Monday, May 16, 2011

Eight for Eternity by Mary Reed & Eric Mayer

Published April 1, 2010.

In January 532 mobs ruled Constantinople, capital of the Roman Empire. Against a murderous backdrop lit by raging fires, John, Chamberlain to Emperor Justinian, must find those seeking to use the Nika Riots to dethrone the emperor. But are the ringleaders still in the city -- or even alive? Porphyrius, the most famous charioteer of his time, may know more than he tells about the mysterious disappearance of two men under imperial guard. What roles are a pair of brothers with a distant claim on the throne playing? Does a headstrong young girl hold the key to the mystery? With the fate of the empire at stake, will General Belisarius and his armed troops side with the rioters or remain loyal to Justinian? To some the riots portend the end of the empire, to others the end of the world itself. John must untangle a web of intrigue in a city where death holds court at every corner before the escalating violence in the streets removes all hope of finding those he seeks. (

DNF. I just couldn't get into it. I selected it for review because I liked the history aspect. Constantinople on the falling side of the Roman Empire? Yeah, that interests me. A lot. Plus a murder mystery thrown in? Sure, I'll give it a try.

But it just didn't work for me. First I had no idea until I started reading the book that this was the eighth book in a series. The subtitle didn't really set off any triggers or anything. Not that I think the prior books would have added any depth. Just reading what I read this one could stand alone. I think that was its purpose.

I read up to the halfway point and I just didn't find the writing all that engaging. It's supposed to be a murder mystery but I didn't feel any tension, any suspense, nothing. I was just reading words for words' sake. Half the city was burning because of mob riots but I was like meh. Okay. I just felt like there was a haze between me and the story, that I just couldn't quite reach it.

What kind of weirded me out a little was the emphasis on eunuchs the story had. The main character is a eunuch but, personally, I think it's mentioned more than what his situations merited. I just didn't find it pertinent to the story most of the time it was mentioned so every time it was, it drew me back out. Not that I have a problem with eunuchs. It's just I wasn't used to this many eunuchs so predominant in the plot. It was weird.

I guess if you have the patience to read something in a slightly more "historical" word then you might be able to get through Eight for Eternity but everything cycled together, it just wasn't for me.
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