Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Seduction by M.J. Rose

In Seduction , Victor Hugo's daughter, Didine, drowns and he is devastated. Years later, he tries to connect her by holding a number of séances. While trying to contact, Didine, he makes a number of other contacts, including Jesus, Shakespeare and the Devil. It's this last contact that could lead to his ruin. In the present, Jac L’Etoile, a mythologist, is invited to Jersey by Theo Gaspard. The two had met as teenagers while in therapy in Switzerland, but haven't seen each other in years. Jac wants to investigate the area's Celtic roots, but he wants her to look into something much more sinister and dangerous.

I really enjoyed this book and the way in which it was presented; split between the past and present. When stories are presented like this, I generally like one part more than the other. In this case, I like the present story more than the past one. While I enjoyed reading Hugo's journal, written in the first person, in which he relays his séance and other-worldly encounters to Fantine, I didn't really enjoy the character of "The Shadow of the Sepulcher". A bit too bizarre for me. Overall, though, the story was really good.

As with many books from Rose, this story deals with reincarnation. While I don't know much about it, I find it utterly fascinating. I occasionally wonder about my past lives (which I don't remember) and try to reconcile that notion with my Roman Catholic upbringing. It's an interesting thought, if nothing else. I'm not much of a believer when it comes to séances, so that part of the story didn't resonate with me.

Jac is such a great character. She's a mythologist and skeptical about reincarnation yet has this amazing ability to remember past lives. I loved reading about her and her abilities, but I didn't quite understand some stuff that was happening this time around. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll leave it at that and hope that I'll understand it better in the next book. I really enjoyed reading about her brother, Robbie, and her therapist, Malachi, in the last book. I wish they'd played a bigger part in this one.

This book is part of a series, however, I think it can be read mostly as a standalone book. I do, however, think readers will get a bit more out of the book if they've read the first book (The Book of Lost Fragrances) featuring Jac and her brother Robbie.

I love it when authors use real people in their books. I didn't know much about Victor Hugo at all when I started reading this book. Rose focused on such an interesting aspect of his life that it prompted me to read more about him.

There are a few new-to-me word used in the book. Here they are with their meanings:
mesmerism - hypnotism
manse - large house
menhir - single standing stone
centimes - currency subunit (French)
dolmens - ancient stone structure/tomb
jejune - boring
cabochon - round gem
taboret - low cylindrical stool
craven - cowardly

I did have a little trouble with the electronic copy I downloaded. It's unfortunate, but it affected my reading and enjoyment of this book quite a bit. Part of it was user error and misunderstanding of how eBooks work while the other part, I'm guessing, had to do with my particular model of eReader. I won't go into the details here, but reading this book was a little frustrating. I'm hoping that other readers have better luck that I did.

I've read two other books by Rose. Here are my reviews of those two books: The Book of Lost Fragrances (another book featuring Jac L'Etoile) and The Hypnotist. I enjoyed them both.

Recommended. I'd definitely read another book by Rose and am looking forward to the next book featuring Jac L'Etoile.

This author/book is currently on a virtual book tour with Historical Fiction Book Tours. For more reviews and guest posts, be sure to visit the other stops on the tour.

For more information about this book, please visit Atria's (Simon & Schuster) website.

For more information about the author and her other books, please visit M.J. Rose's website.

Thanks to those nice people at Historical Fiction Book Tours for this eCopy.

Seduction by M.J. Rose Publication Date: May 7, 2013 Atria Books Hardcover; 384p ISBN-10: 1451621507

1 comment:

  1. I know hardly anything about Victor Hugo, though I feel as though I should. This book sounds like and enjoyable read, but I am more interested in her earlier book, The Book Of Lost Fragrances


Thanks so much for your comment. I really appreciate it. Unfortunately, I've been getting lots of spam comments, so I'm turning on word verification to help keep spammers away. I know it's a pain; I don't like it either. Hopefully, in time I'll be able to turn it off again. Thank you!