Thursday, January 24, 2013

Book Review: The Fallen Angel by Daniel Silva

Title: The Fallen Angel
Author: Daniel Silva
Enjoyment Rating: **
Source: Audible for iTunes
This book would be rated: PG-13 for violence and sexual situations

I read Portrait of a Spy, the prequel to The Fallen Angel, last year sometime. Portrait of a Soy is the eleventh book in a series of books about Gabriel Allon, an Israeli spy/art restorer who is one part Indiana Jones, one part Robert Langdon and one part Ethan Hunt. In other words, he's almost too good to be true. In the first ten books of the series, Silva introduces lots of complicated situations and characters. This probably makes the books incredibly satisfying for readers who have read all of the books. But I was lost reading book eleven. I thought the writing was good, so I decided to give this one a try, but I was disappointed to find that I was just as lost reading The Fallen Angel as I had been reading Portrait of a Spy. There's just too much back story, too many layers, too many cities, too many characters for a new reader to jump in mid-series. And I don't like the book well enough to go back and read the first TEN books so I know what's going on.

Anyway, for people who have read the first eleven books (which is probably no one reading this blog), in The Fallen Angel, Allon is "retired" and working to restore a Caravaggio at the Vatican. But someone ends up dead, and then someone else ends up dead, and pretty soon, Allon is jetting from Rome to Paris to Jerusalem to Berlin to Vienna to Switzerland and back again. I felt like I had whiplash and had entered a party where I knew no one and they were all old friends. The last hour or two of the book was pretty satisfying, but up until that point I felt hopelessly lost.

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