Book Review 32: The Luthier’s Apprentice by Mayra Calvani

Posted on August 11, 2014 «
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I was so excited about The Luthier’s Apprentice by Mayra Calvani. The blurb for the book and the cover really caught my eye. I know about Beethoven and Mozart because I played piano when I was younger. So I ventured over to Wikipedia to learn a little about Niccolò Paganini on Wikipedia. And this bit of information caught my eye.
…his widely rumored association with the devil, the Church denied his body a Catholic burial in Genoa.
Ooo, this is gonna be a good one, I thought. Unfortunately, I’m sad to report that The Luthier’s Apprentice is not a good one. I don’t want to go into too much detail as I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone who may want to read it.

Here’s a short list of the reasons I did not like The Luthier’s Apprentice.
  1. The chapter breaks come at the most awkward moments. I think the author wanted to create tension a la Dan Brown, but failed to do anything except make me ask, Why is the chapter ending here?
  2. The villain’s motivations are not clearly explained and neither is the family curse.
    • The characters all seemed to get it, but as a reader, I felt left out in the cold because the reveals happened in such a haphazard fashion, and I had to go hunting for the crumbs.
  3. Too many complicated backstories.
    • Every character had a complicated backstory which lead to awkward conversations and awkward situations. Every action and reaction needed an explanation and as a result, the true motivations of the characters got muddied and muddled leading to confusion and a lack of strength in the plot. Heck, maybe there were just too many characters when all is said and done.
    • In turn, because every thing about every character had been shared, the characters did exactly what you expected them to do. There is no mystery to their actions. You could see it happen before they acted/reacted.
Unfortunately, The Luthier’s Apprentice by Mayra Calvani receives a thumbs down despite my initial excitement about the cover and its blurb. The idea had a lot of potential, but, for me, the author was unable to follow through. The result was a clunky mystery novel that left me feeling flat and disappointed.