Saturday, November 29, 2008

2008 Book 102: Last Breath

Book #:102

Book Title:Last Breath

Author:Mariah Stewart

Publisher:Ballantine Books
Pub. Date:2007


Started:November 25, 2008

Finished:November 28, 2008

Time to Read:4 Days

Back Cover / Inside Flap:"As renowned archaeologist Dr. Daria McGowan readies the most important project of her career - a university museum exhibit showcasing the priceless artifacts her great-grandfather unearthed a century earlier in the Middle East - she makes a shocking discovery: Many of the most significant pieces have vanished. Panicked, Daria turns to the FBI.

Solving the mystery is an assignment that Connor Shields is more than happy to accept: Daria is the same intriguing blond archaeologist he's had on his mind since their paths first crossed two years ago. Working together to track down the stolen artifacts, Daria and Connor discover a trail of bodies - collectors who have met brutal, bizarre ends at the hands of a killer whose murderous methods are based on the rituals of an ancient civilization.

Amid rumors of a curse and mounting pressure from both the FBI and the university, Daria and Connor race to unmask their enemy and unravel a mystery stretching across oceans and centuries. All the while, an ingenious murderer follows a sinister plan to gather the coveted antiquities and one last acquisition: Daria."


Review:I'm giving this book my middle of the road rating - it had just enough good elements to keep me intrigued with just enough that drove me nuts to make me shake my head at the tricks authors sometimes employ.

Let's discuss the good first. The characters of Daria and Connor are very well developed, albeit not so overdone that the author wastes precious words. It is, after all, a book of under 300 pages. Enough details are shared that these people could be someone you know from church. And they are likable people, with typically human foibles. The plot is interested and fast-paced - again, we're racing to a conclusion at under 300 pages. Stewart doesn't belabor any points and relies on her readers to be intelligent enough to keep up. Well done.

And the bad. The "antiquities with questionable origins have a curse attached to them" story is a bit overdone. I have think of a handful of other novels that I've read on just this topic. Don't get me wrong; it's interesting. And I love the subject matter, truth be told. But it's already been done, and multiple times. Stewart walks a fine line between an innovative new way to tell the same story, and succumbing to cliches. My judgment is that she stays on the "I'll recommend this book to others" side of the line, but depending on your thoughts on story lines that have been done time and again may make you feel differently.

Overall, I enjoyed and I do recommend!

If you have read or are planning to read this book, please make sure to stop back by and leave me a comment to let me know your own thoughts!

From my library to yours,


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