"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." — Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Last Ember by Daniel Levin

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Summary: An antiquities professor uncovers a mystery, a historical cover up, and a relic of history that governments and fanatics would kill for.

My hormones are responsible for me picking up this book. I admit, the author photo of Daniel Levin sucked me in. Isn't he a hunk?

Unfortunately, this novel frustrated and bored me with all the complicated characters and angles. It's an ambitious novel, an attempt to combine the best of Indiana Jones (archeology made sexy) and a Jewish version of The Da Vinci Code (revisionist religious history) but based in Rome. Evil American lawyers, devoted religious fanatics and experts, Italian scholars and researchers, earnest antiquities police and a lost love from the past.

I couldn't finish this book, but here's a summary from the author's webpage:
Jonathan Marcus, a young American lawyer and a former doctoral student in classics, has become a sought-after commodity among less-scrupulous antiquities dealers. But when he is summoned to Rome to examine a client’s fragment of an ancient stone map, he stumbles across a startling secret. The discovery reveals not only an ancient intelligence operation to protect an artifact hidden for 2000 years, but also a ruthless modern plot to destroy all trace of it by a mysterious radical bent on erasing all remnants of Jewish and Christian presence from the Temple Mount.

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