The Romanov Cross Hardcover – 5 Mar 2013
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"In this fascinating, funny, and frightening supernatural thriller, [Robert] Masello skillfully weaves together the story of the deaths of the Russian royal family with the possibility of a new worldwide influenza pandemic. . . . Toss in a pack of slavering wolves, the undead, and a chilling ending, and the result is a terrific, can't-put-it-down read. Fine prose and plotting help solidify Masello's position at the top of this crowded subgenre."--"Publishers Weekly"
"A former Army epidemiologist contends with greedy locals and the harsh Alaskan terrain in order to prevent the recurrence of a deadly pandemic. . . . Masello weaves several disparate genres--medical thriller, historical novel, ghost story--into a coherent whole. A delicious sense of creeping dread permeates the first act, greatly enhanced by its setting in the stark but beautiful landscape of northwestern Alaska. . . . Tense, taut and impossible to put down."--"Kirkus Reviews "(starred review)
"The love story between Anastasia and the soldier tears at the heartstrings. The mixture of their love story, the history of what happened to the Romanov family and the depth of Anastasia's despair during her escape would make a terrific stand-alone novel. Add Slater's story and a modern-day flu epidemic possibly killing millions of people and the stories come together. There are even elements of a ghost story and outright horror. All these elements shouldn't work together, but they do. "The Romanov Cross" holds readers' attention from the beginning to the very end."--Associated Press
""The Romanov Cross" is a rare book where the story will have you thinking long after you have finished reading. Masello has combined the history and mythic lore of the Romanov dynasty with the greatest health scourge of the twentieth century, coupled with a story that could have been taken out of today's headlines. He weaved these elements into an edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting, suspense thriller."--"Sus
From the author of Blood and Ice, a spellbinding new take on one of history's most profound mysteries, and a thrilling race against time. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The romanov cross is great, the two stories running side by side was not off putting at all. The story was easy to read and kept me entertained. Was happy when a certain character died after all her suffering, was afraid she would be left wandering and alone. It did end on the possiblity of another book-hope so.
This is a tough review to write, I liked this book and at times hated this book. But i think the story wins out in the end. (I hated the use of one word in particular. Lighted... its Lit man Lit... he lit a fire, not lighted it...Ok rant over)
The book is not totally what I was expecting, but I don't often read supernatural thrillers. When you get away from the use of certain words (grr) then you have a story that builds slowly and carefully, gradually drawing the reader in.
I liked the regular time slip elements back to the time of Rasputin and the Romanov's. They have been an enduring mystery of the modern age, and really do grab the interest (or they did with me). The book also triggers a need to know more, I know I have looked more at how things suddenly went so bad for the royal family. (I bet the Germans regretted sending Lenin there in the end though).
In the current time period, the book probably could have lived without the love story and centred more on the spanish flu, and the mystery of the wolves etc.
And ultimately I thought the end for poor Anastasia was a cop-out, I get the keep it all hidden for the best angle, but its a cop-out. it would be better having it hit the headlines and a world scandal but with the Dr and Mayor leaving it all behind in the wider world because up in the wilds of Alaska no one cares about the politics.
Would I recommend?
It's worth a read, I spent a couple of days with it, and at night wanted to keep going not sleep. So despite the draw backs noted, yes a 4 out of 5 thriller, good characters and a nice idea for the plot.
My Wife had a hacking cough while i was reading this, so that added an extra dimension to the story... dont read it when you have a cold, im not sure i would have finished it if i had one.... the spanish flu is a scary SOB.
Masello has written a wonderfully involving and original yarn that has all the best qualities of a thriller - determined hero, sassy heroine, seedy manipulative villains, lurking menace and a dash of the supernatural that adds a fine creepy edge to the story without overwhelming it or taking away from the realism. His portrait of a remote Alaskan communtiy ultimately redeemed by its close shave with disaster is vivid and convincing, again deftly treading that fine line between small town neighbourliness and small town paranoia. The flashbacks to the birth of Soviet Russia and the grim end of the Romanovs were also vivid and utterly engrossing.
What I enjoyed the most, I think, was the way we kept rooting for the hero even when everything was going wrong for him and his crew. I don't want to give away the ultimate ending, but he doesn't conquer the world or end up getting a medal, it's smaller and truer and more enjoyable that that.
I'm writing this review in late summer and wish I'd come across this book earlier because it is a superb thriller to take on holiday, one that merits re-reading and which you'd happily pass on to your friends to read (though I'm sure the author would prefer them to buy their own copy). Masello can really spin a yarn - I'm going to catch up on his earlier works and keep an eye out for his next.
While the story had its interesting moments, it had enough problems that I didn’t find it more than “OK”. Like many thrillers of its type there are serious logic issues that are very distracting. And I really didn’t need yet another iteration of the murder of Rasputin and the sad Romanovs. But the biggest problem for me was way too much time spent with the loser bad guys. Between the excessive Romanov history and the unpleasant characters, there really wasn’t much development of the main characters which made it difficult to care about them. And for a story with such a bizarre premise, it was surprisingly predictable.
If you liked “The Da Vinci Code”, which had many of the same issues for me, you might enjoy “The Romanov Cross”. But if not, I can’t really recommend this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very interesting plot where true history really makes this an exciting book to read.Published 13 months ago by stony
Good easy read, with some interesting historical context. Definitely worth the money and the time. If you don't know what to read next, this might be a good idea.Published 18 months ago by Bruno D
recently found this author, excellent. Will be ordering more of his workPublished 22 months ago by Franko
Excellent read, FANTASTIC story line.
The fate of Fantasia will always be an intrigue and this book doesn't let the reader down.