Tag Archives: The Book of Lies

Book Review: The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer (4/5)

3 Nov

When I learned Meltzer was coming to my local area a few years ago, I went about buying copies of his novels at used book sales. They’re now signed and sitting on my shelf, waiting with many other books to be read. I grabbed this on audio in an attempt to finish it sooner.

Cover image via Goodreads

Cover image via Goodreads

The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer

Other books by this author:

The Inner Circle

Summary from Goodreads:

In 1932, Mitchell Siegel was killed by three gunshots to his chest. While mourning, his son dreamed of a bulletproof man and created the world’s greatest hero: Superman. And like Cain’s murder weapon, the gun used in this unsolved murder has never been found.

Today in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Cal Harper comes face-to-face with his own family tragedy: his long-missing father has been shot with a gun that traces back to Mitchell Siegel’s 1932 murder. But soon after their surprising reunion, Cal and his father are attacked by a ruthless killer tattooed with the ancient markings of Cain.

So begins the chase for the world’s first murder weapon. It is a race that will pull Cal back into his own past even as it propels him forward through the true story of Cain and Abel, an eighty-year-old unsolvable puzzle, and the deadly organization known for the past century as the Leadership.

This book was more or less what I expected based on the other Meltzer book I’d read. It was fast paced, people turned out to be nothing like the first impressions we got of them, and people got betrayed. It’s pretty standard for a thriller. What I really liked and what stuck out to me was the Jerry Siegel parts and how much of that ended up being true. Knowing that Melter did a lot of research to add that element to his book impressed me and I thought it was a fun twist.

I wasn’t a fan of any of the characters which is why I didn’t like this book more. Cal was a saint, always sacrificing. His father was a lying jerk and Serina was too unbelievable for me. Without being able to cheer for a good guy, I was at a loss of whom to like in this book and though I briefly thought about cheering for the bad guys, they weren’t a good ‘love to hate ’em’ group.

Despite how things ended, Roosevelt was my favorite character. I thought he had the most believable motivation for why he was working with Cal and he was smart, that can’t be denied. I won’t’ say too much more but I was sad he ended the way he did because I wanted good things for his character and it just didn’t work out. Darn.

Thrillers give a situation where it’s hard to relate to the characters, or at least I’ve always felt that way. I’ve never done anything in my life as high risk and fast-paced as these characters and I haven’t lived as troubled a life as they had prior to the book. To me, this is the biggest fault of the genre.

Brad Meltzer and me

Brad Meltzer and me

I enjoyed the scenes in Cleveland where the team explored the old Siegel house. I thought it was really fun that Meltzer included something as mundane as the creator’s house but made it such a pivotal part of the book. The creator’s home is something fanatical fans would love but most people would think was an unnecessary detail. Though what they found seemed too convenient to me.

A lot of things in the book were too convenient and took away from my enjoyment of it. Serina being at the airport. Finding the drawings in the wall. Cal deciding to include Roosevelt in all of his decisions. The… well, at the end. The thing being on the wall. I don’t think that’s giving too much away. Overall, there were too many things that made me to, “Really?!” to enjoy the book completely.

My audiobook was narrated by Scott Brick. I thought Brick did a good job but nothing stand-out. His voice built suspension in the right places and he didn’t use accents so outrageous that I didn’t believe them. As I say often, he didn’t have a great voice for the women, but not many men do.

I thought there would be a theme about family in this book, but it didn’t strike home for me. Cal and his father never have the reconciliation I was keeping my fingers crossed for and I found it hard to think his opening up about his mother was enough to be a theme. As with other thrillers, I find it hard to identify a message in the book. It’s more about enjoyment.

Writer’s Takeaway: Working two unrelated things like Superman and Cain was a really fun trip. I liked that Meltzer brought such unrelated things together for the book and made it fun to read. As a historical fiction writer, I’m always trying to think of historical things to bring into my book that can be accurate yet add another layer to the story. Maybe I’ll have to look up Superman next time I need some inspiration.

Enjoyable and fun. Four out of Five Stars

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 26-October-2016

26 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Cat DancingCurrently reading: I think I got through one chapter of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. I’m still enjoying this one even though I’m going through it so slowly. I always read ebooks slowly so this is no surprise.
Still on hold with World Without End by Ken Follett. Ugh.
I was able to start Stiff by Mary Roach on Friday. I introduced my coworker to audiobooks and he wanted to start this one during a work trip to Cleveland. We got through almost three hours of it and I’m going to show him how to get books on his phone so he can finish it himself. Yay!
I started The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing by Marilyn Durham. It’s more of a Western than I was expecting which is wonderful. I don’t remember the last time I read a Western and I’m really enjoying it!
I started the audiobook of Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler. This book focuses more on Zelda before the plot of Call Me Zelda so it will be interesting to listen to these two close to each other and compare the character.

bookofliesRecently finished: My book tidal wave came! I finished three this week. The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer was my latest finished, earlier this week. It was fun to listen to a thriller but it always seems like some things are too convenient in this genre and it bothers me from time to time. Overall, enjoyable. My review will come next week.
I finished Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck last Thursday. It was a little too over-dramatic for me at times and too slow at others. Overall, everything tied up well and I liked that but it wasn’t quite right for me. My review went up yesterday.
I finished Still Alice by Lisa Genova and have already watched the movie. Wow! The writing in this book was a little weak in places in my opinion, but the plot was great and I’m really amazed at Genova’s ability to write Alice. My review went up Monday.

Reading Next: I try not to do this, but I’m not going to put anything here this week. I’m just starting so many books, it’s hard to say when they’ll be over and I’m not anticipating anything just yet.


I have a class after work Wednesdays through November so please be patient with me due to delayed responses. I’m checking as often as I can.

Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 19-October-2016

19 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


zeldaCurrently reading: No movement with In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. I’ve got a doctor’s appointment which might grant me a little bit of time coming up this week, but I’m, unfortunately, not hopeful. We’ll see how this goes!
Still on hold with World Without End by Ken Follett. I keep thinking about the story and I can’t wait to get the audio back!
I made decent progress on The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer as I did errands this past weekend. I’m hoping to get this done soon because I have some other audiobooks I really want to catch up on but I’m being realistic and I know a car audiobook will take me some time.
I’m really getting close to finishing Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck. I’m not a big fan of this one, to be honest. I’m kind of looking forward to it being over so I can move on to something I think I’ll enjoy more.
As many of you implied, Still Alice by Lisa Genova is great. I’m flying through it and I’m hoping to finish up soon so I can get on to some other titles but this is a great roller coaster to be on!

Recently finished: Nothing! I’m so sad about this. I really wanted to say I’d gotten through at least one of these titles, but no such luck! I’m hoping for a tidal wave of ‘finishing books’ to come in the next week and pack this section to the brim. Fingers crossed.

stiffReading Next: I’m still planning on Stiff by Mary Roach which is sitting on my bedside table and ready to be downloaded on my phone. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it either way but right now, audio is sounding better so I can grab some physical books off of my shelf.


I have a class after work Wednesdays through November so please be patient with me due to delayed responses. I’m checking as often as I can.

Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 12-October-2016

12 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


stillaliceCurrently reading: I read just a little bit of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. I was hoping it would be more, but I think it was two chapters. Not too impressive.
Still on hold with World Without End by Ken Follett. I now have two people in front of me in line. I hope none of them end up checking it out!
I ended up carpooling to my conference over the weekend so I didn’t listen to much of The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer this week. I try to have it on in the car as much as possible but I’ll probably struggle to get through it. I have it on eaudio as well so if I finish my other book, I’ll pick this one up in that format.
I’ve made moderate progress with Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck, mostly from my runs. It’s not my favorite so far but I’m enjoying it enough. We’ll see how this goes.
I started  Still Alice by Lisa Genova on Sunday night. It seems like it will be a fast read so I’m hoping to get through it well before my book club meets.

Phew! What a list.

slade-houseRecently finished:I got through Slade House by David Mitchell on Friday and my review went up on Monday. I liked it more than I thought I would and it actually makes me want to read more Mitchell! I know, shock! After Cloud Atlas, I never thought that would happen. My book review went up on Monday so go check it out!

My book review of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz went up last Thursday. I enjoyed the book a lot so go check out my review. It got 4 out of 5 Stars from me.

stiffReading Next: My book club’s next pick is Stiff by Mary Roach. I’ll see if I can eaudio this one and maybe read a ‘for fun’ book from my TBR! It’s been a while since I knocked one of those out!


I have a class after work Wednesdays through November so please be patient with me due to delayed responses. I’m checking as often as I can.

Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 5-October-2016

5 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


Before I start, know my mid-term is this evening after work so I probably won’t get to you all until tomorrow! So sorry.

bookofliesCurrently reading: I think I read one page of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. Yeah, it’s been a slow week for that. We’ll see what the next few weeks hold but I’m not too hopeful this will be a quick one.
Still on hold with World Without End by Ken Follett.
I still haven’t read much of Slade House by David Mitchell. It’s a little creepy so far which is always good for a fall book. It’s not reminding me of Cloud Atlas at all which is a good sign!
I started a new audiobook in the car which is The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer. This is a book where I own a signed copy and I’m very strict about my signed books leaving the house, so I thought it might be better to listen to it rather than limit myself traveling with it so much. I have a long car ride coming this weekend so I hope to get through a lot of it then.
But I still needed an audiobook on my phone so I started Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck. I feel weird about this one because I own the physical book but my shelf is so big that I feel like I’m never going to tackle it without resorting to audio on a few of these. It still feels weird.

aristotleRecently finished:I really enjoyed Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. It was just the YA break I needed from the serious literature and non-fiction I’ve been reading. It was fun and I really enjoyed it! Review coming soon.

My review of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot went up last Thursday. I enjoyed the book a lot and was already able to discuss it with my book club. That post went up yesterday. I gave it Four out of Five stars.

stillaliceReading Next: The plan is still for Still Alice by Lisa Genova. I might squeeze another audiobook or two in before I start it. Or maybe I’ll listen to it on audio! I’ll figure something out.


I have a class after work Wednesdays through November so please be patient with me due to delayed responses. I’m checking as often as I can.

Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!