The tomb of China’s First Emperor, guarded by an underground army of terra-cotta warriors, has remained sealed for more than 2,000 years. Though it’s regarded as one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world, the Chinese government won’t allow anyone to open it. Why?
That question is at the heart of a dilemma faced by former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone, whose life is shattered when he receives an anonymous note carrying an unfamiliar Web address. Logging on, he sees Cassiopeia Vitt, a woman who’s saved his life more than once, being tortured at the hands of a mysterious man who has a single demand: Bring me the artifact she’s asked you to keep safe. The only problem is, Malone doesn’t have a clue what the man is talking about, since Cassiopeia has left nothing with him. So begins Malone’s most harrowing adventure to date—one that offers up astounding historical revelations, pits him against a ruthless ancient brotherhood, and sends him from Denmark to Belgium to Vietnam then on to China, a vast and mysterious land where danger lurks at every turn.
©2010 Scott Berry (P)2010 Random House Audio
“Perfect for thriller fans and history buffs alike.” (David Morrell, on The Romanov Prophecy)
“Steve Berry gets better and better with each new book.” (The Huffington Post, on The Paris Vendetta)
“Controversial, shocking, explosive.” (Katherine Neville, on The Third Secret)
This book is interesting but I have found it very difficult to keep track of all the names and their associated roles... I am only halfway but have had to restart it twice and finally ended up writing a character list. It might just "be me", or the ethnocentricity of being blocked for non-Euro-American names, but it is really causing me to lose sight of the entertainment value. Plus, unless there is some crazy twist at the very end, it seems that the end is revealed in the Prologue (!?)
i normally love steve berry and am usually fascinated by anything to do with china. but for some reason could not get into this book. it was so boring. i kept losing the plot... thinking about shopping, what to cook for dinner, have the kids done their homework?
this book fails in its basic job: namely to entertain. i got about 4 hours in and then decided not to waste any more of my time on it. got a lee child instead. feel cross about the loss of a credit.
I see that everyone seems to like this narrator. I think he is terrible. I will admit, I love when each character has his/her own voice. When the book first starts, the narrator does not "do voices" and it is somewhat difficult to follow who is saying what with his slightly irritating inflections, usually at the ends of sentences. When a Russian character enters the scene, all of a sudden this character has a flawless Russian accent (and I mean PERFECT!). And then the narrator starts giving distinctive voices to the rest of the characters. However, these voices are sketchy and inconsistant throughout the rest of the story (except the Russian). The main character has an American southern accent. I think.
At times, he uses the same "voice" for several Chinese characters. This voice is the slow, deliberate voice of an elderly Chinese man - seems believable. But when this character has a long monologue, the narrator speeds up the reading and the effect is lost.
This is my first exposure to Steve Berry, which is unfortunate because I think I might enjoy his books. There is a lot of history, but I am not sure it is only for buffs. I am not a history buff, but I did find it interesting -- although I also did a lot of rewinding...
Its an ok audio book as far as that goes, but definitely don't pay full price for it!
While I enjoyed the history of ancient China, the story fell flat.
I would find my thoughts far away while the tale droned on.
couldn't finish it.
I am an entertainer...so I spend a lot of time on the road. I take my audio seriously. I appreciate great writing and outstanding narration.
...I would have purchased a history book. Not a "thriller." This is the worst kind of writing drool: loaded with meaningless trivia, endless plot murdering debates and will-to-live draining tangents that are both predictable and stupid.
Flat uninteresting characters. Foolish plot "twists" and apparently no editor who could take the author and give him a shake saying "Why is THIS in your final draft???"
No surprises...so awful I found myself rooting for the villain. Truly the worst listen in a very long time. No more Steve Berry for me, thanks. I have no trouble sleeping.
I really enjoyed this book. It was detailed and had lots of facts that weren't fiction mixed in with the story which made it even better!
This is another Cotton Malone story involving ancient artifacts as keys to modern day political intrigue. This book is centered around China back to the time of the first emperor.Qin Shi and how artifracts are key to the succession to the leadership of China. As usual, Berry provides interesting historical facts about ancient China as well as the contributions of the Chinese to the world, the compass, printing, the zero, the compass, the stirrup, the abacus, the seismograph, the rudder, the parachute, and masts and sails to name just a few.
Cotton Malone is a former government agent turned bookseller. He and his companion Cassiopeia Vitt get involved in the battle for succession that takes from Europe to the tomb of the first emperor. However, the story is beyond belief, even for this genre. The story has the candidates for being the new China premiere travelling the world themselves and participating in break ins, thefts, shooting, murder, using government assets to kill civitilians etc...I love these political mysteries because I can suspend belief to get drawn tinto the story - but this story goes way too far...at thend there are a lot of dead people in Europe and Asia and it's hard to figure out how anyone explains any of it...
The other annoying feature was that most of the main characters were chinese, but there were few times that any of them spoke chinese...or at least it was not clear to me. Also, the narrator indicated he was speaking chinese (or english with a chinese accent?) but speaking slowly and haltingly...you may take offense at this characterization if you are asian...
It was nice to learn about chinese history. Love the story line lots of action throughout the book. You never knew what was going to happen. the ending was great. An enjoyable read.
Not a bad mystery novel. It was definitely a history lesson and since I'm a bit of a history buff enjoyed the history lesson. It isn't a page turner but was interesting. The author's comments at the end of the book was very informative. It was well written and Scott Brick did a great job of narration.
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