Tag Archives: book review

Book Review: The Seventh Treasure

The Seventh Treasure
The Seventh Treasure

I am passionate about travel, along with my family and photography, and when I’m not traveling, I enjoy reading. I especially enjoy reading books that take place in locations I’ve visited. They allow me to relive the adventures I encountered in those destinations, and such was the case with Len Camarda’s The Seventh Treasure set in Spain.


The Seventh Treasure follows the story of Secret Service agent Gene Cerone, who travels to Granada, Spain to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding his sister’s death. Turns out her death was no accident and Cerone, with help from Lieutenant Mercedes Garcia, uncovers a hidden conspiracy that dates back to the time of the Moors.


Alhambra Gardens
Alhambra Gardens @ Debi Lander 2003

Although I recently toured Spain’s Balearic Islands, I visited Granada back in 2003. Still, I vividly remember the Alhambra as a massive palace complex,  home Spanish Muslims as well as Isabel and Ferdinand. The buildings were unassuming from the outside, yet ornately geometric and beautiful on the inside. The gardens and fountains were particularly unusual and lovely, plus a cooling respite from the summer heat. Anyway, Camarda’s book spends a lot of time in and around the Alhambra.


Looking up at the Alhambra from a hotel in Granada.
Looking up at the Alhambra from a hotel in Granada.
Laura in the Court of Lions, 2003
My daughter Laura in the Court of Lions, 2003

I’ve  read Dan Browne’s books because I enjoy  the way he entwines mystery with historical facts.  Len Camarda’s follows a similar path in this, his first novel, using the storyline from the Tales of the Arabian Nights. His writing is descriptive, he keeps the plot moving, and involves politics (in a similar fashion to Tom Clancy) and uses plausible methods to uncover the mystery.


If you like historical thrillers or are just looking for a good read, I suggest Len Camarda’s The Seventh Treasure — and, of course, a trip to Spain!


Disclosure: The Seventh Treasure was sent to me for review, but if I’d come across it in the bookstore I would have purchased it. I can honestly recommend it.

Debi Reviews Angels and Demons: The Movie

Angels & Demons- The Movie starring Tom Hanks

Part 8- Angels & Demons: The Movie

Most know I’m a fan of Dan Brown ‘s best-selling books, which I mentioned at the beginning of my virtual Angels & Demons blog tour . Can’t wait to read his new release, The Lost Symbol, coming out September 15, 2009.

However, neither movie based on his novels, The DaVinci Code nor Angels & Demons, have captured the intrigue and suspense of the written word. Hmm, maybe that reinforces the need to read instead of being fed video?

I’m captivated with the way Brown drops in behind-the-scenes nuggets, factual details (for the most part) about artisans, art and religious history. Brown tells it like a great tour guide, providing insight with anecdotes that make a place come alive.

But, Director Ron Howard was unable to bring the profusion of historical data onto the big screen, at least not to the degree that Brown incorporates it into his storyline. And, who can blame Howard; he only has two and half hours?

Movie Scene- The College of Cardinals walk to the Sistine Chapel

Suspense seems to be the quintessential element the movies aren’t replicating. Film should have the advantage by presenting the viewer a visual illusion, the actual scene. The camera can zoom in or fade out the focus. The novel writer has to rely on the reader’s imagination to create the picture.

Sound also helps build suspense, the muffled thump of heartbeats or gradual crescendo of spine-tingling music. Howard’s film, Apollo 13, had me on edge, even though I knew of the astronauts safe return. Angels & Demons fares better than the DaVinci Code, but still fails to capture the fervor generated by the book.

I’m also a devotee of talented actor Tom Hanks ; loved him in Big and was crazy about his performance in Castaway and Terminal. But, I think moviegoers can’t quite connect with his role as Professor Langdon. Viewers don’t identify with him because they don’t feel his emotions.

Non-reader moviegoers won’t understand Langdon’s depth of knowledge or the meaning of the symbolic clues. Trying to squeeze that information into a scene doesn’t work. Langdon comes off like an uptight British gent instead of an empathetic soul, thrown into a life and death situation. There’s no time to build his character, there’s too much story to tell.

Nonetheless, I still enjoyed watching Angels & Demons. Howard blessed us with a new ending; Brown’s version was a devil, a disappointment at the end of a good book. The movie offers an alluring tour of Rome. And, I thought the creation of the Vatican scenes were superb, considering filming was not permitted inside the holy confines.

Perhaps Hollywood should move on to Steve Berry books. I, for one, would love to see The Amber Room made into a movie. On second thought, I want to visit Russia’s Amber Room in person. But right now I’m looking forward to a trip to Paris, and can’t wait to follow the DaVinci Code Rose Line .

Photos Courtery of Sony Pictures