Four of these books, I highly recommend. One disappointed me greatly. This year, I found several international novels that demand attention. Two of those novels are reviewed here.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Shadow of the Wind is a Spanish Bestseller, translated into English. I find authors, nowadays, don’t write as well as authors of previous centuries, so to find such a well-written modern book was incredible. I have recommended this book to everyone I know who loves to read. It takes longer than the average novel, mainly because the author knows what he’s doing and draws you into the story. You want to slow down and savor the environment the author has placed you in.
The Shadow of the Wind is a story of a young boy who finds the last copy of a book and begins to seek information about the elusive author only to find himself caught up in the mystery surrounding the author.
The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston
The Colony of Unrequited Dreams is a Canadian Bestseller. The sheer size of this book may put off some people – 562 pages; however, there are many diary entries throughout that make the book a much faster and easier read that it appears.
I found myself laughing aloud because the characters are so real and believable. From reading this book, I guess the Canadians use the term ‘irony’ for what I would use the term ‘sarcasm’ and there is plenty of that.
The Colony of Unrequited Dreams is a witty and colorful love story that doesn’t have that happily ever after ending, as which more relates it to real life. It is a historical fiction which tells the very interesting history of Newfoundland.
Map of Bones by James Rollins
Map of Bones was a very cool read. I loved it, and it did mimic The DaVinci Code a lot, but it was different in many other ways. It is action-packed and full of adventure, science fiction and mystery. Map of Bones is one of those books that draws you in immediately, and you find yourself still reading the book at four a.m.
I’m not going to ruin the story for you, except to say that if you’ve ever wondered about those three kings who came to see baby Jesus – here’s a take on their story.
Genghis Khan and the making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
Genghis Khan and the making of the Modern World is a New York Times Bestseller. This fascinating historical non-fiction is told in such a way that it seems part novel, part journal. I found this book a very enjoyable read.
My belief is that we are taught a diluted version of history in school, so I love learning the true stories. This book literally changed my point of view on the Khans and the Mongols. They brought about changes that have direct impact on our current lives. My eyes were opened to a whole new interpretation to a lot of what I thought I knew about the world.
The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry
I read another book by this author that I loved, but this book disappointed me. The plot and premise were not believable and I figured out early on what they were going to find, and did not like it one bit. If this book were as well written as The DaVinci Code, then Christians would have something bigger to scream about.
The end seemed like it was thrown together and maybe that is why I disliked the book so much. In the end, the characters did not act ‘in character’ and some of their actions did not make sense. I was very thrown off by the Muslim character’s actions in the end. Her actions made absolutely no sense whatsoever. She had evidence to support her religion, and she not only allowed a cover-up to occur, but she made an amicable business partnership with the person doing the cover-up.