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.
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Mom to his 11-year-old daughter.
I thought about listening to this book after enjoying the DaVinci Code about a year ago. Then I recently noticed it was narrated by Richard Ferrone, who does such a great job with John Sandford's Lucas Davenport series. Ferrone is good here, too, but not to the level of his Sandford reads. The author's jumping back and forth between the 14th and 21st centuries was sometimes hard to follow. Some of the premises of the plot, such as the link between the Vatican and the CIA were also a little hard to swallow. And the hurdles that some of the main characters are able to leap in the latter stages of the book are somewhat unbelievable. And Christians who read this book should never lose track of the fact that the book, like the Davinci Code, is a work of fiction. You'll feel better about it.
I have two friends who agree with me. If you enjoy DaVinci or Templar lore, this book is for you. Great story line and intriguing to the end. Lots of action and interesting premise for a story compared to other Templar stories. The reading and intonations of the narrator are excellent as are his other readings. You will not be disappointed!
Though some of the things in this book were a bit unrealistic, it was a fun read kept my mind busy while I was stuck at work and traveling. If you're looking for something similar to DaVinci Code, this might be a good choice for you.
Richard Ferrone did an excellent job in this narration. This is perhaps the only reason why I finished the book. Otherwise, I found the plot hardly believable, and to me it was the book equivalent of a bad Hollywood action flick.
I have read the paperback and the audio is awesome. The narrator really bring the charactors to life. The history parts that most people skim through when they read were very interesting. I listen to this book several times, and still love it more each time.
The premise for this book is intriguing but the author apparently didn't know quite what to do with it. His protaganists are very unappealing. The woman is a liar and self serving. After every deception, she ruminates how much she regrets the lie and then does it again at the next opportunity. The man is absolutely the worst FBI agent ever penned. He continually ignores the woman's behavior that interferes with his investigation with a "promise me you won't do it again". It is typical for authors to advance a plot with behavior by protagonists that doesn't make sense given who they are but this author's uncharacteristic characters are ridiculous.
The ending seems conjured to meet an editor's deadline. It will leave you wondering if you missed downloading a part.
I probably will not waste another credit on this author.
This story started out well and hit a spot early on where it could have branched off in many interesting directions. Unfortunately these opportunities were ultimately wasted.
My disappointment with this novel came when the author's agenda became apparent. I thought from the description that it was a pseudo-historical novel of sorts with the possibility to be a good read. In my opinion, it bogged down and turned into a thinly veiled diatribe against the church and religion despite the author's laborious efforts to disguise it as a novel.
The worst parts were having to try to slog through entire two chapter sections where the characters described their opinions about religion in minute detail and - of course - everyone (even a priest) eventually agreed that the church was evil and has to be destroyed because it was based on a purposeful lie.
The attempts to to correlate supposed historical events that never really happened to 'the big lie that has misled billions of people' seemed a little desparate and disconnected too. Really a lame effort to further an apparent anti-church aganda.
I might have agreed with some of the more esoteric points about and against organized religion if the author had been more skilled with subtelty. Instead he pummels the reader with minute obscure detail and personal opinion presented as frequent oratory by the characters. He even has a character at one point state that Islam got it right and the church did not.
These opinions are fine in general but I spent my credit on this one to be entertained, not enlightened to someone else's agenda and opinion. Bottom line - this might have been interesting if it was honest enough to be written as a documentary or OP ED piece. As a novel it is a dishonest and total waste of time. I am sorry I wasted a credit on this one.
The narration was fine...
The initial story line had promise - too bad it was wasted so miserably.
This is the author's first book, and it shows. Instead of developing characters, he simply has another character think, "gosh, he's deep." And the heroes (and villains too) keep doing really stupid stuff. Repeatedly! This isn't a spoiler, but if you want a preview of what's happening as the story goes along, just think about the dumbest thing the character can do. That will be what they do! Just unbelievable. What a complete waste of time.
Interesting history. Good plot with great twist at the end. I enjoyed the authors take on what happened to the Templars. He made this a good mystery with action and suspense! Quite pleased!
Top performance from both narrator and author. Thoroughly enjoyed the book and it's great attention to detail.
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