Review by Lunastella -- Fate Line by Marc J. Seifer

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Latest Review: Fate Line by Marc J. Seifer

Review by Lunastella -- Fate Line by Marc J. Seifer

Post by Lunastella » 08 Dec 2018, 13:37

[Following is a volunteer review of "Fate Line" by Marc J. Seifer.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The kidnapping of Jay Jay Martin, a prodigious nine-year-old skater, makes Rudy Styne; a talented journalist, lose his chance at a cover story about the unfair arrest of Jacob Bruno, renowned graphologist and Holocaust survivor. But it also unlocks something much more sinister. Rudy sets his way to cover the Jay Jay story and ends up at the heart of a cult deep-rooted in Utah and uncovering much more than he and the reader expected.

While this is the main storyline, Fate Line, by Marc J. Seifer, is an amazingly complex novel. The author masterfully interweaves many subplots, all of them enthralling and, ultimately, connected to each other.

There are many things I loved about Fate Line, but the characters are, probably, my favorite. Not a single one of them could be labeled as ordinary. You will meet graphologists, a palm reader, an art expert, a hypnotist, and several other fascinating personalities. All of them are well-developed and even with backstories that explain their behaviors. I do have to mention that there are a lot of characters in this story, and some readers might have a hard time keeping track of who is who, at first.

The plot is engaging from beginning to end, action-packed and full of twists and turns that will get the reader absolutely hooked. To my amazement, there isn't a single detail that's not relevant to the story, even if it seems so at first. The author thought and planned this novel with extreme care and there are no loose ends.

Fate Line is also quite thought-provoking. The plight of Jacob Bruno at the beginning of the novel raises questions about how much protocols, chains of command and plain bureaucracy can obstruct the application of real justice.

The possibility of what we often dismiss as pseudosciences, such as palm-reading and graphology, being quite an accurate way to get an insight into someone's mind and even being scientific is one of the issues presented that made me question my previous assumptions. The author is, in fact, a handwriting expert, so the book is incredibly precise in these regards. All the terminology about handwriting is explained, allowing for an easy read even for those of us that aren't familiar with graphology, and without it being boring, but as part of the story.

About the other important subjects that are approached, I have mixed feelings. The book dives deep into pedophilia, incest and the sexualization of children in the media. While I agree it's very important for our society to acknowledge these issues, understand them and solve them, I think the details provided were unnecessary, and the adjectives used to describe some minors are inappropriate. I also didn't like that, at times, it seemed like, hiding behind some dubious Freudian explanations, there was an attempt to justify what I consider an absolutely unjustifiable behavior. The devastating consequences of child sexual abuse aren't explored and, in my opinion, the author lacked sensitivity and realism towards the whole subject.
That being said, I have to warn that this book is probably not suited for abuse or rape survivors, especially child sexual abuse, and it's not a read I would recommend to anyone who is sensitive to these topics. It's, obviously, a book only appropriate for mature audiences. While I enjoyed the book in general, honestly, I had a very hard time reading some parts of it.

The language used is simple but powerful, and the dialogues are realistic and even witty and humorous at times. The book is enriched with different types of texts and illustrations. There were some minor mistakes, mostly misplaced quotation marks, but they didn't interfere at all with my enjoyment of the novel.

Fate Line is part of the Rudy Styne Series and although it can be perfectly read as standalone, the author recommends that we read the whole series.

I rate Fate Line 3 out of 4 stars. The plot is engaging, original and perfectly developed, the characters are amazingly interesting and its full of surprising facts about graphology, psychology, palmistry, and many other topics. I can't, however, give it a perfect rating because, in my opinion, the topic of child sexual abuse deserved a much more sensitive and complete approach.

I recommend this novel for readers who enjoy thrillers, mysteries, anyone who likes quirky and unique characters and people interested in graphology. I would, however, advice to proceed with caution in regards to the sensitive topics mentioned.

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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 13 Dec 2018, 00:11

I couldn't agree more with your rating. One needs to learn to be sensitive in addressing deeply disturbing topic, not matter how brutally true they may be. Thank you for your broad details, it helped me to decide if I wanted to read this or not.
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Post by Caylie_Cat » 13 Dec 2018, 00:34

This is a thoughtful review of a very complex book - well done! It sounded very appealing to me until you mentioned the badly-handled sexual abuse issues, which I would definitely find off-putting and unnecessary.

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Post by Sushan » 14 Dec 2018, 19:22

Great review for a seemingly great book. Thanks for sharing đź‘Ťđź‘Ť
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Post by Cotwani » 15 Dec 2018, 12:48

You had me until I got to the point on insensitivity and lack of realism towards child sexual abuse. Sobriety and balance are important checks when dealing with deeply emotive issues in society. Great review!
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Post by fernsmom » 15 Dec 2018, 22:49

Well written review! :tiphat:
Most of the book sounded good to me going by your great review. The child abuse mentioned that was insensitive would put me off. The rest of the book though does sound good if the author would have maybe not went about it in the way he did.

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Post by gen_g » 17 Dec 2018, 05:37

This sounds like an intriguing read. I appreciate you pointing out that the topic of child sexual abuse could have been explored further; it's not an easy issue to broach and requires a delicate hand. Thanks for the review!

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Post by Julie Green » 17 Dec 2018, 15:49

I just finished this book. I had noticed that you had posted a review, but I deliberately avoided reading it until after I posted mine, to see how our reviews compared. And, guess what, we both gave it the same rating, for the sane reason! Great minds! :D

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Post by Shrabastee » 18 Dec 2018, 03:18

A very thoughtful review! I have previously ignored the book, but after reading the review, I want to give it a read. The myriad characters and the extreme care given to the plot development sound interesting. However, I wish the author had taken that care while dealing with a sensitive issue. Thanks for the honest review, Andrea!

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Post by Kajori50 » 27 Dec 2018, 14:28

This would have been the perfect read with its engaging plot and well-developed characters. However. I also feel that a sensitive topic like child abuse should be treated with care.

Thank you for the thoughtful review.

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Post by Sushan » 27 Dec 2018, 19:37

I love books that carry many subplots, which are seemingly unconnected, but finally comes into light as a single plot. Nice review. Thank you đź‘Ťđź‘Ť
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Post by Sakilunamermaid » 27 Dec 2018, 20:43

At first I was going to pass putting this on my list but I came upon it multiple times. It was probably due to the title. As I read your review the various characters involved intrigued me, it isn't very often that a palm reader or hypnotist is in a book. I love mysteries with subplots and unusual characters. Thanks for the recommendation.

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Post by Helen_Combe » 01 Jan 2019, 08:31

Excellent review. You’ve really sold the book to me (despite the sexual abuse issue).
I do love intricate novels where all the streams come together to form a whole.
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Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 08 Jan 2019, 08:13

This is clearly a complex work; your thoughtful review really does it justice. I'm most intrigued that it features palmistry and graphology experts.

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Post by Ayat paarsa » 14 Jan 2019, 12:33

I would like to read how Jay Jay Martin's kidnapping made Rudy Styne, a talented journalist. Thanks for this detailed review.
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