This was a fascinating biography of one of the most remarkable characters in ancient history. I had learned about Mithradates from Colleen McCullough's Great Men of Rome series, and was thrilled that he finally got his own biography. While the book is scholarly non-fiction which is well sourced, the author is so skillful that it reads like a thrilling novel. I especially enjoyed his speculation at the end about whether or not Mithradates really died in a tower as recorded by history, or was it just a ruse to fool the Romans? There was also some fascinating speculation about the fate of his Amazon queen. And the narration is first rate!
The story was suspenseful, the subplots meshed together very well, and the narrator was quite good. But the story was spoiled to some extent by a heavy dose of religious fervor which permeated the story, and seemed inappropriate for this kind of thriller. Several parts seemed way too maudlin, like the part where CIA spies rushed to intercept an A-bomb and found time to embrace Jesus.
Like the last two books, this one was fast paced, full of surprise plot twists, and hard to put down. However, the plot was so relentlessly grim that I felt worn out by it. I would have liked to see more humor and some lighter moments.
As with the last two books, the narration was excellent.
I loved the humor of this story, and the originality of a fresh perspective on the Odyssey. The author injects plenty of contemporary pop references, and adds plenty of snap to the tedious sections of the Odyssey. Anyone who has suffered through the second half of the Odyssey will love this. The narration is first class.
I bought this novel with great anticipation, having thoroughly enjoyed Daemon. And through the first half, I was not disappointed. However, there is a bizarre plot twist in the second half which can only be explained in terms of the supernatural. This is totally unacceptable for a techno-thriller, and ruined the story beyond repair.
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