Saturday, December 13, 2008

Review – “The Memorist” by M.J. Rose

FROM THE BOOK COVER:
The dreads are back. As a child, Meers Logan was haunted by memories of another time and place, always accompanied by the faint strains of elusive music. Now the hand of the past has reached out again. An envelope addressed to her and delivered to the Phoenix Foundation—an institute dedicated to the recovery of past life memories—contains a childhood drawing of an elaborate box that Meers recognizes…and a sheet from an auction catalog identifying the object—which she spent years imagining— as an eighteenth-century gaming box.

Determined to unlock the mystery of who she once was, she travels to Vienna to find the box. With each step, she comes closer to remembering the connections between a clandestine reincarnationist society, the lost Memory Flute linked to Ludwig van Beethoven and rumored to open the door to the past, and to David Yalom, a journalist who knows all too well how the past affects the future.
With The Memorist, M.J. Rose delivers another fast-paced supernatural thriller, a companion novel to the earlier and excellent The Reincarnationist (see my review here). Malachai and The Phoenix Foundation are still in pursuit of Memory Tools (ancient and historical artifacts that when properly used can induce past life regressions) to prove the truth of reincarnation. In Vienna, the secret and reclusive Memorist Society has uncovered information on the location of the Memory Flute.

The Memorist Society had discovered the millennia old Memory Flute and given it to Ludvig Van Beethoven to decipher the code and musical theme needed to activate it. Later he had told the Society that it had been destroyed when in fact he had hidden it away for everyone’s protection. Jeremy Logan a member of the Society locates an antique box with a secret letter from Beethoven to his Immortal Beloved revealing clues to its whereabouts.

Jeremy is convinced that the box is the same as the one that his daughter Meers has been envisioning and plaguing her since childhood. Meers joins her father in Vienna to search for the flute. As with The Reincartionist, The Memorist offers up an intricate plot that gives Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum a run for their money. Malachai follows Meers to Vienna hoping the Society will recover the flute, but he in turn is followed by an FBI agent still investigating him for his involvement in the events from The Reincarnationist.

Enemy factions try to thwart their efforts with violent and deadly consequences. Sebastian, a member of the Society and friend of Jeremy’s assists them in their hunt. Sebastian’s young son is locked away in a mental institute suffering from debilitating visions of past life experiences. Sebastian hopes exposing his son to the flute, if recovered, will break him out of his fugue.

In a seemingly unrelated story arc, thousands of the worlds top security and counter terrorist specialists are gathered at a conference in Vienna and plan to attend a performance of the Vienna Symphony. David Yalom a bitter Israeli also plans a terrorist attack against the attendees to prove a point about security related to the deaths of his entire family.

As with The Reincarnationist, a parallel tale of the genesis of the Memory Flute and Beethovens role are teasingly revealed through Meers flashbacks to a past life as a student of Beethoven’s and as the lover of the artisan that originally created the flute in the ancient Indus Valley. Tension and excitement build as Meers and Sebastian, one by one solve the clues in the letter, leading them closer and closer to recovering the flute and solving the mystery of the musical coda needed to make the flute work.

The author brings all of these elements together—the flute, the concert, the terrorist, Malachai, the FBI, Sebastian and Meers, in a surprising and rousing climax. I thoroughly enjoyed The Memorist which is full of rich detail, wonderful characters and a page-turning plot that would make a great film. If you liked The Reincarnationist, you will find The Memorist a welcome addition to the ranks of top notch supernatural thrillers.

Read an excerpt.

Mira
Published: November 2008
ISBN #: 9780778325840
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 464

Phoenix Foundation Series

  1. The Reincarnationist (2007)
  2. The Memorist (2008)


3 comments:

  1. I didn't realize the first book was available in paperback. I'll definitely pick it up, as your review confirmed my suspicions that I won't regret it.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hope that you will enjoy it. M.J. Rose has a very visual style and great pacing making scenes and characters very vivid.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cool. I'll come back and let you know what I thought. (At some point!)

    ReplyDelete

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