Paranormal Elements

Use this forum to discuss the June 2018 Book of the Month"The Girl Who Knew da Vinci" by Belle Ami
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Ana-Maria-Diana
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Re: Paranormal Elements

Post by Ana-Maria-Diana » 09 Jun 2018, 14:46

Considering that we are all surrounded by cyber-space, vampires, zombies, witches and all other supernatural beings and ultra-modern-technologies, both in books and in movies, it is hard to distinguish whether it is reality or fantasy. And I believe that once a reader is accustomed to these "outside" of the ordinary things, it will be very easy to consider the past regressions of Angela something normal. So, I believe that even if a book has supernatural elements it can still be a good and serious one, it all depends on the author and in what mood chooses to write his/hers book.

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Post by ZenaLei7 » 10 Jun 2018, 18:10

Yes, I did enjoy the paranormal elements in the story. I feel like it added depth and mystery to the book. I think the supernatural tie-ins is what helped develop the plot, but it could have worked just as well without it.
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Post by CatInTheHat » 10 Jun 2018, 20:34

bookowlie wrote:
01 Jun 2018, 09:20
Did you enjoy the paranormal elements of the story? Would the plot have worked as well without the supernatural tie-ins between the three time periods? I don't usually like this genre, but the author did a good job of using it to advance the plot. I think the story would have had a more serious, realistic tone without the paranormal aspects.
I did enjoy the paranormal elements. I do enjoy time travel stories, but don't typically enjoy other forms of the paranormal. I found the author used such elements in a unique way that held my interest.
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Post by Bookmermaid » 10 Jun 2018, 20:51

I am currently reading the book but not particularly enjoying the paranormal events. However, I enjoy reading about the imagined lifestyles of the great artist Da Vinci and his close friends.

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Post by AbbyGNelson » 11 Jun 2018, 11:02

Miriam Molina wrote:
05 Jun 2018, 18:05
The mystery wouldn't be solved without the paranormal stuff. In this story, the ghosts even come alive and participate in the present-day action.

I just found too much coincidence, especially when Casa del Sole turns out to have been owned by Sophia's family. Too convenient.

The scene between Angela and the old woman is also unrealistic. In my opinion, the "sin" was too petty to have caused such an impact on the mother-daughter relationship.
These are really good points! I hate when the coincidence is too strong, it makes the story less powerful.

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Post by gen_g » 12 Jun 2018, 11:13

I think the paranormal elements certainly added an interesting twist to the story - I love tropes like reincarnation/past life regression etc, so for me, it is a plus!

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Post by Roggyrus » 12 Jun 2018, 14:30

When the man's eyes moved in the painting, the scene really reverted to fantasy. But this is to convey that Angela's trance is something else other than an attack of epilepsy.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 12 Jun 2018, 20:24

cristinaro wrote:
04 Jun 2018, 07:52
I don't know what would have happened with this book if the paranormal elements had not been right there to keep it together. Although Angela's blackouts seem ridiculous at times, they make the time switches possible and provide clues to find the missing painting. I also have the feeling Belle Ami plans to exploit them further in the next books of the series.
Absolutely agree! Angela and Alex had nowhere to go with their investigation past meeting Sophia's daughter. That experience was only useful because it resulted in a vision.

In general I enjoyed the paranormal aspect of the book. I always enjoy getting glimpses of more historical characters if an author has a meaningful way of tying them in.

I do disagree with bookowlie though about the story being more serious without the paranormal element. I think Angela's experiences with Giuliano and Gerhard's death actually made the book more serious than it might have been otherwise. It really prompted Angela to worry about Alex and take the threats facing them more seriously.

I think the way everything turns out in the cave is a bit overdone though. I saw it coming but wish Angela and Alex had been able to defeat the bad guys without supernatural assistance.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 12 Jun 2018, 20:28

Zain A Blade wrote:
08 Jun 2018, 14:40
Exactly my sentiments. The paranormal element simply made the book look unserious. The flashback to the generations past was ok and it fits well with the storyline, but not the psychedelic stuff. The book would have been up there with the likes of the Da Vinci code without all the crazies.
Do you think it would have been better if all of the visions actually only happened as dreams in the normal course of Angela sleeping? I thought her just being struck with a vision was a little annoying from time to time. It also made it seem like Sophia and Fioretta weren't concerned with Angela's well-being.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 12 Jun 2018, 20:32

thaservices1 wrote:
06 Jun 2018, 18:01
The paranormal aspect was so integral to the story, it's the only way it could work without actually making the book a mystery/thriller as it is wrongly labeled. The characters reactions to the paranormal are what bothered me. For non-believers they take it all in stride a bit too easily. Angela is a pretty 'normal' character, I feel her reaction should have been a lot more panicked.
Absolutely. It struck me as odd that Alex and Angela just accepted that they were (at least) a third reincarnation and that was apparently the only possibility. They also seemed to think that because they had been lovers in past lives that meant they were destined to be so again.

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Post by DancingLady » 13 Jun 2018, 07:10

I feel like this book is basically a fantasy because past life regression, and past lives, isn’t real. However, for the story to work, the reader has to accept it for the purpose of the story. If I suspend reality in this area and read it as a fantasy in which this is real, then the story works well.

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Post by AmySmiles » 13 Jun 2018, 09:05

While its not really my cup-of-tea, it doesn't always hurt to have some fantasy in a book. I usually prefer it to be left out. In this sense it didn't really bother me too much.
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Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 13 Jun 2018, 09:54

I did find it a bit strange when Angela's eyes started changing colour and the other paranormal aspects. I hadn't expected the book to have a twist like that up to then. However, the author integrated it well.

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Post by bookowlie » 13 Jun 2018, 11:53

kfwilson6 wrote:
12 Jun 2018, 20:24
cristinaro wrote:
04 Jun 2018, 07:52
I don't know what would have happened with this book if the paranormal elements had not been right there to keep it together. Although Angela's blackouts seem ridiculous at times, they make the time switches possible and provide clues to find the missing painting. I also have the feeling Belle Ami plans to exploit them further in the next books of the series.
Absolutely agree! Angela and Alex had nowhere to go with their investigation past meeting Sophia's daughter. That experience was only useful because it resulted in a vision.

In general I enjoyed the paranormal aspect of the book. I always enjoy getting glimpses of more historical characters if an author has a meaningful way of tying them in.

I do disagree with bookowlie though about the story being more serious without the paranormal element. I think Angela's experiences with Giuliano and Gerhard's death actually made the book more serious than it might have been otherwise. It really prompted Angela to worry about Alex and take the threats facing them more seriously.

I think the way everything turns out in the cave is a bit overdone though. I saw it coming but wish Angela and Alex had been able to defeat the bad guys without supernatural assistance.
I felt the same way. I would have liked the final confrontation to be fought fair and square, without the ghosts stepping in. The whole story was "managed" by them - pointing Alex and Angela in the right direction, providing the clues and helping them escape danger.
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Post by kfwilson6 » 13 Jun 2018, 20:17

Bookmermaid wrote:
10 Jun 2018, 20:51
I am currently reading the book but not particularly enjoying the paranormal events. However, I enjoy reading about the imagined lifestyles of the great artist Da Vinci and his close friends.
I enjoyed this too. It makes me think of the movie Ever After. I think that is a major part of why I wish there had been more about Fioretta and Giuliano. I actually just wanted to see more about da Vinci. He is portrayed really well in that particular movie and it's always sort of made me imagine him as brilliant, awkward, and quirky.

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