Book Review – THE COLLECTOR OF DYING BREATHS by M J Rose

The Collector of Dying Breaths by MJ RoseThe Collector of Dying Breaths Synopsis: 

From one of America’s most imaginative storytellers comes a passionate tale of love and treachery, spanning the days of Catherine de Medici’s court to the twenty-first century and starring a woman drawn back, time and again, to the past.

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’s 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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BOOK REVIEW

The Collector of Dying Breaths is the third novel in M J Rose’s Reincarnationist Series I have had the pleasure of reading. I joined the journey at Book 4, The Book of Lost Fragrances, a novel I was utterly captivated by. A year later Book 5, Seduction was released. Again, Rose’s artistic prose was coupled with a multi-layered and deftly crafted plot. Another year on this prolific author has released Book 6. I went into this title with very high expectations…

… perhaps too high?

Each book in the series has demonstrated progression in leading lady Jac L’Etoile’s understanding and acceptance of her abilities to tap into past live memories. In this episode Rose brings substantial change into Jac’s life that forces that and other issues she had been vacillating on. I was actually surprised at how much closure Rose provides readers in this outing. So much so that I can’t help but wonder whether this marks the sunset for this series?

I will in all likelihood be lampooned for saying this but, perhaps it should be?

I say this with the greatest respect for Rose and in the context of my having been a huge fan of her previous two titles. My personal philosophy is that it is better to end things on top. While still an enjoyable read, for me The Collector of Dying Breaths just was not of the same standard as her previous works.

As you would expect from a series titled Reincarnationist, the novels feature a historical story running in parallel to Jac’s adventures in modern day. In this title the historical storyline starring Rene, perfumer to Catherine de Medici, was clearly the stronger and most well constructed of the two. This is where Rose’s trademark artistic prose worked to greatest effect. In comparison, the modern day happenings felt loose; the plot elements just a little too convenient. That broke the spell for me unfortunately.

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Despite my misgivings, I would still recommend those who enjoyed previous titles in this series read The Collector of Dying Breaths, if only for the closure it provides for some characters we’ve come to know and love. I look forward to seeing what new characters and themes M J Rose directs her talent towards in the future.

BOOK RATING: The Story 3 / 5 ; The Writing 3.5 / 5

Have you read The Collector of Dying Breaths ? Do you want to?

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BOOK DETAILS: The Collector of Dying Breaths by M J Rose ( Booktopia | Book Depository | B&N | Amazon )

Genre: Historical, Drama, Mystery, Romance, Fantasy

M.J. RoseAuthor Information:  M.J. Rose is the international best selling author of fourteen novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com. The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype. She is also the co-founder of Peroozal.com and BookTrib.com.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

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For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads.

Other reviews of The Collector of Dying Breaths : Bibliophilia Please; Royal Reviews; Historical Novel Society; Kirkus Reviews

Comments

  1. says

    I liked this but didn’t love it. It was my first Rose book and I’d try another, especially as I didn’t actually know this was part of a series. I agree with you on the duel storyline. There was more to one than the other; I think I might have preferred Jac’s story if only there was more information in it. It was quite confusing at times.

    • says

      It sure would have been if you hadn’t read the previous novels. I recommend The Book of Lost Fragrances – wonderful depth and detail, and gives you a fulsome understanding of Jac’s past.

  2. says

    This did feel like closure on this particular story but the first three books were completely different from the three books with Jac in them and there are supposed to be 12 memory tools so I expect that there will be more in the series.

    • says

      I did not realise Jac did not feature in the earlier novels Marg. I do however recall the mention of 12 memory tools so you could well be right, and we will soon meet another character set. I just hope that if more than 12 months is needed to polish the titles to a high quality Rose takes the extra time needed. This one just felt a little rushed.

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