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Monday, August 6, 2012

The One Book of Etretat by Matt Chatelain

The One Book of Etretat by Matt Chatelain
Book Three of Four (Sirenne Saga)
Publisher: Matt Chatelain
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (301 pgs)
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

The World on the Brink of Disaster

In Books One (The Caves of Etretat) and Two (The Four Books of Etretat), Paul Sirenne is led to discover a complex of hidden caves in the cliffs of Etretat, France. Chased by an immortal serial killer, and assisted by the Abbey, a thousand-year old organization, Sirenne, becoming an immortal himself, is given control of the caves, to prepare for an ultimate confrontation against the Greyman, the oldest immortal on earth. Taken by surprise, Sirenne and the complex of caves barely survive an attack by American mercenaries.

In Book Three, the world is in chaos. Countless disasters are occurring everywhere and a pandemic disease is killing all children in the womb. People and countries, desperate for a solution, are demanding Sirenne's immortality cure. Sirenne knows it's not the true answer and is desperately trying to solve the clues laid out by Maurice Leblanc and the Abbey, looking for the One Book. Changed by his immortality, he develops new senses which give him an increasingly different perspective on everything he sees. At the same time, all events seem to be converging on him. Weissmuller, the immortal serial killer is circling closer and closer.

'The One Book of Etretat' is the third in a four-book epic adventure following Paul Sirenne, an average man unknowingly manipulated into becoming the key in the final phase of a complex conspiracy spanning millennia. Inextricably woven into history, the series re-writes everything we know in a non-stop rollercoaster of a ride where nothing is ever as it seems.

The Sirenne Saga Continues

The end of the world is at hand. Can Paul find the answers he needs before it is too late?

There is nothing ordinary about Paul any more. His powers, as well as Raymonde’s, have developed at an incredible rate due to the fact that their immortality is genetic rather than simply induced by the spores in the caves. Their connection is more powerful than ever and together they can undertake amazing mental and physical accomplishments. As the world falls apart around them, Paul and Raymonde are burdened with the seemingly impossible tasks of saving the world and destroying the Greyman, an evil presence that has been tormenting humanity since the beginning of time. Their new found abilities are perfectly suited to the challenges they face, and I have complete faith in their abilities.

Weissmuller’s sections are an even bigger part of this story than they were in The Four Books of Etretat. His reflections go clear up to the present and are just as troubling as ever as he recounts the atrocities he's committed. Even more disturbing is the fact that Weissmuller’s involvement in Paul’s life extends much farther back than the murder of Paul’s parents. He has been in the shadows very close to Paul for years. As Weissmuller’s reflections began to record more recent history, it became clear that Weissmuller was someone that Paul knew, or thought he knew. Once I realized this, I had a strong suspicion as to who Weissmuller was masquerading as. Even though I was pretty sure I knew the answer, the impact was still crushing when everything was revealed. I could only imagine how Paul was going to take the news.

Even though I was saddened to learn Weissmuller’s current identity, I must admit that this is a character that, for whatever reason, I never really warmed too. Looking back, my misgivings are completely understandable even if I couldn’t exactly put my finger on the reason why I felt that way. Also, the tension between Weissmuller’s outward persona and a certain other favorite character of mine make even more sense now than they did the in the previous books.

When Weissmuller revealed himself to Paul, I was very surprised by Paul’s reaction, or more specifically, his lack of reaction. I expected him to be far more devastated. However, Paul was in a high pressure situation at the time, so perhaps the full impact of what Weissmuller has done hasn’t truly sunk in yet. I’m very curious as to how Paul will proceed with his new found knowledge in the final book of the series.

I also particularly like the sections concerning Norton, the ill-fated inspector from The Caves of Etretat. In the first book, Norton simply appeared to be a once brilliant inspector driven to insanity by his single minded pursuit of the Shadow Killer (Weissmuller). In this story, Norton’s tragic history is explained in greater detail as well as how Weissmuller systematically drove Norton down the path of madness. I truly felt sorry for Norton. He was a good man who didn’t deserve anything that Weissmuller did to him. These sections coupled with Weissmuller’s reflections gave me a much greater understanding of the people and events in this mystery.

O’Flanahan, who is still my favorite secondary character, is “missing” at the end of this book. O’Flanahan didn’t figure into this book as much as he had in the first two. When the world began to erupt into chaos and the caves were evacuated, he manages to evade Weissmuller’s grasp. It isn’t clear what happened to him, but I’m holding out hope that the bold and brash O’Flanahan will make an appearance in the final installment.

The One Book of Etretat left me breathless. So many pieces of the puzzle were revealed in this story that I literally couldn’t read it fast enough. Anyone wanting to enjoy this thrilling adventure absolutely must read the previous two books in the series first. Now that I know even more about the caves, their history, and Weissmuller’s involvement, I simply must know how it all ends. I will be reading the final book in the series as soon as I can get my hands on it. Anyone who has had a taste of the caves and their secrets is sure to feel the same.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad to read the first review of book three of the series. It is exciting to see a reader who gets enthralled by the series. Don't worry, you get to see O'Flanahan in the last of the series.
    Revealing Weissmuller's role was a challenge for me. His approach seems bad but compared to what? The whole game is about good and bad and how it is defined. Who is bad and what is bad. Is Sirenne good? It all twists around in your mind.

    As for Norton, I loved him too. He was a great character who suffered a lot. My fav scene is when he decides to give up on chasing Weissmuller, then the next page shows Weissmuller sitting in the next booth, listening to them. Chilling.

    Thank you again for your great review. I cannot wait to find out what you think of the fourth of the series, the Greyman.