31 May 2013


Synopsis (Fantastic Fiction)

 - Arno Holmstrand is about to die, his life cut short by an organization intent on laying claim to the secrets he has spent a lifetime guarding: the location of the lost Library of Alexandria, and the vast knowledge it has hidden for centuries.

 - Emily Wess is about to have her life change beyond all recognition. One minute she is a professor of history, the next she is on a journey to the far corners of the world, deciphering strange clues left by her mentor, Arno Holmstrand. She is being tested, but for what?

- They are the Council and crave power and position. Their corruption spreads from the highest levels of government to the assassins they employ to commit their crimes. They will kill for the ancient knowledge contained in the Library. And Emily Wess has exactly what they want.

My Take

This conspiracy thriller, describing a battle between good and evil for world domination, reminded me a lot in style of Dan Brown's ANGELS & DEMONS, THE DA VINCI CODE or even Matthew Reilly's  SEVEN ANCIENT WONDERS.

The story begins with the lost library of Alexandria, a major centre for scholarship in Egypt from the 3rd century BC to around 30 BC. Ir was supposedly burnt down accidentally by Julius Caesar, but apparently survived in one form or another until the 6th century AD. But what if, rather than being destroyed, it simply disappeared, went underground? What if it survived until the present day? How could its work and its knowledge be used to manipulate world domination today? What if throughout history the library has simply been moved from one location to another? If so, where is it now?

The tale told in THE LOST LIBRARY strains the bounds of credibility a bit but nevertheless makes interesting reading. It got me thinking about the times during history when bits of the library might have been sighted - for example, what about when Constantinople was sacked in 1453 and "lost" manuscripts found their way to the Western world and caused the Renaissance? The author poses some interesting scenarios - for example, the censorship imposed by a Keeper who decides which knowledge is to become public.

There are some pretty improbable events in the book, but it ignites the imagination, and I guarantee you will read to the end.

My rating: 4.4

Other reviews to check

About the author

A.M. Dean is a leading authority on ancient cultures and the history of religious belief, whose expertise in late antiquity has earned him posts at some of the world’s most prestigious universities. An abiding interest in the human tendency toward conspiracies, together with a commanding grasp of the genuinely mysterious contexts of real history, inspire the breadth and focus of his creative works.

His bestselling debut novel, The Lost Library, hit the shelves on 16 August 2012 as a major-launch title with Pan Macmillan, climbing into the top 10 and available now in over 16 territories and languages across the globe. His next novel, The Keystone, comes out in August 2013.


Anonymous said...

Kerrie - Oh, this does sound like a really interesting kind of thriller. I like it that it features an ancient library too. And even if it some of it's implausible it sounds worth the read.

Ryan said...

Soundsl like it would be a pretty quick and fun read.


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