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The Cana Mystery by David Beckett
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The Cana Mystery

by David Beckett

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414279,442 (3.35)1

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This book was a decent read, but I can't be as effusive as many of the other reviewers. The comparisons to Indiana Jones or Robert Langdon are apt enough. The writing is highly descriptive, greatly detailed. There must have been a lot of research. There were some things though with the plot that didn't strike me as plausible when they should have been, and I'm not referring to any of the adventure per se, just normal little things. I got the feeling that maybe the author knew where he was going but was in too much of a hurry to get there at times. That being said, this book is very readable, a good choice for the beach or poolside this summer. ( )
  MaureenCean | Feb 2, 2016 |
I enjoyed this mystery in the style of The DaVinci Code. I especially like that, while there was some violence, there is no cursing or sex--which makes it much easier to recommend to students! I love that part of the book takes place in Malta, one of my favorite places in the world and one which most Americans know very little about.

However...I have some issues with the writing. I found some of the explanations pedantic, as if the author is simply showing off his historical knowledge. His parenthetical explanations of foreign foods were intrusive and often pulled me out of the story. I think there are better ways to explain foreign terms than parenthetically. The protagonists had very little backstory; most characters underwent no significant change from beginning to end--what we call static characters in the world of English Language arts. Many minor characters were quite flat, with only the characteristics to make them into "The Bad Guy," etc.

I would definitely tell students who are interested in this genre to read it, though the advanced vocabulary would keep it to my higher readers.

Possible objectionable material: One mild curse word. Violence—mostly shooting. Protagonists are on the run and feeling threatened through most of the book. The male and female protagonists share a hotel room, though nothing goes on. Smuggling of men’s magazines. A couple of characters are caught in various states of undress, though nothing comes of it.

Who would like this book: Anyone who liked The DaVinci Code or who likes religious history and apocrypha. Those who like mysteries and adventure. People interested in foreign lands and cultures. Probably ages 15 and up with good vocabularies.

Lexile: approximately 1230

I received an e-book copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review. Thanks NetGalley! ( )
  swingdancefan | May 4, 2015 |
Some claim this book rivals The DaVinci Code. I think not. This is a good attempt at that but falls very short of achieving its goal. Ava Fischer, a brilliant student specializing in ancient languages and history, goes across the world to help a friend in need, whose boss has found what he and others in his party think is a real coup in archaeological searches, the lost jars of Cana (used by Christ to change the water into wine at the marriage feast). What she gets is a whirlwind story filled with all sorts of twists and turns, as Ava and her friend run from country to country hoping to escape terrorists, fanatics and criminals who also want the jars of Cana, though probably for different nefarious reasons. The book moved along smoothly, but got totally caught up in all the running and escaping, so much so that I became weary of reading about one more escapade in Ava and her friend’s life. All the running and escaping kept the author from developing the characters and mystery very well. I did get a good feel for Ava, but not for anyone else. The book also kept switching from one scene with its characters to another, so fast that began to worry I would miss something important. In the end, the author seemed to just sort of give up, figuring he had to end the story somewhere, even if not in a terribly exciting way. The book has a lot of promise, and the author knows his history and the culture of the archaeological search and searchers well, but I think he just got too caught up in that aspect and lost some of the oomph the book could have delivered. No, this is not a remake or even rival to Brown’s works, but it is a good book to pick up if you are into ancient history, culture and lore connected to it—or books written in this vein. I finally decide to give it three stars. Weighing the merits versus the cons. Because of all this, I also think it could have been shorter, and not dragged quite as much as we followed Ava across so many countries and in and out of so much danger and near mines/captures. I received this from NetGalley to read and provide an honest review. ( )
  KMT01 | Nov 23, 2014 |
This had everything for an excellent tale: an adventure, action mystery based upon the conspiracies and corrupt church and civil authorities from the times of the early church through to the medieval era. Unfortunately for me, it was not given five stars due to the somewhat stilted style of an inexperienced writer. It is an entertaining story and interesting enough to hang on to the end, but I did not find it a compelling page turner, as I felt little empathy for the protagonists. Nevertheless the author is quite promising and I would probably read his next book. ( )
  LLoLaguayasaminaj | Nov 6, 2013 |
Showing 4 of 4
to enjoy an action-packed story chock full of both history and modern technology, read The Cana Mystery for yourself!
 
an exciting tale that treats readers' spirituality and matters of faith with due reverence. a rapidly-paced adventure story without gratuitous sex, foul language or graphic, gory violence. No brain-eating zombies, no mutants, no teenaged vampires in lust.
 
a blockbuster novel hovering within the archaeology/adventure/historical thriller category, The Cana Mystery reached number one on Amazon, garnering excellent reviews
 
It’s thrilling to read about a hairbreadth escape from death in Egypt’s Shubra Khit; readers gave 104 ratings on Goodreads totaling 4.24 stars out of five; on Amazon, which owns Goodreads, 130 reviews average out to 4.19 stars out of five, with by the far most reviews in the five-star category.
 
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