Author: M. J. Rose. She is an international bestselling author of 13 previous novels. Seduction is the 5th novel to feature protagonist Jac L’Etoile.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Suspense
Summary: In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, Hugo began participating in hundreds of séances to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with the likes of Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus—and even the Devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it was believed.
Recovering from her own losses, mythologist Jac L’Etoile arrives on the Isle of Jersey—where Hugo conducted the séances—hoping to uncover a secret about the island’s Celtic roots. But the man who’s invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, has hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different—Hugo’s lost conversations with someone called the Shadow of the Sepulcher.
This book was wonderful. It combined some of my favorite elements; history, the supernatural, and romance. It drew me in immediately and kept my attention throughout. I found myself totally enamored with Jac and Victor Hugo. It’s the kind of book that leaves you wishing it was all real – that these things actually happened. Rose is also very, very good at imagery. Some of the prose is beautiful and she does a fantastic job of making you feel that you’re right in the middle of the novel.
This is also the kind of book that educates you as you read. I found myself researching Victor Hugo, mythology, and how perfumes are made.
Some people may not like the way the book switches back and forth in time, but I found it an interesting juxtaposition. I would also recommend reading M.J. Rose’s Reincarnationist series. I didn’t, but realized as I was reading that this was not Rose’s first novel about Jac. You won’t have any problem following this book, but I think it would probably provide a nice backdrop for it. I plan on going back and reading those.
This is the first M.J. Rose book that I have read, and I was not let down. It started out a little slow but I was intrigued by the flow of the story going back and forth between the past and the present and how the author connected the reader to both times. While the book does have a lot going on you don’t feel overwhelmed with the different story line and how they intersect with each other. I felt drawn into the story with each passing page and despite being a huge fan of suspense and horror novels I got the ‘heepy jeepies” from a few of the scenes. When I got to the end I was a bit surprised at where the author was taking us but enjoyed getting there. I will definitely read more books by M.J. Rose, I already have The Book of Lost Fragrances on hold at my local library.
This book is written from the perspective of two people living a century apart. Their individual points of view are intertwined to tell the complete story. While M.J. Rose has taken this difficult task of writing different perspectives and having them complement and flow with each other and done a wonderful job, she has forgotten to complete the story. I loved reading this novel; it was compelling and suspenseful. However, as the end of the book neared she introduced new characters and perspectives that greatly affect the characters I had come to know. These new characters were essential in the evolution and resolution of the novel, but this never happens.
I felt as if M.J. Rose took me, as a reader, to a cliff and pushed me off, expecting me to be satisfied with landing at the bottom without an explanation. Everything in the novel led up to the end, but there was no explanation to go with it and I felt as if I am missing pieces. Maybe some more insightful readers will be able to infer the connections that are supposed to be made, but I was unable to put the final pieces of the novel together using the information I was givien. Because of this unsatisfactory ending I would not recommend this book to anyone I know.
Read Instead: If you want a suspenseful novel, instead, I would recommend A Discovery of Witches.
I found this book slow to get started; however, once I got past the first chapter or so I couldn’t put it down. I have always been intrigued by spiritualism and this book didn’t disappoint. It was easy to imagine myself in the story, to become immersed in the lives of the characters. The fact that one character was a real person and the book was loosely based on his real beliefs made the story all the more interesting.
I would definitely recommend this book and will be looking for more of M.J. Rose’s work.
I was a little nervous about this book at first. It seemed long, it had spirituality, history, and fantasy – three genres I’m not necessarily a fan of reading, and it took a little bit to get into Hugo’s journal passages. It’s a good thing I was on vacation because I stayed up late several nights in a row reading this book.
While I felt the stories wove together in a beautiful way, there were pieces of the book that I felt were jammed into the over all picture. Granted, it could be more my lack of knowledge regarding certain historical eras than the writing itself, but some of the connections could have been further explored and explained for the historical non-buffs in the crowd. I enjoyed this book enough to download another by M.J. Rose, look forward to reading more and have already told some friends they should read it.