The Last Ember – Daniel Levin

Title: The Last Ember
Author: Daniel Levin
ISBN: 9781594488726
Pages: 432
Release Date: August 6, 2009
Publisher: Riverhead
Genre: Historical Thriller
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

Jonathan Marcus is an international lawyer at a top New York law firm, but he used to be a student of archaeology (specializing in ancient Roman history).  As a result, Jonathan is called to Rome in order to advise on the ancient Roman map of one of the firm’s clients.  What Jonathan doesn’t expect, however, is that this simple case will be the starting point of an exciting journey involving a beautiful old flame, the tunnels beneath the Colosseum, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and above all, a priceless artifact from Biblical times that has been lost to history…until now.

Review:

The Last Ember is a solid addition to the historical thriller genre, mixing a present day setting with intriguing history and a spectacular chase to the finish.  Levin is very good at keeping the pace quick in his novels.  He balances the need for historical background with the necessity of telling a story that moves relatively swiftly.  As a result, the reader’s curiosity is sated, without bogging the narrative down with unnecessary historical details.

Interestingly enough, Daniel Levin’s history is very comparable to his protagonist’s:  he too practiced international law at a top New York City law firm.  His undergraduate degree was in Roman and Greek civilizations.  In some ways, this book can be seen as escapist fare for the author, and it shows in a good way.  The story is exciting, with unexpected twists and turns.

Daniel Levin’s writing isn’t the smoothest; it can get bogged down in places and is a little clunky.  However, this is an admirable debut novel.  The history is interesting, the main character is well-developed, and Levin doesn’t rely on too many historical thriller clichés to arrive at his ending.  It’s a fun novel that will keep readers intriged – I definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood for a thrilling read!

Comments

  1. I haven’t read a book like this for awhile, and while I was reading your review, I remember how much I enjoy these types of books.

  2. I haven’t read a book like this for awhile, and while I was reading your review, I remember how much I enjoy these types of books.

  3. I always find it hard to resist a novel that involves archaeology! This is a new to me title and sounds like a good for lazy weekend.

  4. I always find it hard to resist a novel that involves archaeology! This is a new to me title and sounds like a good for lazy weekend.

  5. I read this one last year and quite enjoyed it. I agree, though, that the writing is a bit clunky at times. I loved the archaeology angle of it.

  6. I read this one last year and quite enjoyed it. I agree, though, that the writing is a bit clunky at times. I loved the archaeology angle of it.

  7. I like thrillers that have a twist. There are so many out there that are the same old thing, but if one throws in unique facts about a certain profession, a disease or whatever, it certainly makes it more interesting.

  8. I like thrillers that have a twist. There are so many out there that are the same old thing, but if one throws in unique facts about a certain profession, a disease or whatever, it certainly makes it more interesting.

  9. I love it when an author has a similar background to a protagonist – the book is usually so believable then.

  10. I love it when an author has a similar background to a protagonist – the book is usually so believable then.

  11. Archaelolgy? Ancient artifacts? Mystery and intrigue? Count me in! Thanks for the review.

  12. Archaelolgy? Ancient artifacts? Mystery and intrigue? Count me in! Thanks for the review.

  13. I have this one on my ARC-alanche pile, and I’m glad to know it’s a good one.

    I enjoyed your review of it very much 🙂

  14. I have this one on my ARC-alanche pile, and I’m glad to know it’s a good one.

    I enjoyed your review of it very much 🙂

  15. I read this one last year and really liked it. I was able to meet the author at a signing and he was very passionate about the subjects covered in the book. He gave a great talk if you ever get a chance to go to a singing.

  16. I read this one last year and really liked it. I was able to meet the author at a signing and he was very passionate about the subjects covered in the book. He gave a great talk if you ever get a chance to go to a singing.

Leave a Reply

Comment Policy:  I welcome comments and read each one I receive. If your comment needs a response, I will provide it in a timely manner, as I read every comment I receive. Please keep your comments civil and polite! I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude or inappropriate. Because of spam, I have to moderate comments on old posts. Please be patient - I will approve your comment quickly.

Before the tag in the Genesis footer: !-- Quantcast Tag -->