Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What the hell?

Received the following email today from reviewer Nick Pelling about James Rollins' The Voynich Project. Had to read it three times. Pelling writes:

Here's the relevant part of my review:-
Rollins has clearly taken the time to read up on the VMs and to engage with its strange pictures, for which I applaud him (I even get a brief mention in the notes at the end, which is nice, however unwarranted). Unfortunately, one thing manages to spoil the whole party.

Briefly, what happens is: hero goes to the British Museum/Library to meet man studying the alchemical side of the Voynich Manuscript; because the man has disappeared, the hero instead meets his sister (who also happens to work there); they go to a pub in the East End; hero learns about the womans mysterious Celtic tattoo on her back; Nazi thugs enter the pub; she produces a key from above the back door; they escape out to the rear into a messy gunfight& and when the woman is eventually captured by the Nazis, her tattoo turns out to contain an ancient map / key to the secrets hidden in the Voynich Manuscript.

The problem is that this central storyline exactly reprises probably the best-selling (and quite possibly the best-written) Voynich novel yet, Max McCoy's (1995) Indiana Jones and the Philosopher's Stone - you know, the one I recommend that all aspiring Voynich novelists should read first. If there had been just a handful of similarities, I could possibly have passed over them in silence - but this is all much too much for me to bear.


Cheers, ....Nick Pelling.... // Cipher Mysteries