Wednesday, December 22, 2010

100 Posts and review (sort of!) of 'The Rose Labyrinth'

Before I started to type this post, I realised that the blog has reached 100 posts!! I can't believe how quickly the posts have stacked up! Thanks to those of you who follow the blog. I hope that as time has gone on, it has improved. I also hope that you and new readers, will stick with my little blog for another 100 posts!

Anyway, I wish that I could say that the following review is a very positive one, but I can't. However before I talk about the book, here are its stats:

Publisher: Headline Review

ISBN: 978-0-7553-4457-4

Length: 528 Pages

Opening Line:

'A blackbird's song broke into his uneasy dreams, but the shutters on the cottage windows were still tightly closed.'


It's very unusual for me to leave a book unfinished. Usually I force myself to plow through a novel, so that I can at least give the words an opportunity to be discovered. However, 'The Rose Labyrinth' is a novel that has made its way to my 'Abandoned Books' list.

I did try and continue as far as possible with this novel, in fact I progressed until page 99. However by that point, I felt that I had to give up.

Instead of telling you about the plot myself, I'll let the blurb at the back of the book do the talking:

'Before his death in 1609, the brilliant Elizabethan spy and astrologer John Dee hid his most astonishing secrets, trusting his descendants would one day bring them to light. That time has come.

In 2003, Will Stafford inherits a strange legacy from his mother: a key and an ancient script with an enigmatic note. Deeply intrigued, he travels Europe seeking answers to it's riddles, unaware that someone is following his every move.

Back in London, Lucy King becomes entangled in Will's cryptic labyrinth, As its mysterious twists take her from France to New York, and from literature to myth, in search of its hidden treasure, she has never been closer to the truth, nor in graver danger.'

Sounds interesting right? I thought so too, that was until I started reading this novel.

Firstly, I felt that the character structure was weak. None of the characters stood out and in my opinion, they were a bunch of bland, middle class thirty somethings, who lived in the country pub. If main characters can't attract my attention, then I have the opinion that why should I invest my time finding out what is going to happen next?

If the characters weren't bad enough, I think what disappointed me most was the plot itself. The plot was predictable and purely a mish-mash of Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code' and Cecelia Ahern's 'Thanks for the Memories'. I could tell what was going to happen even after 100 pages and, on speaking to a friend who had been brave enough to stick this novel out until the end, I found out that my predictions were correct. I understand that most novels draw ideas from other novels. However, to overtly copy their plots and claim the work as your own, in my opinion, is lazy writing.

I don't like to have purely negative books reviews on the blog. I would prefer to find both good and bad elements in the things that I have read. However, with 'The Rose Labyrinth' there's nothing positive that I can find to talk about.

Have you read this novel? What did you think of it? I'd be very interested to read your opinions.


  1. Yes, I have read the book - twice, to make sure that I had not missed something. My opinion is that it appears to be two books in one with the historical vying for attention with the 'modern' story. I thought that it was a clever idea to try to weave in the historical pieces, but it did not work. Besides, the love story was alittle bland and drew to an inevitable conclusion.

    CONGRATULATIONS on 100 posts!!

  2. Thank you for the name of the book. I haven't read it.
    Thank you for visiting my blog. Have a wonderful 2011 with lots of good books!