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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My FAvorite Book!!!!!!
I read a book a day on average and really hate to reread anything...but KN's books I reread every year ..they're excellent!! The Eight is my all time favorite book and I recomend it to anyone and everyone!!!
Published on April 20 2009 by Ontariobooks

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great start...then fell flat...
In the beginning I couldn't put this book down. Then it just sort of fell apart. I agree with the sentiment of others here that the whole "he's the rook, she's the queen" idea was absolutely pointless and made an otherwise intriguing book seem amateurish. There were too many characters involved, and it almost got to be a joke of guessing which famous person would...
Published on Nov. 28 2006 by Don't WantLiysaToHuntMeDown


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My FAvorite Book!!!!!!, April 20 2009
This review is from: The Eight: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
I read a book a day on average and really hate to reread anything...but KN's books I reread every year ..they're excellent!! The Eight is my all time favorite book and I recomend it to anyone and everyone!!!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great start...then fell flat..., Nov. 28 2006
This review is from: The Eight: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
In the beginning I couldn't put this book down. Then it just sort of fell apart. I agree with the sentiment of others here that the whole "he's the rook, she's the queen" idea was absolutely pointless and made an otherwise intriguing book seem amateurish. There were too many characters involved, and it almost got to be a joke of guessing which famous person would become part of the story next. The ending is pretty disappointing, though definitely not predictable - where the heck did all of that come from?

I don't regret reading the novel, and I may even read another work of Neville's simply because I think she has neat ideas, but the execution is sloppy and this book is not worth five stars.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent book, Feb. 1 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Eight: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a decent book. Neville is a talented writer and she has a wonderful idea. I'd give this 3.5 stars if Amazon let me. The reviews are all over the map, though they average out to the plus side, where it belongs. Despite what others say, however, let me be perfectly clear: This book is no masterpiece.
The difference in reviews can be explained best by (1) the reader's expectations and (2) what the reader looks for in a book.
First, big expectations will lead to disappointment. Many disappointed reviewers scoff at the comparison to Eco's "Name of the Rose." I agree with that sentiment. So if you picked this up because of this comparison on the cover, you'll be disappointed. I've enjoyed many books (and movies) where I didn't know what to expect, though I've hated many equally good books where my expectations were high. If you expect an average novel, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Second, if you read very little, you'll complain about what you get out of 598 pages. It would be a tragedy for someone who reads only a few books a year (and has read few classics) to read this one. On the other hand, if the size doesn't scare you and you read a lot, this is worth reading. Similarly, if you try only to read the very best books, skip this one. If you read a lot, this is another good book. It's an intelligent book with historical fiction, but it went too far -- almost as if the author was paid by the historical reference.
This novel is well researched and the style is good. The character development is average to good. Unfortunately, Neville spent too much time (words) on the wrong things. I would have liked more character development and more detail in the characters' environment and I felt the major action scenes went by too quickly -- before you even had a chance to start worrying about the characters.
The worst part about this book is its unmet potential. The two-tiered novel (in time) is an excellent idea and the chess game (or tournament) played through the ages piqued my interest as I love chess and unique ideas. However, the chess theme fell flat. The significance of who played which piece made no sense to me. What did it matter who was a rook and who was a Bishop or a Knight? What did their moves (in life) have to do with chess? Perhaps I missed it, but I tend to agree with another reviewer who said it may as well have been checkers. If you're scared away from this book because you don't know anything about chess, don't worry. And if you are attracted to this book because of the chess theme, forget it -- it will dissapoint you.
In sum, a good book -- but don't expect too much.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Chess-Themed, Female-Led, Fast-Moving Adventure Fantasy from the French Revolution to the Present, Oct. 18 2008
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Eight: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
The Eight is a one-of-a-kind novel. I've never read a book quite like it for drawing on so many genres and interestingly using so many references to history, the arts, culture, geography, mysticism, and religion. It's like watching a more culturally connected version of The Amazing Race television program.

At the same time, the new story combinations mostly work quite well. The queen is the most powerful chess piece, and it makes sense that women should dominate a novel about chess. So there's an integrity to the new mosaic that lends the plot an inner strength.

The book alternates between two story lines with different leading heroines, Mireille de Remy (an apprentice nun, or novice, during the French Revolution of 1789) and Catherine (Cat) Velis (a computer whiz working for an accounting firm in Manhattan in the early 1970s). Most times, the story line hits a cliff hanger just in time to shift back to the other story line. It's a good book structure for maintaining your interest.

Both heroines are drawn into the search for missing chess pieces and board from a set that was once owned by the Emperor Charlemagne, a set which physically represents an age-old secret that conveys some sort of astonishing benefit to the person who employs the secret. Naturally, there are opposing forces looking to find the clues and to grasp the secret for their own advantage. That competition is expressed in terms of chess moves and pieces.

No one, however, will ever accuse Ms. Neville of being a stylish writer in crafting sentences. Rather, she is a writer who evokes emotion in he readers by falling back on favorite techniques of thriller, romance, and mystery novelists to make her story compelling.

She does a good job of keeping the various elements of the story in balance. For that reason, if you don't like one aspect of the story, you won't find yourself putting the book down in disgust. She'll distract you with another aspect of the story before that happens.

Ms. Neville has a prodigious imagination, and she employs it well to connect coincidences, historical figures, important world events, and facts into a new tapestry that seems for vivid for its antecedents in the real world.

Unfortunately, the book's ending isn't quite up to its premise. Ms. Neville has her characters doing things at the end that don't quite fit with the logical flow of her story. But it's only a minor disappointment in the end. The fun of getting to the end is too vivid for the reader to be ultimately disappointed in the experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Positive, female protagonist--how refreshing!, Oct. 9 2008
By 
TopVoice (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Eight: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
Outstanding--if you even just liked "The DaVinci Code" you'll love the layered, gripping story of The Eight. The refreshing bit? It's a female protagonist and she behaves like Indy from Raiders of Lost Arc--but without all the usual female protagonist "dark secret", "hidden past" or rape or abuse that usually hobble practically all female heroes--and may I say female readers. The protagonists Cat, Mirelle & Lilly just go out there and have adventures, fun and get the guy in the process. Fabulous, empowering, engaging story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars `But all things of heaven and of earth have a reason.', June 7 2008
By 
Jennifer Cameron-Smith "Expect the Unexpected" (ACT, Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Eight: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
Each piece in a mystical chess set given to Charlemagne by eight mysterious Moors contains a code. Whoever reassembles the pieces will have unlimited power.

The chess set has been carefully hidden for centuries from those who would abuse its powers, However, in the 18th century, with France in revolution, the Abbess of Montglane judges the time has come to unearth the chess pieces and scatter them across the world in the custody of the nuns as they flee the Abbey. Two centuries later, another young woman is chosen to protect the pieces.

This novel is a fascinating blend of fiction and mystery in an historical setting. The action moves between the past and the present in a way that adds to the suspense rather than detracts from the narrative. This is Ms Neville's debut novel and was first published in 1988, and predates a number of the novels to which it is frequently compared by some years.

I think this novel will appeal to those who like historical fiction as well as those who like mystery and problem-solving. I enjoyed it on two levels: the historical setting itself and the snippets about the game of chess. I read it purely for entertainment, but found myself wondering `what if..?'

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply awsome!, Oct. 10 2005
This review is from: The Eight: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
I liked it better than The Da Vinci Code! I loved the parallel to chess because chess is actually a game based on real life and in every organization there is a leader, a strategist, a footman, etc. I also loved the back-and-forth between past and present; it heightened the suspense. The unpredictable but not completely final ending was great - it lets you imagine what may happen next (I guess that's why the author is now working on a sequel...). A great asset to any personal library.
Also can't wait to read "the Magic Circle" by the same author!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, Oct. 5 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Eight: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
Once I picked up this book I couldn't put it down. This is an easy and entertaining read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars ABOVE AVERAGE...BUT NOT GREAT !!!, May 6 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Eight: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
I just finished the book and I must warn all future readers.....please don't expect the novel of the century...I've read quite a few of the reviews posted and am totally bewildered that this book rated 5 stars among some readers. It is a good read, but some parts are disappointing (i.e. the whole chess piece/person connection). If you expect an above average read, go for it!!! If you only read a few books a year...pass...it isn't worth it !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Here's something new, Oct. 1 2004
This review is from: The Eight: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
Here's something new: a book that has a plot, is well put together, is interesting, has great characters, and is worth recommending to your friends. Of the three books I've recently read, this is one of my favorites. Part fairy tale, part history, part fiction, and part romance, all the bases are covered in this ingenius Neville novel. THE EIGHT is by far more interesting than some other suspense novels, and Neville's blending of the 1970s and 1790 makes for interesting parallels. I fully realize that the chess set playS a major and central role in this page turner, but for me it was really more about human relationships. Also recommended: BARK OF THE DOGWOOD and RULE OF FOUR
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The Eight: A Novel
The Eight: A Novel by Katherine Neville (Mass Market Paperback - Jan. 14 1990)
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