The author is very descriptive in her writing, and her use of metaphors/similes help paint a vivid picture of the 1790's, a Pyrenees abbey and the French Revolution. Much like Dan Brown, Katherine Neville uses history and European locations to build a plot of intrigue. I found myself more drawn to the characters in the earlier times and am not sure if that is due to the author's writing or my interests. This book was originally published in 1988, a decade before Brown started finding success, and it didn't flow as smoothly as Angels and Demons or The Da Vinci Code for me, but it will certainly capture those readers whose interests lie in that genre. Those who are chess buffs will enjoy that aspect of the novel as well.
I find it interesting that Catherine Velis, her twentieth century protagonist, is a computer expert...definitely a twentieth century career. Her assignment in Algeria brings her face to face with a world so different than the one she leaves behind, and she gets involved in a quest more dangerous than she could have imagined. Since the author herself has worked as an international computer expert, a painter and photographer, she probably had an easier time fleshing out Catherine than her other characters.
The book is a bit long and gets too involved in parts, but on the whole I think it was an interesting story that married history and intrigue well. Sometimes I find books written years ago are worth bringing back to a new audience and am glad Kindle published The Eight again this year.
Publisher - Open Road Media
Date of Publication - July 21, 2015