Mata Hari’s Last Dance
by Michelle Moran
It’s fitting that this book is titled Mata Hari’s Last Dance as I believe it is the last book I’ll read by Michelle Moran. You see, I fell in love with Moran’s writing after reading Nefertiti back in 2008. I’ve read nearly every book of her since, but have slowly become less and less enamoured with the stories and the points in history that Moran has selected to set her books in.
I was excited when I found that Mata Hari’s Last Dance had been released and I immediately put it on hold at the library. And then it sat on my dining room table until about a week before it was due. Perhaps that was the first sign that I wasn’t that interested in this latest release. I know very little about Mata Hari and most of it comes from movies and television shows and those veiled references were never used in a positive light.
I will say this, Mata Hari’s Last Dance was a fairly quick read. But there’s a reason for that. You see, it turns out that not much is known about Mata Hari and even the accusations made against her were suspect. Since her story takes place at the outbreak of World War I there isn’t a lot of going on as the war is just gearing up and the sides are still being chosen. As result, the story moves quickly and just skims the surface of getting to know Mata Hari. I felt like a rock being skipped across a lake and then suddenly sinking to the bottom. That right, this story does not have a happy ending.
Why will Mata Hari’s Last Dance be my last dance with Michelle Moran? The time periods she has chosen to write in, as of late, are of little interest to me or completely unknown. I love ancient Egypt where her first 3 books were set. French is history is an unknown to me and I find it confusing. And her last two books, while I did finish them, were quick reads and set in time periods that I am not familiar with and the characters were not as strong. As a result, I race through the book and am left feeling empty with no connection to story.
Does this mean I’ll never read another Michelle Moran novel? No, but I might be more selective about which ones I pick up in the future. Would I recommend Mata Hari’s Last Dance? That depends on the reader. If you are looking for a deep dive into Mata Hari’s discover her motivations and the source of the accusations about her spying, this book will not satisfy you. If you are looking for something quick to read to give you a “taste” of what Mata Hari’s life might have been like, this might be a book that will satisfy that curiousity.
Looking for a further discussion about giving authors a second chance? Check out this blog post from Cait over at PaperFury.com.
The Quick Book Review
Mata Hari's Last DanceAuthor: Michelle Moran
Published on: July 19, 2016
Genres: historical fiction, adult
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My Rating: Thumbs Down