The Golden Seed, by Gabriel Gambetta
Hi guys, how are you doing?
Have you stumbled across any new bookish favourites lately? If so, I’d love to hear about them.
As for today, I’m excited to be reviewing The Golden Seed, a thriller novel by author Gabriel Gambetta.
When young Martin receives a mysterious letter from his now deceased work colleague Wilhelm, he doesn’t know what to think. In it, he is provided with instructions to meet someone at a particular date and time. However, Martin and new acquaintance, Anna, run into trouble when trying to decipher Wilhelm’s coded message. It seems his old friend wasn’t exactly who he believed he was. To make matters worse, Martin becomes a key suspect in Wilhelm’s death and must avoid being captured by the local authorities. With no answers in Madrid, Martin and Anna must follow Wilhelm’s clues abroad, while avoiding not just the authorities, but a deranged neo-Nazi killer as well.
Will they ever find what they are searching for, or will the remaining members of The Third Reich thwart their plans? Only time will tell.
Martin, a young man whose job role I’m still not entirely sure of, seemed a cautious individual at the start of the book. He planned ahead, never taking chances or risks that might not work out in the long run. He was clearly intelligent and resourceful, researching diligently to figure out how to break Wilhelm’s secret code. I also noticed that he seemed to think on his feet a lot, acting in the moment, which seemed to contradict his previously mentioned cautious character. One particular aspect of Martin which I found refreshing was his strong moral compass, which didn’t waver, even in kill or be killed situations. Over the course of the story, this moral compass was extensively tested and I saw Martin go from being a cautious individual to becoming more assertive and willing to protect his own life and the lives of those closest to him, over the lives of those who would do him harm.
Anna, fellow recipient of one of Wilhelm’s mysterious letters, provided a stark contrast to Martin’s character. While she seemed somewhat cautious when they first met, this caution quickly fell away, revealing a serious and somewhat blunt underlying personality. Anna was hard to get a read on as the story progressed and I must confess that I didn’t warm to her much. In fact, in some scenes, I thought she was beyond disagreeable (that’s the most polite word I could think of to describe her.)
Finally, we have Sebastien Leclerc, the other main character of the story. Sebastien is a neo-Nazi, as cruel and callous as they come. His point of view scenes displayed his sadistic, harsh personality, one which contrasted strongly with Martin’s more mild-mannered self. Sebastien dreams of becoming a member of the Goldene Saat (The seat of The Fourth Reich) and will stop at nothing to prove himself to his Nazi elders. Overall, he was easy to dislike and I couldn’t detect any specific redeeming features in him.
The Golden Seed was definitely an interesting read and not the type of book I usually pick up. That being said, there were some elements of it that I particularly enjoyed.
- The secretive nature of the plot and Wilhelm’s letters drew me in, making me continually ask what lay at the end of Martin and Anna’s arduous journey.
- Wilhelm’s (Werner’s) diary entries provided me with an intriguing snapshot of important past events that related to the main story, and added some much-needed context to the mystery Martin and Anna were trying to solve.
- The car crash / kidnapping scene showed Martin’s true inner self, that deep down he is not a killer, but someone who would even try to save a man that attempted to harm him. It was a thoughtful scene which delved deeper into the main character’s psyche and displayed his strong moral compass in full view.
- There was also a fantastic twist toward the end that I never saw coming. It’s safe to say that I was honestly floored when all the pieces fit together.
While there was much to enjoy about this book, there were also some things I disliked while reading.
- One downside to this book, in my personal opinion, is that we never actually learn much about Martin as an individual, about what his life was really like before Wilhelm’s death and the mysterious letter. I would have liked to have learned more about his daily routines and interpersonal connections, however, given that this is a thriller novel, I do understand that emphasis is usually more on the plot and not so much on the inner-life of its characters.
- There wasn’t much sensory description, in my eyes, which made it harder for me to picture the scenes in my head. While readers are frequently made privy to Martin’s inner thoughts, which did help to explain his motivations, I feel it would have been nice to balance these elements, particularly to improve the tension building.
- The only other thing I noted was that the book (or at least the copy I received) needs a good proofread, something I’m noticing in more and more books nowadays.
Overall, The Golden Seed by Gabriel Gambetta was a fast-paced and interesting read, with some fascinating historical fiction elements. However, I felt that some elements of the writing let it down.
My Rating: 3 stars.
While I enjoyed reading it, I do not feel I can rate the book any higher, because of the reasons highlighted above.
Recommended to: Action Thriller Lovers.
Themes of survival, long-kept secrets, and power dominated this book and make it a great read for lovers of the action thriller genre, looking for something new to dip into.
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Wishing you a wonderful week,