* * * * *
What is worse that starting to read a book that you know you will love, and also know that you will hate how you will feel when it ends? When you actually get to finish! Every time I read a book by M.J. Rose, that's what happens. I had looked forward to the publication date for "The Collector of Lost Breaths", and eagerly began to read it. I could not put it down! The only thing, aside from awe, that I felt when it ended, was 'when I can read the next book in this 'series' ??!!
I have always enjoyed each and every book from the pen of M.J. Rose, none of them has ever been a disappointment. I do, at times, tend to anticipate that the more an author continues to write a series, the less fulfilling the books may become, but M.J. Rose seems to go in the opposite direction! "The Collector of Dying Breaths" is better that it's predecessor "Seduction" which was the sequel, of sorts, to her wonderful read, "The Book of Lost Fragrances". All three of these books have been delights, but this latest offering really riveted me. It is divinely suspenseful, with a plot that is intricately interwoven with a raft of interesting, well rounded characters. I simply could not put this book down. As predicted, when I finished reading it, I was, indeed, sad! The problem with finishing such a good read is that no other book holds my interest for very long. I have to wait for my enthusiasm to re-ignite!
This book continues the story of Jac L'Etoile and her brother, Robbie, both of whom are well known perfumers. I love perfume myself and so this series of books has really held my interest. Ms. Rose obviously knows her stuff when it comes to the perfecting of scents! The books spans the 16th century to the present. It is, in part, a love story which adds to the interest of the book - but this is no bodice ripper - the bonds of love in this story are much too delicious just for that! The romance is perfectly interwoven within the plot which is about the concept of collecting the last breaths of dying people in order to reanimate their souls.
I am also a time travel fan as well as a lover of historical fiction and no one manages this writing style more artfully than M.J. Rose. Her books are very well researched and the historical facts blend beautifully with the fiction. This book is a love story, a tale of reincarnation (which will please both believers as well as non-believers), a book of complete suspense right to the end, and it is also a book that presents some interesting historical facts about the indomitable Queen of France, Catherine deMedici and her predilection for all things alchemical and astronomical.
My only problem now is that I have to wait for the next book! I just want to keep reading...maybe I should just begin to re-read the entire 'Reincarnationist' series from the very beginning ?!!
The 'series' includes: The Reincarnationist, The Memorist, The Hypnotist, as well as these last three, amazing, volumes, The Book of Lost Fragrances and Seduction, and now "The Collector of Lost Breaths". Each is a perfect stand alone book, but if read in order you simply are more aware of some of the small nuances of the series.
The author's website, http://mjrose.com, is very interesting. Check it out!