Long, long ago, before The Typical Book Group even had a name, we had a book exchange. It was at that exchange, in 2010, that I picked up a copy of The Rose Labyrinth by Titania Hardie. Ever since then, Labyrinth has been sitting in my nightstand, waiting for me to get around to reading it. Finally, I jumped in.
The Rose Labyrinth is the story of Lucy, a woman who needed a heart transplant. Once she received her new heart, she began having "memories" that weren't hers. She soon came to the conclusion that she was remembering things that had happened in her donor's life. She began to believe that prior to his death, her donor was attempting to unravel a mystery that tied his British family to John Dee and William Shakespeare. Meanwhile, she also fell in love with her doctor. Together they take up the cause of solving the clues that Dee and Shakespeare left, which oddly relate perfectly to their own lives. At the same time, a group of extremists from the US are also following the clues, believing that Dee had received divine guidance that would bring about the rapture foretold in the Book of Revelation.
This book has a bit of everything, and that may be its downfall. It's not really historical fiction, but it has historical figures. It's not really science fiction, but there is some time travel and a futuristic medical storyline. It's not really a The Da Vinci Code style mystery, but it says that it is on the back cover. The GoodReads reviews are pretty horrible, and I think that's because people went in thinking that the book would be one thing, and it was something entirely different. The author also aligned the "bad guys" with right wing Americans, so I could see card carrying Tea Party members being offended.
All told, if you like a little sci-fi, a little historical fiction, and a little action packed puzzle solving, you'll probably like this book. It had parts that were really interesting, and when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about the story and wanting to get back to it. Yes, there were too many coincidences, and yes, it is incredibly unrealistic that this seemingly random group of people would have so much esoteric knowledge that would serve them so well. If you go in with an open mind, expecting a book that doesn't fit a specific mold, you should enjoy this one.
This is the third book down for the Rewind Challenge.
Next Up: This is Not an Accident by April Wilder
Still Listening to: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh