There are only three secrets of Fatima, yet this review contains many, many spoilers. Beware! :O

Recommendation: Personally, I don’t recommend it. Can’t see who the audience is for. Poorly written, not well plotted, and anti-climactic. I was hoping for a secret much more shocking than how it played out. Oh well. The Cotton Malone series still remains epic. I’ll stick to those Berry books, I think. I grade it a solid C.

The Third Secret, by Steve Berry

I had mixed feelings after reading it. Sometimes I didn’t care enough to want to read more. Other times I couldn’t stop turning the page. It was an uneven book, in my mind. Odd for Berry, who is normally an amazing thriller author.

Random Thoughts:

  • The Evil Pope — really, he’s like a Bond villain. Being in his head made his character that much more cartoonish. At first his agenda seems to be to protect the Church and its traditions from those who want change. After Clement dies, he would sell the Church down the river to become Pope. Then later, it’s all about the Church again.
  • The Papal Suicide — I have few words for this. One, a pope wouldn’t. I think it’d be too ingrained in them not to, as they preach it’s a mortal sin. Two, if he wasn’t hallucinating and Mary truly told him to… would Mary really tell someone to kill themselves so that they could go to heaven? Just seems a bit odd. IDK.
  • So Mary came down to tell us that priests should be able to Mary? Secret 1: Hell. Secret 2: Russia’s gonna kill everyone. Secret 3: The pope will die, oh, BTW, priests should be able to have sex. FYI. If they don’t, then misery will flood the land for hundreds of years! But don’t tell anyone before 1960, because that’s the year when everyone will be down with priest marriage. Because of disco and stuff… yeah, not buying it.
  • Which brings us to Clement — WTF, dude? This is what you were so worried about? It wasn’t that he was against it, because he clearly was for progressive reform, but if heaven is so hell-bent (punny, I know) on these reforms within the church, then why instruct Clement to end his life? Why not have him issue a papal decree? Having him die so Pope Evil McInconsistent-Agenda will take over and NOT give out any reforms seems incredibly stupid.
  • Katarina — she was the most consistently written character, and grew on me as the story went on. No complaints
  • Plot — had some gaping pitfalls as described above, and at times got dull. I couldn’t stand one more chapter about the papal selection, and normally I’m all in for political intrigue. The climax was dull, and the murder/forced suicide of Crazy Pope just seemed wrong. Mainly because all these priests were behind it. It’s one thing for Crazy Pope to be on the murder train, but are all of our main characters suddenly taking after Bruce Wayne. I though the Church had finally spoken out against vigilante murders and such? The crusades are over.
  • Writing style — brilliant as always. Classic Berry.

I mean, I got through it. Almost considered quitting, but I only had a 1/5 of the book left so I kept it up. I just wish the Third Secret had been something life changing, as I feel the book had unfairly led me to believe. I didn’t expect this preachy crap. Whatever. Obviously I need to stick with Cotton Malone. I do not recommend, sadly. 🙁

Grade C


Confused by my grading scale, click here to find out how the grades relate to star-ratings you’re more used to seeing.