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The Eight by Katherine Neville
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The Eight (1988)

by Katherine Neville

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Montglane Service (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,529991,498 (3.78)1 / 132
  1. 40
    The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (norabelle414)
  2. 20
    Zugzwang by Ronan Bennett (rarelibri)
    rarelibri: A murder mystery within the backdrop of chess tourney. The name of the book itself is taken from a chess position where: A player whose turn it is to move who has no move that does not worsen their position is said to be in zugzwang (Soltis 2003:78). Thus every move would make their position worse, and they would be better off if they could pass and not move. A great book and for fans of Neville. rarelibri… (more)
  3. 20
    Black Market Truth by Sharon Kaye (cat505)
  4. 31
    Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco (Torikton)
    Torikton: "Foucault's Pendulum" is probably the best conspiracy thriller there is.
  5. 20
    Codex by Lev Grossman (conceptDawg)
    conceptDawg: The “mystery/intrigue that is tied to an historical relic” genre
  6. 10
    Gospel by Wilton Barnhardt (kullfarr)
  7. 10
    The Fire by Katherine Neville (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: The two books are connected by the Montglane Service and The Game
  8. 00
    The Flanders Panel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (isabelx)
    isabelx: Historical mysteries involving chess.
  9. 00
    The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (SharronA)
  10. 00
    Sandstorm by James Rollins (majkia)
    majkia: similar race to uncover mysteries.
  11. 11
    The Geographer's Library by Jon Fasman (cransell)
  12. 15
    The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (cransell, kawika)
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English (86)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Catalan (2)  Lithuanian (1)  All languages (99)
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
The Eight by Katherine Neville starts in France in 1790. Valentine and Mireielle are novices are Montglane Abbey. Due to a new act that has been recently passed, the government is seizing possessions of the churches. This particular abbey hides a very special chess set. It was once owned by Charlemagne who gave it to Garin de Montglane. It is supposed to possess special properties and hides a formula. The Abbess’ of abbey have been protecting it for many years. Now it is being unearthed and sent out with the nuns. Valentine and Mireielle are given two pieces and special instructions. They are going to Paris to stay with their godfather, M Jacques-Louis David, a painter. They will act as a gathering point. If a nun has to flee, the girls will receive their pieces and keep them safe. The girls are only sixteen and have been raised in the convent since they were orphaned. They are very naïve. Are they up to the task?

Catherine “Cat” Velis is twenty-three and lives in New York in 1972. She works as a CPA and auditor for Fulbright, Cone, Kane, and Upham (a prestige firm). When she refuses to do something underhanded (and illegal) at the request of her boss, they decide to send her to Algiers for a year. On New Year’s Eve a fortune teller gives her an ominous reading. Cat is the “hand of destiny” and is in danger. Several months later (just before she is to leave for Algiers) Lily Rad takes Cat to a chess match. Lily is obsessed with chess and the daughter of a dear friend, Harry Rad. There Cat meets Alexander Solarin, a Grand Master of chess from Russia. He also warns her that she is in danger.

Catherine is to embark on a journey to find the pieces of the chess set. They are set to be in silver and gold with uncut, polished gems set in them (not a small chess set). It will be black (the good) versus white (the bad). Cat will need to stay one step ahead of the competition to stay alive and win the game. Cat is going to have to be careful who she trusts. You never know who will be working for the enemy. It is a game that has been playing for hundreds of years. Will Cat be able to obtain the pieces in time and figure out their mystery?

The Eight is a long and very complicated novel (I have given you just the briefest of overviews). It contains a lot of history, science, and chess. It is just too much for one book. The concept or mystery is interesting but it gets lost. I give The Eight 2.5 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed the history contained in the book (I am a history buff) but with all the science and the chess (I was never able to master chess because I did not sitting still for so long) the reader is soon experiencing a headache (or sound asleep). It took me a couple of tries to get through the novel (it is over 600 pages long). But I did persevere because I wanted to see how it turned out (I was disappointed). There was one twist in the book that I liked even though I had figured it out (the first section dealing with Cat). If you are looking for a novel to help you sleep, then The Eight is the right book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of The Eight from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Jul 22, 2015 |
“But she has risen now—like the pieces of the Montglane Service. And we may well tremble, all of us. For this is the end that was foretold."

I don't think that I will be able to explain just what an amazing adventure that this book turned out to be. I was invited by the publisher to read this book (this being the first time that the book is being published in ebook format) and even though I was a bit wary of it I decided to give it a try. Little did I know that once I picked it up it would be nearly impossible to put down.

This book switches between the 1970's and the 1790's. In the 1970's readers follow Cat as she is being shipped off to exile in Algeria after upsetting some major players at her work. Before she can even get to Algeria she is thrown into some mysteries in which she will only be able to find answers in Algeria. In the 1790's we follow two French novices, Valentine and Mireille, who are lead on a dangerous mission by their abbess.

I was originally wary about this book because I don't know how to play chess and I thought that I would need to know how to enjoy this book. While this book does have a lot of chess in it I still found it absolutely fascinating even with my lack of knowledge about chess. There was just so much adventure to this story and so many twists and turns that I was constantly amazed by this story and practically on the edge of my seat throughout. I don't want to give anything away about the plot as I feel that everyone should go into reading this with a clean slate.

I really loved the cast of characters in this book. There were characters that I really grew to love (and loved to follow) from both time periods. I originally did not like Lily at all but as the story progressed she really grew on me. There were plenty of characters from both time periods that I was unsure if they were trustworthy or not and was ultimately glad at where each of those characters ended up at the end.

This has most likely been my favorite read of 2015 so far and I really don't think that anything will be able to top this. I became a maniac absolutely obsessed with this book and felt like I was right there with the characters. I couldn't get enough of this while I was reading it and quite frankly I am a bit bummed that its over. Thank you (so very much) to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book. ( )
  dpappas | Jul 12, 2015 |
This book has been long to come to read for me. I started reading it a few years back, stopped and then picked it back up in audio form again. An interesting thriller (although I don't think I'd label it that) I liked its small troupe of characters, I always prefer books that don't deluge me with too many. I recommend it wholeheartedly if only to see who is whom

Then, having read her biography on Wikipedia, I'm even more amazed: a writer, model, photographer and vice president of bank of america. ( )
  Lorem | Jul 6, 2015 |
Tuve la sensación constante de estar leyendo el guión de una mala película para televisión interminable. Me lo terminé por respeto a quien me lo regaló, (porque me lo tomé como algo personal) pero el final apenas mejoró el mal desarrollo del libro.
( )
  L0r0 | Mar 22, 2015 |
There is something about this book that is serendipitous to me and made it important to read at this time. There are a million synopsis about for those that are interested in finding out what the book is "about".

The fact is, this book is about lots of different things on lots of different levels depending on what you are looking for within it. Is it a masterpiece? No - not by any stretch of the imagination however the fact that it inspires such strong feelings in the people who love it or hate it probably means that it's doing its job on some level.

If you want a surface review to help you decide, then if nothing else, it's a great adventure story with a little history and a little "Da Vinci Code" like storytelling - although this book precedes the Da Vinci Code and therefore should probably be given the accolade for that.
( )
  ozzieslim | Dec 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Katherine Nevilleprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Constante, SusanaTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
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Important events
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Awards and honors
Epigraph
Chess is Life. --- Bobby Fischer
Life is a kind of chess. --- Benjamin Franklin
Dedication
First words
A flock of nuns crossed the road, their crisp wimples fluttering about their heads like the wings of large sea birds.
Quotations
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Schaken is leven.

Bobby Ficher
Het leven is een soort schaken.

Benjamin Franklin
De typerende personages zijn ofwel voor, ofwel tegen de queeste. Helpers
worden geïdealiseerd als simpelweg galant of rein; wie tegenwerkt, wordt
afgeschilderd als simpelweg slecht of laf.
Vandaar dat ieder standaardpersonage...zijn morele tegenstander
tegenover zich krijgt, als zwarte en witte stukken in een schaakspel.

Anatomie van de kritiek
Northrop Frye
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345419081, Paperback)

Katherine Neville's debut novel is a postmodern thriller set in 1972 ... and 1790. In the 20th century, Catherine Velis is a computer expert with a flair for music, painting, and chess who, on her way to Algeria at the behest of the accounting firm where she is employed, is invited to take a mysterious moonlighting assignment: recover the pieces of an old chess set missing for centuries.

In the midst of the French Revolution, a young novice discovers that her abbey is the hiding place of a chess set, once owned by the great Charlemagne, which allows those who play it to tap into incredible powers beyond the imagination. She eventually comes into contact with the major historical figures of the day, from Robespierre to Napoleon, each of whom has an agenda.

The Eight is a non-stop ride that recalls the swashbuckling adventures of Indiana Jones as well as the historical puzzles of Umberto Eco which, since its first publication in 1988, has gone on to acquire a substantial cult following.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:43 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Computer expert Cat Velis is hired to recover the chess pieces of the Montglane Chess Service of 1790, they have the ability to endow anyone playing with them unlimited power.

» see all 5 descriptions

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