The Forbidden Book by Joscelyn Godwin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the Goodreads Giveaway]
Overall, this book was just "okay" for me, but since it wasn't bad I didn't want to just give it two stars, so that's why it gets three.
Minor spoilers after this point.
I enjoyed the mystery aspect of the book, but felt that it was trying to go in three different directions, none of which matched up quite as well as it seems the authors had wanted. It's one part mystery - who killed Angela and kidnapped Orsina? - one part mysticism - the Baron's magical powers and those he is trying to pass to Orsina - and one part, well, just plain weird - the Baron's influence over his "students" in getting them to blow up monuments to make it look like the Muslims are behind it. I understand where the authors were trying to go with that last bit, but I really don't think they arrived.
Inspector Ghedina is a fool of a character, Orsina's weak, as is Angela, and Leo is the only one worth much of anything in the grand scheme of things.
The sexual aspect was... well, gross. Again, I get where the authors were going, and I see its relevance to the story, but it kind of grossed me out. Plus the fact that Orsina just (view spoiler)[glosses over her attempted rape and says she'll have to figure out how to live with it, then moves on to something else (hide spoiler)] kind of makes me feel like she's vapid and shallow, with no real emotions to speak of other than her love for Leo.
I guess if you were a fan of The DaVinci Code and other such nonsense, this book might appeal to you. I didn't mind it, it wasn't offensive, I just didn't really find it compelling. And there was so much Italian in it that even with translations it was distracting.
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