Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Collector of Dying Breaths: A Novel of Suspense by M.J. Rose

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Obtained from: Netgalley/Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Read: January 25, 2014

In 1533, an Italian orphan with an uncanny knack for creating fragrance is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. To repay his debt, over the years René le Florentine is occasionally called upon to put his vast knowledge to a darker purpose: the creation of deadly poisons used to dispatch the Queen's rivals. But it's René other passion—a desire to reanimate a human breath, to bring back the lives of the two people whose deaths have devastated him—that incites a dangerous treasure hunt five centuries later. That's when Jac L’Etoile—suffering from a heartache of her own—becomes obsessed with the possibility of unlocking Rene's secret to immortality. Soon Jac’s search reconnects her with Griffin North, a man she’s loved her entire life. Together they confront an eccentric heiress whose art collection rivals many museums and who is determined to keep her treasures close at hand, not just in this life but in her next. Set in the forest of Fontainebleau, crisscrossing the lines between the past and the present, M.J. Rose has written a mesmerizing tale of passion and obsession. This is a gothic tale perfect for fans of Anne Rice, Deborah Harkness, and Diana Galbadon.

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Catherine de Medici
M.J. Rose is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. Her stories are wonderfully imagined and the lyrical quality of her prose is point blank beyond compare. Thematically heavy, they aren't what I'd term easy reading, but I assure you, they are more than worth the time one puts into them. 

Now before I get too far ahead of myself, I'd like to offer a small disclaimer about the Reincarnationist series because I think it important to note that you can jump in pretty much anywhere. Readers need not be intimidated or wary of picking up whichever volume they find interesting so don’t worry if you haven't sampled Rose's earlier works.

The Collector of Dying Breaths, like Seduction, hits the ground running. I was hooked in the first few pages and only freed when I'd completed the final chapter. Utilizing familiar and relatable motifs, Rose's narrative takes readers on a complex emotional journey while exploring and elaborating the metaphysical concepts of reincarnation, past-life experience and shared memory. As with its predecessor, I had difficultly appreciating the characters as individuals, but I still relished the convoluted intrigues and intense affairs in which they are a part. 

Most notable, however, is the fact-based and sensory detail Rose crafted within these pages. Rather than depict Jac and René as dabblers in some vague and ill-defined science, Rose renders a penetratingly perceptive portrait of the perfumer's profession. This attention to detail is what makes Rose's books for me. Not every reader will agree, but I find the depth and dimension of her meticulous research as intoxicating as the scents she portrays. 

Brilliantly gothic and thought-provoking, The Collector of Dying Breaths is a powerfully vivid fiction that is both intelligent and entertaining. 

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It is one thing to fall in love with a rose and its deep rich scent. One the blood-red flower blooms, browns and decays and its smell has dissipated, you can pluck another rose about to bloom. Butt to fall in love with a woman after a lifetime of not knowing love? In the browning of your days? Ah, that is to invite disaster. That is to invite heartbreak. 
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Check out all the stops on M.J. Rose's The Collector of Dying Breaths Virtual Book Tour

Monday, March 3
Review at Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, March 4
Review at The Novel Life
Wednesday, March 5
Review at Bitches with Books
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Thursday, March 6
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Friday, March 7
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Monday, March 10
Review at Diary of an Eccentric
Tuesday, March 11
Review at Book-alicious Mama
Wednesday, March 12
Review at The Wormhole
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook
Thursday, March 13
Review at Luxury Reading
Friday, March 14
Review at Book Drunkard
Monday, March 17
Review at Closed the Cover
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Tuesday, March 18
Review at The Lit Bitch
Interview at Closed the Cover
Wednesday, March 19
Review at Princess of Eboli
Monday, March 24
Review at To Read or Not to Read
Interview at Mina’s Bookshself
Tuesday, March 25
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Wednesday, March 26
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Thursday, March 27
Review at A Bookish Libraria
Friday, March 28
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession
Monday, March 31
Review at Mom with a Book
Tuesday, April 1
Review at Peppermint, Ph.D.
Wednesday, April 2
Review at Reviews by Molly
Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Thursday, April 3
Review at Mari Reads
Friday, April 4
Spotlight at Reading the Ages
Monday, April 7
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at From Left to Write
Tuesday, April 8
Review at Mina’s Bookshelf
Review at Lit Addicted Brit
Wednesday, April 9
Review at West Metro Mommy
Thursday, April 10
Review & Interview at Cynthia Robertson Blog
Friday, April 11
Review at She Reads Novels
Monday, April 14
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Tuesday, April 15
Review at Bibliophilic Book Blog
Wednesday, April 16
Review at A Novel Review
Review at The Musings of a Book Junkie
Thursday, April 17
Review & Interview at Cozy Up with a Good Read
Friday, April 18
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Monday, April 21
Review at A Book Geek
Tuesday, April 22
Review at Blogging the Beloved
Wednesday, April 23
Review at A Dream Within a Dream
Interview at Blogging the Beloved
Thursday, April 24
Review at Pure Textuality
Friday, April 25
Review at The Musings of ALMYBNENR
Monday, April 28
Review at Book Dilettante
Tuesday, April 29
Review at Our Wolves Den
Wednesday, April 30
Review at From L.A. to LA
Thursday, May 1
Review at Bibliophilia, Please
Friday, May 2
Review at A Writer’s Life
Tuesday, May 6
Review at The True Book Addict
Wednesday, May 7
Review at Booklover Book Reviews
Thursday, May 8
Review at Psychotic State Book Reviews
Friday, May 9
Review at Blood Mother
Monday, May 12
Review at Broken Teepee
Tuesday, May 13
Review at Savvy Verse & Wit
Wednesday, May 14
Review at Buried Under Books
Thursday, May 15
Review at bookramblings
Friday, May 16
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, May 19
Review at The Mad Reviewer
Tuesday, May 20
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Thursday, May 22
Review at Seaside Book Corner
Friday, May 23
Review at Tower of Babel
Monday, May 26
Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Tuesday, May 27
Review at Just One More Chapter
Wednesday, May 28
Review at Book Nerd
Thursday, May 29
Review at Kincavel Korner
Review at Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
Friday, May 30
Interview at Kincavel Korner


Marg said...

Interesting to see your disclaimer because I thought I really missed out on something in Seduction by not having read the previous book. I am due to read this book in the next week or so, having now read them all, and will see how it goes.

Anonymous said...

That is interesting. Always fun to see books that readers feel differently about huh?

Hope the second one works better for you. :)