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Missing the Mystery...
The Prophecy - Chris Kuzneski
Member Name: obscuredbykep
The Prophecy - Chris Kuzneski
Advantages: A new book from Kuzneski . . .
Disadvantages: Not as good as any of his previous work . .
t is seldom that I eagerly anticipate a book. Regularly, I look forward to seeing new films, listening to new albums and the like, but books don't seem to create quite as much excitement for me. The last book I was actually excited about was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, since it was the conclusion to a series I was deeply enthralled by. However, more recently, one book has been at the forefront of my mind, namely the very one you are reading a review of now, Chris Kuzneski's latest, "The Prophecy".
I knew it has been in the pipeline for release this year, and since I am on the mailing list, I knew that it was specifically out in October. So, I looked forward to trundling off to Waterstones to grab a copy. When I got to uni, I initially didn't have much time to read, what with lectures, drinking and being hungover, which occupied a great deal of my week. When the drinking died down a little bit, and my bank balance followed suit, I realised I was getting bored of watching TV in my room at night, and that I fancied getting my teeth in to a new book. It was then that I took the next opportunity to wander into the city and visit the bookstore.
Unfortunately, it wasn't out yet, but I could see his first ever book, which has just been released in the UK, namely "The Plantation", was. I am not always a fan of paying loads for books, and so decided that I would check how much it was online before buying. So, I went home empty handed. A week or two later, I remembered to check online, and so went to browse Amazon.
For some reason they had both books for the bargain price of around £3.50 each, and since I had a bit of a gift certificate left, I got both for under a fiver, with free postage. This was actually a few days before the UK release date, and the day I received them, I got an e-mail from the Chris Kuzneski mailing list saying it was due for release in a few days. I thinks Amazon jumped the gun a little.
So, I got the books and faced a though decision. Do I read The Prophecy, or The Plantation first? I had a battle of minds, until settling on The Prophecy.
The Prophecy is Kuzneski's latest, and longest book, it is the 5th in his series featuring recurring characters David Jones, and Jonathan Payne, best friends who met during their time in a top secret military order, known as the MANIAC's. Payne, a local millionaire after inheriting the family business from his grandfather, begins the novel of with hosting a local fundraising event, at the University of Pittsburgh, his attendees all local businessmen, and all dressed in their fancies tuxedo's. Of course, DJ has been dragged a long too, rather resentfully. During the middle of a speech, a young lady walks in, not at all dressed for the event, and arouses suspicions in Payne's mind, after he finishes his speech, DJ an Payne go to investigate, who is she? Why is she there?
The story then begins to unravel. As we discover what the young woman is there for, who she is, and most importantly, why she is seeking the attention of the two ex-MANIAC's, Payne and Jones end up travelling across the world, seeking help from past encounters, such as Nick Dial, head of Homicide at Interpol, and Petr Ulster, who owns an extensive collection of antiquities in Switzerland. They gradually uncover more about this mystery girl, and more importantly, about the package she is carrying...
I have now read all of Kuzneski's books, except from The Plantation. His first release here, Sign of the Cross, was incredible, a real page turning thriller, his second, Sword of God, not quite so good, but still featured a great plot, and his most recent before this, The Lost Throne, was phenomenal, and had me gripped. Unfortunately, he didn't really keep that up.
While his writing style has remained the same, which made it an enjoyable read, I found the book in general, to have no real plot. When I finished reading it, I thought "wait, what? Why did all that happen?" It just didn't make sense, and that was a real disappointment.
I think the historical content behind the book, which centres around Nostradamus, the 16th century visionary, was good, and he mixed in some interesting information and background to Nostradamus in an entertaining way, and that really contributed to the book.
The book's plot just seems too loose, and less believable, that his previous books, where there seemed to be a genuine motive behind the whole thing. In general, I didn't find it to be such a page turner, of course there were times when the plot was a bit gripping, but it often faded into mediocrity.
If you haven't read any Kuzneski, I wouldn't recommend this book. It is not at all his best work and would give the guy a bad image. I am currently reading his first book, "The Plantation", and it is so full of plot turns and gripping plot, that I find it hard to put down, so I know the guy has it in him to write amazing books, and I just hope that whatever he releases next can go back to his former, gripping plot.
Summary: Missing the Mystery...