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The Collector of Dying Breaths: A Novel of Suspense

The Collector of Dying Breaths: A Novel of Suspense - M.J. Rose I’m surprised the writing is on of my least favorite parts of this book, because at the beginning it was fantastic. The first few pages introduce us to René’s story. The writing is lush and beautiful, haunting even, with the author sharing just enough information that I was hooked. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that way for the rest of the book. The dialogue and Jac’s thoughts often seemed melodramatic to me. There were a handful of long info dumps, often with information about Jac’s past, which I found dry. They were helpful though, as I never felt lost jumping into this sixth book in a series. There was also a section with three sex scenes in a row, which were well written but didn’t all seem necessary to me and so slowed the plot. The writing may also have kept me from feeling very immersed in the book. I was curious about what was going to happen next, but I didn’t feel compelled to keep going until I found out.

Although the writing wasn’t my cup of tea, everything else about this book really worked for me. Reincarnation is an old idea, as are the suspicions that Catherine de Medici kept a poisoner. In this book, the author completely refreshed these ideas, treating them in a new and fascinating way. Better still, they are rooted in history, with a historical note available to help the reader sort out fact and fiction. The characters were another strength of the book, very complex and intriguing. René and Jac both face some tough moral choices and don’t always make the best decisions. They are understandable decisions though and help flesh out their characters. Several of the relationships are very complicated, including René’s relationship with Catherine and the relationship of a step-brother/step-sister pair who get involved in the present day quest. Jac’s relationship with her brother isn’t as complex, but it’s heartwarming and a great addition to the story. The plot was a tad predictable, but still fun and full of action. Even though the writing could be better, I would recommend this to fans of books such as The DaVinci Code for it’s great characters, interesting historical background, and nice helping of drama and adventure.

This review first published on Doing Dewey.