Official Review: The Violin Maker by Glenn J. Hill

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Laura Bach
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Official Review: The Violin Maker by Glenn J. Hill

Post by Laura Bach »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Violin Maker" by Glenn J. Hill.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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What if Jews were still hunted and the Church was trying to bring back the Inquisition? The Violin Maker is an action-packed romantic thriller filled with secrets, spies, fugitives, chases, and some supernatural elements that spice up the book. The mysterious tone of a powerful hidden secret and the peculiar involvement of the Catholic Church might remind you of Dan Brown’s "The Da Vinci Code".

In this strange world, the sun doesn’t shine nearly as bright. We follow Joseph Davidson, a young student at the American Violin Making School. While visiting a museum, Joseph touches a violin that sends him through time. Another odd thing is his unexplainable connection with Rachel. Together they try to discover a mysterious heritage that haunts Joseph. The author, Glenn J. Hill, weaves an intricate plot using destiny, love, secrets, and music.

I picked this book because I’m a classical musician, so I was attracted to the prospect of a story around a violin maker. I was glad to discover it’s so much more than that. Glenn J. Hill is known for making violins and harps. This story probably has roots in his family’s history. I must clarify that musical knowledge is not necessary to approach this book. I was also allured by the premise of a fast-paced story, a changed history, and time travel.

The book takes us through California, Portugal, Spain, and Italy, while also showing us the past. The author cleverly links the present with the past through music and love, the most powerful things. The world is not explained right away, but rather the reader has to put the puzzle together to figure out what happened after the war. The author uses Jewish traditions like in no other book I ever saw. I had almost no knowledge of Kabbalistic Judaism until this book. Spirituality is a unique aspect of the book, making you feel like everything is connected. I enjoyed the creative ways the author used Kabbalistic elements.

The book could have benefitted from a better characterization. I felt detached from the characters. A more detailed backstory would’ve solved this problem. Joseph grew up with some family friends, but not many details are given about them or his childhood. However, the plot is so fast-paced that this matter can be easily disregarded. I expect a sequel to this book, as the author left the ending open. The book can benefit from a sequel that might develop the characters.

I enjoyed the way the negative character was built. The author depicts a sick-minded cleric in his ascension to power. Just the thought of what he does with the power makes my stomach feel sick. I must give credit to the author for the genuine monster he created. It’s not something anyone can write.

The book includes erotica content, violence, profane language, and incestuous thoughts. Better said, don’t read this unless you’re an adult! The editing had many flaws, which made me take a star from the rating, ending up with 3 out of 4 stars. Many unnecessary commas disrupted the flow of the writing in the most unfortunate ways. They were just too irritating to ignore. Although I had some problems with the book, giving it a lower rating seems unfair because I highly enjoyed it. It’s a book that reunites mysticism, action, romance, family secrets, and classical music. I recommend it to people who love reading historical fiction, romance, and thriller.

******
The Violin Maker
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Kelyn
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Post by Kelyn »

Time-travel and romance, what more could one ask for? The plot also sounds very intriguing. I tend just to skim over the profanity and such, so I don't think that would bother me much. Thanks for the warning about the commas as well. I'll know to try and skim over that problem as well. Thanks for the informative review!

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Post by NetMassimo »

Supernatural musical instruments can be interesting devices for a story, this supernatural thriller seems sophisticated with the use of bits from Kabbalistic Judaism as well. Thank your for your review, it makes ma want to read this novel!
Ciao :)
Massimo

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Post by Laura Lee »

This sounds like a fun book! I love time-travel tropes. Quick question, though. You mentioned incestuous thoughts? How much does that appear? I've had enough of that in this month's Book of the Month! LOL
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Post by Amberlily »

I like how there seems to be so many different themes to this book and they balance each other nicely. I'm mostly a fantasy reader, but my love for music and romance has sparked my interest in this. It's a shame about the commas, but at least its not a book-breaking issue.

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Post by Laura Bach »

Kelyn wrote:
10 Feb 2020, 01:45
Time-travel and romance, what more could one ask for? The plot also sounds very intriguing. I tend just to skim over the profanity and such, so I don't think that would bother me much. Thanks for the warning about the commas as well. I'll know to try and skim over that problem as well. Thanks for the informative review!

The profanity is not at an abnormal level, so it should be easy to skip it. The commas did bother me a lot, but I was looking for them. Thank you for your comment!

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Laura Bach
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Post by Laura Bach »

NetMassimo wrote:
10 Feb 2020, 08:32
Supernatural musical instruments can be interesting devices for a story, this supernatural thriller seems sophisticated with the use of bits from Kabbalistic Judaism as well. Thank your for your review, it makes ma want to read this novel!
A sophisticated book indeed, but really approachable to everyone.
Thank you for your comment!

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Laura Bach
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Post by Laura Bach »

Laura Lee wrote:
10 Feb 2020, 16:34
This sounds like a fun book! I love time-travel tropes. Quick question, though. You mentioned incestuous thoughts? How much does that appear? I've had enough of that in this month's Book of the Month! LOL
The incestuous thoughts are brief and rare, so they didn't bother me much. I can assure you it's not a big subject in this book. I simply mentioned them for people who particularly want to avoid incest in books. Thank you for your comment!

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Laura Bach
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Post by Laura Bach »

Amberlily wrote:
11 Feb 2020, 15:20
I like how there seems to be so many different themes to this book and they balance each other nicely. I'm mostly a fantasy reader, but my love for music and romance has sparked my interest in this. It's a shame about the commas, but at least its not a book-breaking issue.
This book does indeed reunite some interesting themes. And the pacing is really keeping you turning pages. Thank you for your interest!

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Post by Salma_asa »

Not a big fan of romantic novels. But this books sounds like a thriller. Eager ti read it. Great review!

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Post by FEislandqueen13 »

Aww, romance. .. historical fiction. ....action. My cup of tea! :techie-reference:
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Post by Amy747 »

I would never have thought of putting violins and Kabbalah together in a story. Im more of a flute and piano girl myself but this book does sound interesting.

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Post by kdstrack »

Just the thought of the Inquisition being brought back makes one shudder. The story seems to touch on some sensitive subjects, but they are balanced with so many other interesting aspects: time travel, music, budding love, etc. I enjoyed your review of this book! Thanks.

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Post by espo »

I find it very beautiful that someone with a classical music background got to read this book! I really appreciated your perspective on it. Thank you for an insightful and well-written review!
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Post by Prisallen »

A fast-paced novel with time travel and romance sounds like a story I would love. Thanks for an informative and well-written review!

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