than that the plot needed some excitement)--I often had to grit my teeth to get through. And the name dropping! I lost count of the historical figures hijacked to appear in roles major and minor. At least the story, as it wandered between past and present, was easy enough to follow, and showed some evidence of underlying research. I enjoy this sub-genre, but didn't find this to be a particularly good example of it.
Interesting, and loaded with historical info, but very difficult to follow. Not a book I would recommend to a friend, unless they understood chess very well and had an excellent knowledge of the French Revolution.
This is one of my all time favorite books because it is so complex. It is not a beach read, but one where you can lose yourself. Written in two time frames, during the French Revolution and modern day, the action switches back and forth and is sometimes a little hard to follow. But this is well worth the time to pay attention. It is astonishing that this is the author's first novel. The story is so intricate and characters are so well developed, it was a pleasure to read. The story of the chess set and its parallels to the characters will stay with you for a long time.
The book takes place in two times - present day (1970's) and the 18th century during the French Revolution. Those interested in the occult will love this book - I didn't because it was too far out there for me.
Well it was okay at best. I think if you are a chess player you will enjoy this book better than I did. The historical part set in early 1800s was quite interesting, but modern day story I found quite boring.
New York City, 1972Catherine Velis is a computer expert for a Big Eight accounting firm. Before heading off to an assignment in Algeria, Cat is approached by an antiques dealer with a mysterious offer: His anonymous client is trying to collect the pieces of an ancient chess service, purported to be in Algeria. If Cat can bring them back, there will be a generous reward.
The South of France, 1790France is aflame with revolution, and two young novices- Mireille de Remy and her cousin Valentine- burn to rebel against their constricted convent life at Montglane Abbey. Now their means of escape is at hand. Buried deep within the abbey are the pieces of a chess service once owned by Charlemagne. Whoever has all the pieces can play a game of unlimited power. But to keep the Game a secret from those who would abuse it, the pieces must be scattered throughout the world.