*3 stars*Sex, drugs, and… Beethoven?
Sarah Weston is a PhD student living in Boston, when she suddenly lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts. It is a fantastic opportunity for Sarah that will possibly help open many doors for her; but there are many secrets and mysteries surrounding the castle and its inhabitants in Prague, so Sarah sets out to solve some along the way.
Having finished the novel late last night, I was left wondering whether the ending offered any good conclusions to the many storylines intertwined within it, and I feel, for me, it didn’t. It felt unfinished somehow. I was not too fond of this novel, when I first started, and it probably didn’t capture my full attention until after I was already halfway through it. The mysteries and characters seemed to pile on, but none were fully explained and/or explored. I was sad that it ended just at the point when I started to feel for these characters, and thought they were on the brink of solving the one golden mystery, that has remind such until the end.
Sarah was an interesting character, but I found it hard relating to her. She seemed to be a practical, goal-oriented girl, and she didn’t seem to live in the fairytale world waiting for prince charming to sweep her off her feet, so perhaps, that’s why she is deserving of the prince? I like those traits of hers, but then came sex, and I’m usually OK with a bit of loving thrown in, but it just seemed random here… and Sarah was quite daring. Her senses were over-the-top; she practically sniffed half of the mysteries out, and her nonchalant behavior with the drug could have been a bit questionable. So after all it was hard to take Sarah seriously.
The other characters, including Max, and Nicolas were interesting and added some reason to Sarah’s character, but I felt they lacked some development, especially Max. We learned very little of him, and he seemed interested in Sarah too quick. Nicolas was by far the most interesting part of the story, but his abrupt scenes and behavior often left me wanting to learn more about him.
In conclusion, I would still recommend this book to others. It is probably unlike most of the novels I’ve read. If I was to classify it under a particular category – it would be something along these lines: a semi-historical fiction with elements of mystery and romance? You be the judge. Favorite Quotes:
“It is about perception. And about releasing the notion of linear time, which turns out to be a very difficult task for most people. Impossible, really. Like contemplating infinity. You really need to be on drugs to do it. LSD works fairly well. Psychotropic mushrooms. Which are child’s play to what we have here.”
(Kindle Locations 4894-4896)
"...we might only have this one chance until I am able to locate a corrupt rabbi in Josefov who can get his hands on some more pulvis golem and I manage to track down sixteenth-century elk bones, etcetera. You can’t just order these things on Amazon, children."(Kindle Locations 4918-4920)
"We could never really know the past, even if (as in her case) you could see it right in front of you. Maybe it was a mistake to even try.
Time. Time didn’t really exist."
(Kindle Locations 5325-5327)