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on 28 July 2012
I nearly didn't download this book because the subtitle phrase 'extremely controversial' rang warning bells: I smelt the whiff of desperation.
However, since it was a freebie at the time I took the risk.

This is a book in the Dan Brown genre. I found the historical premise interesting and would have liked more of the book to have been set in the past, exploring this in more depth. I do not have a strong faith but anyone who does may find the premise distasteful.

The current day story was of the action thriller movie kind, with heroes (and villains) who are seemingly indestructable. I don't necessarily see this as a problem, as long as the reader can accept the 'Saturday matinee' tradition and take the action scenes with a vat of salt. There were too many of these shoot 'em up passages for me.

Despite this, and given that my expectations were not particularly high, I found this readable, and it kept me engaged enough to want to find out how it ended. Whilst I don't regret reading it I don't think I will bother with the sequels.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
30 Pieces reads like a screenplay for an action movie and offers little more than a collection of James Bond style action sequences full of explosions, helicopters, planes and guns. Unfortunately, 30 Pieces of Silver isn't the script for a Bond movie, it's a novel, and totally unbelievable. When you watch an action movie it's easy to suspend belief. You believe the explosions, stunts, collisions, high speed chases and bodies flying through the air because you can see them, hear them, they grab your attention. It's much more difficult to carry that over into a novel and Carolyn McCray hasn't managed it.

What frustrated me, more than anything else, is that buried deep beneath the crash, bang, wallop of the action is a well worked, fictional, biblical intrique. It's here Carolyn McCray rescues her novel. Suddenly she leaves the action sequences behind and becomes involved in building quite a decent mystery. She's interested, her writing style improves and she's so much better as an author. What a shame this part of her book is so small compared to the overworked, overdone, thriller it's hidden inside.

I didn't find 30 pieces remotely controversial. This is a work of fiction and no-one's claiming it to be based on factual, historical research. Don't believe the hype. Building up the controversial angle is a tool to hook you in and make you buy the book.

I was going for a 2* review but; I found the historical/biblical themes interesting and so have raised it to 3*.
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VINE VOICEon 26 October 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having now read this book and previously reading the Da vinci Code I can see why others are making close comparisons and I would not disagree the thread of the stories have very similar connotations, but they are very different books.

My issues with this book are not based in the story which I would argue is better in many ways to the Da vinci code, my concern is in the detail and more specifically the military and action elements which to be fair are a significant portion of the overall story.

I have a military background from my youth which I have continued an interest in through my hobby as a WWII historian. Having read many books the key to a good story (fiction or fact) in my opinion is realistic tangibility and this is where this book falls down. The action scenes are like reading a movie narration the author appears to have taken their grasp of the subject from watching too many Die Hard and Rambo movies.

The whole book is tagged together with unrealistic and sometimes fanciful exploits of the main characters; it really does detract from what could be a very good book. Whilst reading the book I was constantly drawn to think the author must be hedging for a movie deal.

I'd give these book 6.5 stars out of 10 because I think it is very different from the Da vinci Code and overall has a better story, I also think the author should consider re-writing some of the military/action material to give the story a firmer holistic credibility which would tempt me to up my score to 9/10.

The biggest problem this book is going to have with many readers is the Da Vinci Code which is a more realistic package albeit a poorer story.
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VINE VOICEon 18 September 2012
30 pieces of silver by Carolyn McCray flits between the present and the past. It begins with The Eiffel Tower, a Christian suicide bomber.Within the twisted wreckage a cache of bones is found by a dedicated researcher on te trail of the relics of Christ. Bones that are inscribed with ancient Greek, letters that identify the remains as those of John the Baptist--and a promise to guide the seeker to the tomb of the Savior himself.

Dr. Rebecca Monroe, a paleo-archeologist, and Special Forces, Sergeant Vincent Brandt fight each other and the mysterious sect, The Knot that is trying to keep ancient secrets well hidden. They are chased literally from pillar to post with A-team like improvisations to "get out of jail free" cards being applied liberally in terrifying scenarios. Who is the traitor this time? All will be revealed. It cannot be compared with the heavily researched Da Vinci code, but it does leave food for thought. Good action packed, quick-read book. Great for long haul flights.
30 Pieces of Silver
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on 29 March 2012
A book I enjoyed reading, so much so, I took the Authors advice and bought "Encrypted". Before writing this review I looked at other reviews and have to say I agree with a lot of what has been said. The plot is weak on the Military side but as a lot of fiction requires a suspension of belief I overlooked this and just went along for the ride. The action is certainly there, almost non-stop and the descriptions of places detailed. If you like action and are prepared to treat some aspects as science fiction (two hundred MPH speedboats for example) you will enjoy this book.
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on 27 April 2012
When a fellow reviewer writes that a book is 'not for a Christian', it makes me want to read it to find out why! I might not agree with the author's portrayal of Jesus, but on the whole this is quite a good, absorbing yarn! I did like the links between biblical times and modern day and the author has clearly done her homework with some facts, though not others. I liked the main characters and the various twists in the tale. The only reason I haven't given it five stars is the overuse of the 'f' word which is totally unnecessary.
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on 29 March 2012
Got this book whilst it was free, so I had literally nothing to lose! That said I really enjoyed it. It's a thumping good read and very enjoyable. The plot moves along at a good pace and she describes some of the locations so well I actually want to visit them now (eg Budapest). Yes you do have to suspend your disbelief somewhat and I certainly don't believe a word of it - but then that's why it's called fiction!
Idea holiday reading or just for when you want something entertaining but not too challenging.
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on 21 April 2012
Having read the reviews I thought that this could was a book worth reading. What a disappointment! The author appears to have no technical knowledge what so ever. Never mind offending people of a religious disposition what about those that have knowledge of geography, science etc.
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on 9 April 2012
Started this book with eager anticpation but couldn't even finish it. The plot had such promise but the unreal characters couldn't carry it over. What finished it for me was the totally unrealistic "action scenes" such as starting abandoned biplane motors to kill people with propellers and finding helicopters from nowhere in Paris after 1 hour. More like "Mission Impossible" or "James Bond" than a "Spooks" or "Gabrial Allon." If you are going to write something at least make it believable.
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on 26 April 2012
I downloaded this book having some interest in the biblical content and found it very interesting it moved along at a very fast pace and I did wonder how they got from one place to another quite so quickly, I felt exhausted at times and was glad that I was sitting down but, I loved all the historical facts and the ending was very believeable and I shall want to read another of the authors novels.
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