by NLB Horton
Release Date: November 12th, 2014
2014 RidgeRoute Press
Paperback Edition; 371 Pages
Genre: Fiction / Suspense
Source: Review copy from Liftuse Publicity
3.5 / 5 Stars
While cataloging looted antiquities in Brussels, Grace learns that her son's bride has been attacked in Switzerland. Her day careens from bad to catastrophic when daughter Maggie, a hydrologist, disappears in France.
Coincidence is a luxury that Grace cannot afford. Particularly when near-fatal history—saturated in espionage—is repeating itself.
Family members convene in Paris, where they discover the key to the danger consuming them. Embedded like a taproot in the Ancient Near East, the cuneiform clay tablet is their only lifeline. But before they can save themselves, they must first find and rescue their elderly friend—if he'll let them.
The Brothers' Keepers is the second book in the Parched series, and to be honest, I had a difficult time getting through some of this book. It's not because the characters weren't interesting or witty, or that the plot wasn't interesting, it was mainly due to the author's style of presenting the plot and the information. For whatever reason, it grated on my nerves at times and I had to really, really focus and push myself to continue reading.
I enjoyed the various characters in this novel, thought they were interesting, but due to the author's style of presenting them, didn't really feel close or develop any empathy towards any of them. There was quite a bit of action throughout the novel whereby someone was shooting at Grace and her various family members, trying to blow them up, trying to kidnap various members, but I never felt like anything was ever fully discussed or fleshed out. There was just this momentary chaos, and then everything went normal as if this was an everyday occurrence. While Grace's husband Mark, her son and her daughter-in-law may work in various espionage fields, Grace is an archaeologist and her daughter is a hydrologist, so I'm pretty sure this would not be an everyday experience for them. It just seemed a bit too blase for me, and I wished the emotions and the descriptions were fleshed out a bit more, especially in such a way that I would feel more empathy towards them. All of this being said, I did like Grace quite a bit and wished I could learn a bit more about her as she seems to be such an interesting character. I loved all the little quirks she had, such as being clutzy and falling down stairs on a regular basis.
The plot was fairly interesting and there is quite a lot going on. Maggie, Grace's daughter, is kidnapped at the beginning of the novel, and the race is on to discover why someone like Maggie, a hydrologist, would be so interesting to radical groups around the world. In other words, what has she learned that would be of vital importance? It is this question that sends Grace and her family across the world in search of answers. Along the way, they meet some interesting people and learn some interesting information involving Biblical history that meshes with modern-day information. Searching for those vital hints left behind in the scrolls is something right up my alley, so I did enjoy that aspect of the novel. You have to really pay attention to all the details though, or you could miss something rather important, and this is what I found difficult to do as the writing style I found impeded concentration on those rather important details and sometimes I missed them because I got annoyed.
The Brothers' Keepers had a good plot line, where you did have to suspend belief once in a while in the action and just go with the flow, a rather interesting historical storyline, and even some romance to boot. That being said, it did take me longer to read than it normally would as I didn't always enjoy the writing style and thought neither the characters nor the story was fully fleshed out. My recommendation is to read When Camels Fly first, which I enjoyed, before attempting this one as some of the references and comments will make more sense.
Winner of 'A People's Chioce Award' in fiction, NLB Horton returned to writing fiction after an award-winning career in journalism and marketing as well as earning her Masters of Biblical Studies degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.
She has surveyed Israeli and Jordanian archaeological digs, tossed a tarantula from her skiff into the Amazon after training with an Incan shaman, driven uneventfully through Rome, and consumed gallons of afternoon tea while traveling across five continents.
Horton is a member of the venerable Explorers Club, based in New York City and founded in 1904 as an international multidisciplinary professional society of explorers and scientists. From her home in the Rocky Mountains, she writes, cross-country skis, gardens and researches ideas for her next novel. Horton’s first novel in the Parched series, When Camels Fly, was released in May 2014. The Brothers’ Keepers is the second, with the third installment available in fall 2015.
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