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.
A great adventure / mystery read!
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.
This is in my top five favorite books. Fascinating, engrossing mystery, hard to put down. Past and present events, puzzles, codes, chess and more.
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.