Sunday, July 28, 2013

amber room

Okay, so lets get busy. I'm way behind because I've been in Italy for 4 weeks. I know, poor baby. I brought the book I was reading, this one and the two on my 'next up' list, and then bought two more while I was there. I just finished those two, so I've got 5 books to write about.

I've read a number of Steve Berry's books, each of them about his recurring character, Cotton Malone. The Amber Room is not a Cotton Malone story, and I'm pretty sure its Berry's first novel. Both of these facts may help to explain the poor character development; I just didn't feel that I knew, understood or could even connect with any of the characters in this story.

As an adventure story centered around an estranged couple, unwillingly thrown into a world of art theft, Nazi secret stashes,* secret organizations, and post-war legacy making by the Germans, Russians, and others, the story was pretty good. It hung together, and kept me reading, but I didn't love it. You can see Berry getting his legs under himself in this story; he does tell a pretty good story. And character development may be a little easier when you have multiple stories to fine tune who your characters really are, à la Cotton Malone. But in the end, this reads like a first book.

Fun, intricate, interesting but a little flat overall.

* You really ought to click on that link. Check this one too.


  1. Thank you for that review - I've just been introduced to Cotton Malone (The King's Deception), although the first Berry book I read was the Columbus Affair, both via Elaine Charles and her Book report radio show interviews with Berry. It's an interesting observation you make regarding character development and how it becomes easier by means of sequels. I think before I even ponder reading 'The Amber Room' I must read all of Malone's books - he's wonderful.

    1. Thanks for writing! There are three other Steve Berry books in the list of books I've reviewed if you're interested. I haven't read either of the two you mentioned however; I'll have to check them out. Click on 'the books' tab above to see the others. -Philo


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