So many times in my life I thought about how I wished I knew if I was going to like a book or not. Reading blurbs just doesn’t happen and often I finish a book and then I have this terrible problem of deciding what next might prove interesting.
I am ashamed to say that I have quite a lot of titles I received from NetGalley and I’m not really going through them in a timely fashion – I can’t decide from the blurbs which one might be very good. So I decided to randomly start reading them and see how it goes.
It proved to be a rather good idea as I quickly both discarded some and found an interesting one to read. The Romanov Cross.
“Nearly one hundred years ago, a desperate young woman crawled ashore on a desolate arctic island, carrying a terrible secret and a mysterious, emerald-encrusted cross. A century later, acts of man, nature, and history converge on that same forbidding shore with a power sufficient to shatter civilization as we know it.”
What I liked about this book is that even though there are some “supernatural” parts to the story, the rest seems realistic. People and their actions sound real which is usually something I find lacking in novels taking place in the real world. And the fact that it deals with the possible outbreak of the Spanish flu only makes it even more interesting in my mind.
If you’re wondering where do the Romanovs feature in the Spanish flu outbreak, I am not going to tell you, and you will never guess either.
I find the whole idea of the novel very intriguing and I finished the book wanting to learn more about what happened in Russia and with the Romanovs, just so I could check whether the ideas I got from this book are based in fact or the author made it work for him.
It takes a while for the story to pick up pace, in the beginning you have no idea why are you reading two different stories but once they start coming together, you’re hooked.
And now I’ve said that the story seems realistic, I should add that the storytelling has some horror elements. The horrifying part being they seem possible.
Also, at some point, before you realize there are some supernatural parts to the story, you start wondering how some things would be possible (a pack of wolves surviving on a rather small island for decades?) but once the story gets you to realize there are some unexplained spiritual things happening in this world, you just go with it.
Which brings me to the fact that after reading the book, I was left wondering about the religious/spiritual inclinations of the author. There is a mention of both in the novel, but in a positive way when it’s spiritual, and less positive when it’s religious in the modern-day sense (being a believer of a particular religion).