Sunday, April 13, 2014
Review: The Collector of Dying Breaths: A Novel of Suspense
The Collector of Dying Breaths: A Novel of Suspense by M.J. Rose
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book Info: Genre: Literary Suspense
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of the series, of gothic fiction, those interested in reincarnation theories
Book Available: In hardcover, Kindle, MP3 CD, and Audible formats
Trigger Warnings: Euthanasia, murder, suicide, torture, brother beating his sister with a whip
My Thoughts: M.J. Rose's latest Reincarnationist book is as beautifully evocative as previous entries into the series. Generally speaking, the Reincarnationist series is set up in two trilogies—books one through three, then books four through six—so this book concludes the Jac trilogy.
This book, like the The Book of Lost Fragrances and Seduction, deals with scents and sensualness with a lushness that is intoxicating. The scents are described so well I can almost smell them, and the few sex scenes are beautifully sensual without being crude.
The ideas raised on reincarnation are fascinating to me, and resonate strongly to me with a sense of truth. M.J. Rose appears to have done a great deal of research into theories of reincarnation, and it shows in this book. Like any book by this amazing author, I strongly recommend this latest. I do recommend starting at least with The Book of Lost Fragrances if you don't want to start all the way at the beginning of the series.
Series Information: The Reincarnationist series.
Book 1: The Reincarnationist; I read in 2010 or 2011, but didn't review. 5 stars
Book 2: The Memorist; I read in 2010, or 2011, but didn't review. 5 stars
Book 3: The Hypnotist; I listened to audiobook in 2010 or 2011, but didn't review. 5 stars
Book 4: The Book of Lost Fragrances; read and reviewed March 2012. Review linked here where formatting allowed.
Book 5: Seduction, review linked here where formatting allowed.
Book 6: The Collector of Dying Breaths, Available April 8, 2014
If you like this author's style, you can also check out The Butterfield Institute series.
Prequel: Lip Service; I read in 2010 or 2011, but didn't review. 5 stars
Book 1: The Halo Effect; I read in 2010 or 2011, but didn't review. 5 stars
Book 2: The Delilah Complex; I read in 2010 or 2011, but didn't review. 5 stars
Book 3: The Venus Fix; I read in 2010 or 2011, but didn't review. 5 stars
Disclosure: I received an e-galley ARC from Atria Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Synopsis: A lush and imaginative novel that crisscrosses time as a perfumer and a mythologist search for the fine line between potion and poison, poison and passion… and past and present.
Florence, Italy—1533: An orphan named René le Florentin is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. Traveling with the young duchessina from Italy to France, René brings with him a cache of secret documents from the monastery where he was trained: recipes for exotic fragrances and potent medicines—and a formula for an alchemic process said to have the potential to reanimate the dead. In France, René becomes not only the greatest perfumer in the country but the most dangerous, creating deadly poisons for his Queen to use against her rivals. But while mixing herbs and essences under the light of flickering candles, Rene doesn’t begin to imagine the tragic and personal consequences for which his lethal potions will be responsible.
Paris, France—The Present: A renowned mythologist, Jac L’Etoile, is trying to recover from personal heartache by throwing herself into her work, learns of the 16th century perfumer who may have been working on an elixir that would unlock the secret to immortality. She becomes obsessed with René le Florentin’s work—particularly when she discovers the dying breathes he had collected during his lifetime. Jac’s efforts put her in the path of her estranged lover, Griffin North, a linguist who has already begun translating René le Florentin’s mysterious formula. Together they confront an eccentric heiress in possession of a world-class art collection. A woman who has her own dark purpose for the elixir… a purpose for which she believes the ends will justify her deadly means. This mesmerizing gothic tale of passion and obsession crisscrosses time, zigzagging from the violent days of Catherine de Medici’s court to twenty-first century France. Fiery and lush, set against deep, wild forests and dimly lit chateaus, The Collector of Dying Breaths illuminates the true path to immortality: the legacies we leave behind.
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