The Last Templar opens with a hail of fire and flashing sword, as the burning city of Acre falls from the hands of the West in 1291. A young Templar knight, his mentor, and a handful of others escape to the sea carrying a mysterious chest entrusted to them by the Order's dying Grand Master. The ship vanishes without a trace.
In present day Manhattan, four masked horsemen dressed as Templar Knights emerge from Central Park and ride up the Fifth Avenue steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the black-tie opening of a "Treasures of the Vatican" exhibit. Storming through the crowds, the horsemen brutally attack anyone standing between them and their prize. Attending the gala, archaeologist Tess Chaykin watches in silent terror as the leader of the horsemen hones in on one piece in particular, a strange geared device. He utters a few cryptic Latin words as he takes hold of it with reverence before leading the horsemen out and disappearing into the night.
In the aftermath, an FBI investigation is led by anti-terrorist specialist Sean Reilly. Soon, he and Tess are drawn into the dark, hidden history of the crusading knights, plunging them into a deadly game of cat and mouse with ruthless killers as they race across three continents to recover the lost secret of the Templars.
©2006 Raymond Khoury; (P)2006 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., and Books on Tape. All rights reserved.
I thouroughly enjoyed this book until the last one hour of listening. I kept expecting something "more" to happen in the end and was in disbelief when it just...ended. Yes, there was a final chase/struggle but even that was just a bit disappointing. Without going into too much detail, I will just say there were too many loose ends. Even the epilogue left me wanting for more and offered no real closure to the story. Having said that, I would still suggest this book to a friend.
I was looking forward to this book, but I found it a little long winded. An example would be when the "bad guy" confronts the "good guy" and has a 25 minute diatribe about why the "good guy" has been misled along with the rest of mankind.... OK if you are looking for something very light and don't mind having guessing what's coming next.
There is a place for an audio book such as this, especially after listening to something heavy and involved and detailed and intricate. In other words, after something that was very entertaining and complex to listen to, it's a relaxing break to listen to suspense-filled bubble gum. "The Last Templar" is a second-rate copy of a Dan Brown novel, Mr. Brown himself a second-rate author. The characters are two-dimensional and predictable; you see the big plot points coming at you a mile away, but there's a comfort in its predictability -- maybe the same reason certain people go to see the same opera (I myself can't stand opera) ad infinitum. The author has a gift for developing a predictable outline of action and then lopping story and thin characterizations onto it, like throwing modeling clay at a target, possibly. Two annoying things: the narrator's voice -- and I see he voices all the books from this author -- does not have the flexibility and range needed for the various characters. There's an essence of sandpaper to his tone, combined with a little breathiness, and it becomes a labor to listen. Another annoying thing: the author uses a certain device A LOT: He'll narrate a point, then, to emphasize it, he turns around and uses the phrase "Not that X would do Y (fill in X and Y for yourself). I don't know what this device would be called, but after spotting it a couple times per chapter almost, it's almost like a game, maybe a drinking game (if I wasn't driving while listening) where I'd take a drink every time this device is used. I think I'd get pretty plastered doing that ... not that this would be a bad thing. (yes, I used this device on purpose). Anyway, feel free to read it: if you need a break after something concrete and detailed with fantastic characterizations, this will be a relaxing break from the quality you may be used to.
Just another diatribe against Catholics, people of faith and Catholic priests. Started out OK but it doesn't take long to figure out the author's agenda. Read it if your a social activist, this rant will fit your bill.
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