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The Map by [Learner, T. S.]
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The Map Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Length: 608 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Book Description

From the author of 2010's biggest-selling thriller debut, an ingenious, exciting adventure in the tradition of Kate Mosse's Labyrinth and Raymond Khoury's The Last Templar

From the Back Cover

Mazes, riddles, witchcraft . . . and centuries-old secrets An Oxford classics scholar has discovered an ancient scroll. A band of black-magic worshippers has gathered in London. A map to three labyrinths hidden within Europe has been unfolded. And an ancient mystery is calling . . . Pursued by spies and secret agents, guarding the map from unseen enemies, August Winthrop plunges headlong into a Europe ravaged by war. But the map will lead him farther than he ever dreamed - into a series of labyrinths with the power to change the world. From the Top 10 bestselling author of Sphinx comes the most dazzling novel of the year - a sophisticated, relentlessly exciting story in the tradition of Dan Brown, Robert Harris and Kate Mosse.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1777 KB
  • Print Length: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (19 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0065JMQYS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #197,085 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't normally leave negative reviews but felt compelled on this occasion! Do not waste your time and money on this book!
There seems to be a story developing for the first 580 pages (out of 590) and then everything suddenly just comes to a halt without any plausible explanation as to:
1) who exactly was Olivia, why she betrayed Shimon's family to the Inquisition but was rather sympathetic to August and what is her connection to Tyson;
2) who killed Professor Copps and why?
3) why was Olivia and Tyson following August?
4) where and when did Gabirel try the plant that gave him the "sight"?
5) who ordered Charlie's execution and why?
6) how did August make his way back to England to prove his innocence?

I believe that the three embarrassingly rushed "romantic" scenes towards the end of the book should have been replaced with passages answering at least some of questions above - but it looks like the page count was sadly more important than logical composition of the plot to the editors.
The characters are boring and not very believable - rather stereotyped and predictable and not very likable, either. I thought I might like Izarra but she didn't cut it in the end with her crazy act of pointless martyrdom.
The author wanted to demonstrate her knowledge of the Tree of Life but even that was done rather clumsily.
Several other reviewers mentioned that the book is poorly researched from historical point of view and I have to agree - Ottomans in the 8th century? Elvis popular in Germany in 1953? Please!!!
Oh, and the "marvellous bonus" chapter has got a number of spelling mistakes without adding any value to the storyline.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I was intrigued by the premise and realised that it wasn't going to be a great work of literature. However, this book just plods along, always appearing to be on the verge of something exciting but never getting there.

The hero is unengaging bordering on repellent. The style is pure Dan Brown at his worst at times but I think I expected that. There was a point where I began to think it was an English language translation such were the grammatical and punctuation mistakes but after about 100 pages those problems disappear so I suppose it simply hasn't been proof read properly.

Style quibbles aside, this ought to have been a romp - a guilty pleasure - but on the whole it is just dull.
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Format: Paperback
This is a truly dreadful book, badly conceived, badly plotted and badly written. Learner has taken a handful of sensationalist ingredients- an ancient map, a Jewish mystic, the Inquisition, the Spanish Civil War, Wicca and the CIA- and made a mishmash of them all. The hero, August, is one of those fantasy characters that are, for no apparent reason, irresistible to women. He has a strange collection of talents, no doubt a result of his having taken an imaginary course at Oxford- what Learner calls Classics and Oriental Studies. This apparently involves botany, but not much in the way of classical languages, because there's some very dodgy Latin wandering about this book. The story makes you lose the will to live- so many questions- why did Shimon set people chasing all over Europe looking for complicated gardens? why, if Tyson knew enough about Shimon's heraldic flowers to leave them lying about to taunt August, didn't he go to Cordoba in the first place? Why Olivia? And why, if August already knew about the Sephiroth, did we need the improbable Cockney Jew? Even in its own terms, the story makes no sense. The plan of the Sephiroth is a pattern, not a labyrinth. One doesn't get lost in it as there are lots of different ways around it, and it is supposed to be for the use of an ascetic spirituality, not a idle code made for fun. Learner herself gets fed up with it, using only three of the attributes and ignoring the rest.Other reviewers have mentioned the many mistakes in this book and they are wearisome. The Spanish Civil War is completely irrelevant to the mystery story and perhaps might have made a decentish book on its own, but its inclusion makes me wonder how much Learner's novel was influenced by that far superior fantasy, "El laberinto del fauno" -Pan's Labyrinth.I got this book for 15p, withdrawn from the local library. Don't buy it, even for 15p.
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Format: Paperback
This book appealed to me because it was a refreshing change from the usual Da Vinci style `lost gospel' hunt. It started well, with a believable main character and an interesting series of plot-lines developing, however as the story progressed there were more and more irritating loose ends - characters, symbols and events which led nowhere.

By about halfway through I happened to re-read the back cover synopsis which detailed the three main elements of the story and realised that there was a whole segment of the plot which had apparently been clumsily edited out of the story altogether, namely: ".....a band of black-magic worshippers has gathered in London....."
This finally explained the odd character of Olivia and various holes in the plot; from there the disappointment grew and grew but I hung on till the end of the book, hoping that when the lead character solved the central mystery it could still provide a satisfying end to the story.

I was therefore very annoyed to find that the last few pages were a hurried mess, the `big mystery' just wasn't, and to top it all this was then followed by an invitation to visit the author's webpage for a bonus chapter to find out what happens next.
Naively thinking this might explain everything I did just that, but was stunned to find that this was just a gimmick - in order to have access to this bonus chapter the reader is required to provide their email address to subscribe to the author's newsletter !

I have never reviewed a book like this before but this kind of treatment compels me to voice my complaint - even if the editors ignore it then at least I may have saved someone else from similar disappointment.
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