Has anyone ever read [Katherine Neville] The Eight?
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Katherine Neville's subsequent books have disappointed me: they always strike me as just pale remakes of The Eight. I am, nonetheless, intrigued by the little that I've heard about The Fire, and I expect that I will eventually pick it up.
To me, it felt like when a band has a great debut album, with an original sound, and then tries to do something really different in their 2nd. It was as though Neville fought against a genre that she perfected, and (for me) kind of created, in her 1st book. Hope she writes a 3rd.
Neville's effort, regrettably, was for me laughable. At times, literally so: the writing was just not impressive, too self-conscious and cliche-ridden. I agree with webgeekstress's comment above: chockablock full of ideas, each in itself intriguing and at times done quite well, but the overall effect being that it was thrown together. I notice the trees rather than the forest, if that makes sense.
I have no interest in reading another of Neville's, would steer others toward Eco or even Dan Brown. For me, Brown is no literary great, but his writing is at least transparent and lets the plot (and to a lesser extent, the ideas) take center stage. Neville's writing detracts from her ideas, and for such a lengthy book, I can't abide it.