Cover Image: The Ancestor

The Ancestor

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Member Reviews

This is pretty good. The geographic descriptions were excellent, and although a little uneven, the plot was interesting. The genre is mixed but might considered speculative since it not very realistic at times. The ending was just OK. 

I really appreciate the ARC for review!!
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The cover and blurb set me up to expect sort of a dark, atmospheric thriller. This read more like a (corny-ish) historical fiction with some romantic undertones. Not what I expected, not my favorite.
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I was captivated by Trussoni's book.  I enjoyed the descriptive scenes for the Italian alpine.  The novel was fast paced and had unexpected twists and turns that kept the reader at the edge of their seat.  I could not put the book down.  I look forward to Trussoni's next book.
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An unassuming woman from New York discovers she's the sole remaining heir to a vast Italian family fortune in Danielle Trussoni's latest novel, "The Ancestor." It's not all sunshine for new "Countess" Bert Monte however, as she soon discovers that familial inheritance often comes with bizarre strings attached. 

The Ancestor is an often strange mixture of the trappings of Gothic fiction (branching family trees, an old creaky castle, and mysterious figures locked in castle towers) and science fiction. While the character development left a lot to be desired at times (Bert Monte allows the plot to catapult her forward with few questions asked, and her husband Luca's actions border on being surreal), the story moves forward so briskly and has enough tinges of mystery and suspense to keep things interesting throughout. 

What Trussoni does best is cause her protagonist, and by extension the reader, to question the nature of lineage and family. How much weight does blood have in making us who we are, and shaping our future? Bert Monte, like the reader, will have to eventually discover the answer to that question. 

**I was given a copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to HarperCollins Publishers**
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This was quite a novel to jumpstart 2020 with, although I’m on the fence of whether I thoroughly enjoyed it or not. From the get-go, it was a little absurd that Alberta, a seemingly normal and level-headed human being, would fly to some tiny Italian alpine village without knowing any real details about the inheritance or ordeal she was getting herself into. However, this is a work of fiction, so I chalked it up to the fact that you can pretty much make anything fly.

There was suspense if that’s your thing, but past the utter creepiness of the Montebianco Castle and the isolated setting of Nevenero, the rest of the story was just plain strange. A+ for Trussoni for having such a wild imagination, I suppose. Without giving away any major details or plotlines, it was certainly unexpected. I wouldn’t say I couldn’t put it down because I felt connected to the story or that it hooked me, but more so out of curiosity over how much more bizarre it could get. (Despite all of this, I would like to say, having never read anything by Danielle Trussoni before, she is very much so a talented, fluid writer.)

I don’t read a ton of gothic, horror, mystery, or whatever you would consider this story, so I don’t believe it’s fair to say this book ticked any particular boxes for me. As someone interested in genealogy, I was simply looking to dive into a spooky family mystery—and, overall, I do feel The Ancestor satisfied some of that.
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This book was a mixture of genres, and therefore had a little bit of everything thrown into it. However, the author makes it work. I thought the writing was fantastic. The world the author created was very interesting and I thought the book was fantastic. My only gripe was feeling slightly unfulfilled by the ending. Thank you to netgalley for the arc.
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The Ancestor kept me on my toes from beginning to end. Every chapter offered something new as the narrative shifted from gothic mystery to science fiction to thriller. The only thing that kept me from rating this novel a full five stars was the story's conclusion; Bert was an empathetic, well-developed character, and despite her longing for a child, her choice to separate Aki's daughter from the Iceman tribe and raise her in seclusion simply didn't mesh with her previous values. Regardless, The Ancestor was a compelling and original story and I won't hesitate to recommend it to my library patrons.
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I received advanced access to this ebook through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I thought I would like this book based on the description, but it turned out to be very different from what I expected. It sounded like a gothic thriller complete with a creepy castle and an isolated landscape. I was not prepared for, nor did I enjoy, the science fiction aspect to the story. In addition, the plot was filled with more holes than a a slice of Swiss cheese, and character development of the protagonist was very weak. At several points in the book I found myself shaking my head and wondering what had just happened, since some events did not make sense and the flow was jarring at times.

Although I was very disappointed with this book, readers who already enjoy this author may appreciate it.
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This book is not really traditional adult fiction, rather a strange combination of Gothic, Sci-Fi and fantasy, all genres which don’t appeal to me. 

Though I liked the start, as it unwound, I found myself disliking the weirdness that unfolded. So, I didn’t like this novel and cannot recommend it as a fiction read. 

Thank you Netgalley.
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It lost a star because at times I wanted to shout, “Show, don’t tell!” The book is written in first person past tense with ominous hints dropped throughout. However, the tension dissipated because she obviously survived whatever terrible thing was coming. 

Overall, it was engaging and the mystery of what was going on kept me reading. I did not expect what was revealed and was surprised by the resolution. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to those who liked The Last Neanderthal.
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This modern gothic novel was not at all what I was expecting.  I expected a suspense thriller and while there was some suspense it was more about family, ones we are born into and ones we choose to belong to.  When Bert Monte receives a letter notifying her that she is the last of a long line of an Italian dynasty it seems like a fairy tale.  The reality is much darker and she learns there is much she will have to sacrifice to take her place as the rightful heir to the family's fortune.
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Alberta "Bert" Monte is the daughter of immigrants living in an area of upstate New York.  She is found at a moment when she is on the "outs" with her husband, but both are giving some consideration to giving the marriage another try.  Out of the blue Bert receives a letter from an attorney group from the European Italian section that her family  is from and addressed to Countess Alberta Montebanco.  She is advised that she is the sole heir of her family and is requested to come to Italy in order to go over the bequest and take title to what is a huge estate, complete with a castle , a title and a lifestyle befitting a member of the aristocracy.  Bert takes leave of her husband indicating that she is certainly willing to try and make the marriage work after she checks into what her inheritance brings.
     Her trip over to Italy to see her bequest starts off with a flight on a private Jet, champagne, and a meeting with lawyers presenting her with a picture of a life filled with the trappings of royalty.  She is asked to stay at what is now her castle while going over the assets and the obligations that are now hers. The property is located in a remote area of the Alps and as Bert settles in for a few weeks of luxury a dark side of the bequest appears.  She finds that her family is not exactly as she believes and events move into a story that is absolutely mesmerizing and unlike anything the reader expects when beginning to read the book.
     A dark side of her familial background appears and brings the reader into a story of ancient roots unlike nothing that is normal.  Ms. Trussoni expertly draws her readers into another world.  She does so in a manner that guarantees that the book cannot be put down with surprise after surprise keeping the reader glued to the pages.  A definite five star novel and one that will assure that succeeding books by Ms Trussoni will be grabbed up as soon as published.
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