I love to curl up with a nice, steaming cup of tea and a free book to review. In fact I subscribe to three book review sites: Book Crash, Book Rooster and The Bookplex just so I can indulge in my favorite leisure activity. What’s even better is when an author contacts me for a review. If you’re an author looking for someone to review your book or short story, check out my Request a Review page.
Because I like to share the great reads I’ve found (and warn readers of the not-so-great finds), I developed a system:
- One cup — worse than a cup of luke warm black pekoe
- Two cups — it may be hot, but you’ll need plenty of sweetener just to tolerate it
- Three cups — it’s not my favorite, but it beats going without
- Four cups — nice and hot and only needs a smidge of sweetener to be perfect
- Five cups — loose leaf vanilla Earl Grey, yummy
Sometimes a book or story doesn’t warrant a five cup rating, but it’s so good it can’t be missed. For those I include the “Must Read” starburst in front of the cup rating. You’ll find my cup rating above the picture of the cover. Enjoy!
The One Book of Etretat (The Sirenne Saga) by Matt Chatelain
I usually do not agree to read an entire series, but the sample I read of The Caves of Etretat, Book One of Four (The Sirenne Saga) made me decide to give this entire four book series a chance. Here is the description of Book Three:
The World on the Brink of Disaster
In the previous books of the series, Paul Sirenne discovered a complex of hidden caves in the cliffs of Etretat, France. Chased by an immortal serial killer, and assisted by the Abbey, a thousand-year old organization, Sirenne, becoming an immortal himself, was given control of the caves, to prepare for an ultimate confrontation against the Greyman, the oldest immortal on earth. Taken by surprise, Sirenne and the complex of caves barely survived an attack by American mercenaries.
In Book Three, the world is in chaos. Countless disasters are occurring everywhere and a pandemic disease is killing all children in the womb. People and countries, desperate for a solution, are demanding Sirenne’s immortality cure. Sirenne knows it’s not the true answer. He must find the One Book by solving the clues laid out by Maurice Leblanc and the Abbey. Changed by his immortality, he develops new senses which give him an increasingly different perspective on everything he sees. At the same time, all events are converging on him. Weissmuller, the immortal serial killer, is circling closer and closer.
‘The One Book of Etretat’ is the third in a four-book epic adventure following Paul Sirenne, an average man unknowingly manipulated into becoming the key in the final phase of a complex conspiracy spanning millennia. Inextricably woven into history, the series re-writes everything we know in a non-stop rollercoaster of a ride where nothing is ever as it seems.
The Sirenne Saga Continues
The Caves of Etretat, Book Three of Four: The One Book of Etretat was by far the most exciting of the four books. This one had me turning pages quickly to find out what would happen next.
The Weismuller Recollections make much more sense in this story and add a wonderful bit of tension. It was also interesting to see how Weismuller was able to be a step ahead of Paul Sirenne and keep out of reach of the Abbey, not to mention making me wonder at some of the coincidences that helped this character achieve his goals.
Like the Weismuller Recollections in book two, the Greyman Chronicles do not seem to make sense in this part of the story. Also, if you figured out what was going on with Inspector Norton in book one, most of the recollections in this book will feel unnecessary. They are interesting, but I felt they could have been skipped altogether without harming the story.
Unfortunately, the author runs afoul of one of my pet peeves in this book. He puts in the mouth of Father Plantagenet a saying many people attribute to the Bible: God saves them who save themselves. While this saying works well with the entirety of the Caves of Etretat books, it is not a quote from the Bible and is, in fact, a quote most often attributed to Benjamin Franklin. Someone as well versed in theology as Father Plantagenet supposedly is, would be unlikely to say something like this when his entire vocation rests upon the belief that God saves those who cannot save themselves.
Again, while I’m sure it wasn’t intended, the Americans in the story made me laugh. They were more or less caricatures of every movie I’ve seen where the military decides to go in with guns blazing because their motto seems to be “Shoot first. Ask questions later.” There were no redeeming qualities to these characters, no reason to feel they were in any way justified in their thinking.
While this book was a page turner, I would only recommend The One Book of Etretat (The Sirenne Saga) by Matt Chatelain if you plan to finish the entire series because it will be necessary to understand book four.
- Free for Review