All of creation suffers, young ones. Only in accepting our own mortality can we make a difference. Only in bearing the burden of our failures can we find the strength to go on. Only in detachment from glory, or honour, or jealousy... from life itself can we hope to spare others from grief.
We are Doom Eagles. And we are dead already.
Author: Steve Berry ISBN: 0-345-50438-0 Publisher: Ballantine Books Pages: 464
Reading Time: 6 day (02/01/2008 to 07/01/2008)
"Forged of the exquisite gem, the Amber Room is one of the greatest treasures ever made by man-and the subject of one of history's most intriguing mysteries. German troops invading the Soviet Union seized the Room in 1941. When the Allies bombed, the Room was hidden, and it has never been seen since. But now, the hunt has begun once more."
Well, this was the second book of the year and I must say I was dissapointed. The only good think about the book was the Amber itself. The theme. Like many, I was (and remain) intrigued by the mystery of the Amber Room, but even that premise could not get me through this tedious, poorly-written "thriller." Everything in the book didn't felt right.
From the beginning, the personages, the plot and the end... well the end was the cherry on the top of a bad cake. Anti-climax. I like historic novels but this revisionist history at the end didn't bought me...After one year of reading it I still remember some parts and I must say I won't be buying more books by Steven Perry unless I read an excerpet before.
About the Amber Room. Amber the nectar of the gods... Originally it was given by Frederick William of Prussia to Peter the Great (Russia) to celebrate an alliance against Sweden. Peter's daughter, Empress Elizabeth perfect it in the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoe Selo, the Amber Room was a true wonder. The wall panels were made of amber, pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle. During World War II, German soldiers made off with the panels and the decorative items inside (also made of amber). They have never been discovered, and their disappearance remains one of the great mysteries of the war.
Rachael Cutler is a judge in Atlanta, Georgia and her father, Karol Borya, was originally part of a Soviet group trying to find the Amber Room and other antiquities stolen by the Nazi's during the war. When her father dies under suspicious circumstances, he leaves her clues about the location of the Amber Room. Two unsavory characters are also involved in the search. Suzanne Danzer and Christian Knoll are "Acquisitors" who work for entrepreneurs who belong to a group called Retrievers of Lost Antiquities. The nine men who make up this group accumulate stolen treasures (with the help of their Acquisitors) for their private collections. Rachael and her ex-husband, Paul, take off for Germany to follow leads left by Borya. Unfortunately, Knoll and Danzer are following close behind, leaving many dead bodies in their wake.
The characters... I think the author don't like womans.. or met one. They're all bitches. The only difference between the "heroine" and the "villianess" is which side of the law they happen to be on. Also, the heroine acts in ways which are unbelieveably stupid. For example, she suspects foul play in the death of her father and believes the Amber Room has something to do with it. In the next minute, she tells a total stranger everything he could ever want to know about the Amber Room, and worse yet, goes off with this total stranger in the middle of Europe to an abandoned mine in the mountains without telling anyone her whereabouts? And this woman is a Judge?!?!
Right... The husband (or ex) does almost the same thing, showing every single letter related to the Amber Room to some random woman he's known for about 5 minutes. For a lawyer if he acts this way he must lose every case...
And the villians? The villians are a shade or two slightly more interesting than the main protagonists, but their actions are too stupid to be believed. They want to find the Amber Room, right? They find the only two living people in the world who might know its whereabouts and what do they do almost immediately? That's right, kill them! Of course! That makes perfect sense. Or, you know, they might've maybe held them and tortured them for information. Just a little suggestion.
In the end if you like your book like Da Vinci Code then by all means... Buy it. If you like your books with more character depth and plot then stay way...