The Book of Lost Fragrances (The Reincarnationist, #4)

The Book of Lost Fragrances  - M.J. Rose Edited 2/16/2012: One of my blog readers was kind enough to forward my review on to the author and she was in turn kind enough to provide me with proof that fantastical is indeed a word.I stand corrected.__________________The Book of Lost Fragrances was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Simon & Schuster, Inc..Expected Publication Date: March 13th 2012Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!2.5 starsStorylineJac L’Etoile escapes to America after the suicide of her mother. Her brother, Robert, remains in Paris to assist their father with their perfume house; however, following his death the two inherit the company. In order to avoid bankruptcy, Robert (Robbie) feels that they must sell some of the company's product in order to stay afloat but inevitably uncovers something that changes everything. When Jac returns to Paris to assist her brother she finds him missing and a man is dead on the floor of their perfume house. A side story (which is not mentioned in the summary of the novel) is regarding the debate/battle between China and Tibet regarding the exile of the Lamas. There is a brief reference to this in the very beginning of the novel but it seemed so far-fetched and ill-fitting with the part of the story that had already been told that I felt as if I was reading another book entirely. The BadThe main problem I had with this story was that it was just far too much wrapped into too tiny of a package and it failed to keep my attention. I appreciate the concept but the delivery was too messy. China, Tibet, and the living Buddha, Jungian archetypes, Cleopatra, reincarnation and past-lives, Napoleon... need I continue? The concept was there but I feel that it fell completely flat and failed to sufficiently come together and that the plot was too convenient and failed to impress. The pacing of the story was definitely off as the author was either throwing huge chunks of information in at the wrong times or she was changing the point of view far too often for my liking.The Not So BadI really enjoyed the writing style... at times; it was extremely vivid and descriptive. The thing with beautiful writing though is oftentimes if it's not done perfectly then it can feel overdone and/or forced. in this case I did feel it was overdone. Here's an example:'Up close, the scent was rich and ripe, and he felt himself float away on its wings, away from the tomb, out into the open, under the sky, under the moon, to a riverbank where he could feel the wind and taste the cool night.'Final ThoughtsI believe that if I was even just a tiny bit more patient then this could have been an enjoyable novel for me. I had difficulty following the numerous complex storylines and the multiple characters involved and just felt that overall too much was shoved into the storyline. The complexity of the story definitely felt forced and lacked a needed flow. As far as how it all came together, I could probably say that it actually did come full circle in the end but by the time everything started making sense it was just far too late for me to really care.Final comment: the use of the word 'fantastical' left me a bit dumbfounded. Now correct me if I'm wrong but the last I checked that was not, in fact, a word. A real one that is. And considering the usage and the fact that it didn't seem to be made in error makes me only hope that maybe fantastical didn't make it into the final copy of this book.

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