The Rule of Four

From time to time, I like to read works outside speculative fiction. And when I do, thrillers are something I enjoy reading. To me, thrillers are like quickies. Not necessarily very fulfilling, but nevertheless satisfying. It's fast, fun, and it brings a certain satisfaction!;-) You get your fix, and then you move on. Okay, so enough of this poorly devised sex life analogy.:-) I enjoy thrillers because they keep you turning pages, always eager to discover what happens next.

Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason's The Rule of Four garnered mixed reviews. Yet the novel has gathered an impressive number of rave reviews. One claims that it's a «The Da Vinci Code for people with brains.» I bought this book last year, but waited all this time to read it. I needed something "light" to read at work as I was going through Steven Erikson's Gardens of the Moon at home. Yes, it does say a lot about what I think of my fellow colleagues, but what the heck!?!

Well, if anyone is purchasing The Rule of Four hoping to be served a fair similar to that of Dan Brown's Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code, they will be sorely disappointed. Other than an ancient riddle to solve, this book is in no way akin to the aforementioned titles.

I won't dwell too much on that aspect, but let's just say that those who found this book profoundly erudite and a brilliant accomplishment were a bit overexcited. Truth to tell, the whole riddle storyline ends in rather lame fashion.

No, what makes this novel «compulsively readable» is the coming-of-age storylines involving the four Princeton roommates. They are the heart of this book. The characterizations are superior to most of what you can find on bookstores' shelves in today's market. The relationships between Paul, Tom, Gil and Charlie are what makes this such an enjoyable story.

The authors demonstrate a human touch that is seldom seen. The narrative explores what they are going through on the eve of graduation, and this is the facet of the novel which is truly inspiring. Forget the hype. Forget the riddle. Forget that it's a thriller, for it's not truly a thriller. The Rule of Four won't make history. Indeed, it likely made it to the NYT bestseller list riding on The Da Vinci Code's coat-tails.

But if you need an interesting book to read on the plane, the train, or on the beach, this one should do the trick!

The final verdict: 7.5/10

3 commentaires:

Onigiri said...

Hrm...if I remember right this is the one with the hypnoerotica book? If it is, then I agree with you. It was a quick read but boring after reading the Da Vinci Code.

BTW have you ever read Jacqueline Carey, Carol Berg, or Jennifer Fallon? I don't think I've seen them on your list so far. We seemed to have similar taste in books. I really enjoyed these fantasy authors.

Maurice said...

Im struggling through it right now since its just really boring. I am finding it to be a quick read, but I have no motivation to pick it up. I am quite annoyed at the hype for this book, like calling it The Da Vinci Code for people with brains even though it feels like its written for teenagers by teenagers.

Debbie Gelbard said...

I read the varied comments about The Rule of Four on your website, and tend to agree with the view that it is somewhat obtuse and the flow is very patchy. Still, I didn’t regret reading it and did find it well written, at least in parts.

Having said that, I’d like to recommend another book that, although very different, is also subtly threaded with ancient mystery, code and myth. I’m referring to my own recently published novel.

My novel is called Global Dawn and you can find it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble under ISBN 0-9724586-7-0.

Global Dawn is the extraordinary tale of Reuven Sofer, a land surveyor, fated to be the agent of global change. The story is wrapped in alchemy and mysticism according to ancient Biblical and Mayan prophecies. It immerses us in its hero’s passions for women, music, philosophy and technology on the colorful artistic fringe of modern-day Israeli society. The Global Dawn project reaches a breathtaking climax on the mystical soil of Jerusalem, despite its creator’s painful struggle against the stern realities of daily life.

Reuven’s desire to raise planetary awareness worldwide by exposing people to a universally aligned data resource carries echoes of NASA’s Digital Earth project featured in a dedicated Foreword by Dr. Timothy Foresman, former leader of the Digital Earth at NASA.

Like The Rule of Four and the Da Vinci Code, Global Dawn features powerful discoveries uncovered by deciphering mystic codes and formulae embedded in classic, artistic finds. I can’t tell you more without spoiling the plot for you.

I do hope you’ll follow up my suggested lead, however, and will enjoy reading Global Dawn. I look forward to your reactions, in due course.

All the best,

Debbie Gelbard
http://www.webhaven.co.il/globaldawn.html
debnzeev@inter.net.il