“…This tense thriller, based in part on author Carner’s (Jerusalem Maiden) own experiences in post-Communist Russia, is an eye-opening exposé of life following the collapse of the Iron Curtain. ….Carner’s novel of vividly drawn characters and taut suspense adds up to a real-life dystopian page-turner of the un-put-downable variety”
“An American investment adviser, on a mission to counsel businesswomen in post-glasnost Russia, encounters corruption, organized crime, and extreme sexism. In 1993, the Russian economy is reeling under the extreme measures introduced by Boris Yeltsin to shock the country into capitalism. … a compelling narrative of lives lived in dystopia. The novel sheds much-needed light on this turbulent period in Russian history.”
Jewish Book World
“A moving, poignant, and rich novel, Hotel Moscow is an eye-opening portrait of post-communist Russia and a profound exploration of faith, friendship, and heritage.”
Jewish Book Council
“Carner brings the plight of the Russian women to life with visceral, disturbing detail, a portrait of suffering that is unflinching and unforgettable. Hotel Moscow captures a specific moment in history, but is timeless in its examination of what happens when ‘freedom’ is bestowed upon a country that is unprepared for it. …Carner explores the emotional legacy of the Holocaust… It is an ambitious story that tackles political, emotional, and sociological issues—some more deftly than others. …is a deeply satisfying read.”
Military History Book Reviews
“Carner has written a compelling tale of life during the fall of the Soviet Union, that is exciting, and a revelation of the misogynist attitude of many Russian men alongside the appalling corruption that the post-soviet power vacuum fostered.
However, from these challenges appears an ultimately heartening story of women working together to create change and empowerment with a great moving twist at the end!”
Black Dog Speaks
“Books contain an intense magic, so powerful that it can transport us to a different time and place. Their authors wield the wands and the cant the spells that craft these journies for readers. These wizards of words have the ability to not only teach us about history, to but make us live it, to feel it. They weave together the threads of history, humanity, thought and perception to create the most vivid tapestries, which tell the stories of places, people and the events in which they partake. Talia Carner’s wand has created such a tapestry that vibrantly depicts a time and a place that most of us know almost nothing about.
I highly suggest picking up a copy of this book, as I believe that no one can better describe what Russia in 1993 was like better than Talia Carner.”
Reviews by Amos Lassen
“This is a thriller of a novel about the dangers of international intrigue and you will be turning pages as quickly as is humanly possible. Brooke at first does not realize how much baggage she took to Moscow with her and does not do so until she is forced to deal with the corruption of modern Russia. A word of warning—clear your day before you start to read because once you are into the story, there is no turning back.”
“Brooke’s story will inspire you. The lives of those she encounters will challenge you…. While the story was excellent by itself, knowing that it was based on [the author’s] many real life observations made it that much more powerful. … Hotel Moscow is an excellent novel that invites you to see the world a little differently and take a step toward helping someone else live a better life.”
“Talia Carner has crafted an exciting and historically revealing story in Hotel Moscow. Up until the very last pages, secrets and alliances between characters are steadily revealed. Hotel Moscow is a page-turner that successfully weaves our 2015 sensibilities into Russia’s 1993 political turmoil. What emerges is a book that is part spy-thriller, part feminist lit that will force readers to examine what the history books will truly reveal about what has happened.”
No More Grumpy Bookseller
“This was a real eye-opener….Hotel Moscow’s plot is just part of the book. The characters – Brooke in particular – elevate the story, making it a more emotional read.
Hotel Moscow is an great read for anyone interested in Russia’s history or is simply looking for a story with excellent female characters.”
Utah Mom’ Life
“The characters are developed and emotional and hope to improve their world….I was completely fascinated by Hotel Moscow and highly recommend it as a great read.”
“Carner tells a good story. Her sense of place is vivid, and her characters stand out. Svetlana, with her Soviet speaking voice and matching hair, really stood out for me, as did Brooke, the lead character who seemed to be caught between the desire to help and the need to stay alive, at times. … I wanted to punch their driver/guide Aleksandr… It takes a lot for me to want to cause harm to a character, so kudos for that, Ms. Carner.
If you like old-school thrillers, where the danger is equal parts cerebral and physical, you’ll like Hotel Moscow. It’s an intriguing story with some great character moments, and I was never bored with it.”
Garden Of Books
“Plunging her readers into the early 1990s and post-communism Russia, author Talia Carner presents a dramatic, fast-paced roller-coaster of a story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats to the very satisfying ending. [In the main character] Carner has molded a fascinating and admirable character who is strong and yet vulnerable to the many horrible situations she runs into.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable read – there is suspense, a bit of romance, and a bit of a history lesson combined. The setting of the violent yet mesmerizing landscape of Russia is gripping and the cast of characters are intriguing as well. I highly recommend this novel.”
“This was such an interesting book!…. Brooke was a likable character. She wanted to help the women the best she could but also found the entire situation too difficult to deal with. … This book takes place within a week…and it was fascinating! It was hard to read at times and I would need to put it down but found myself drawn back to it to see what would happen next. This book will interest anyone looking for a thought-provoking novel set during this time period.”
The Book Geek
“I was immediately pulled into Brooke’s quest to help the women of Russia learn business skills… The conflicting emotions and motivations made the story real and made Brooke a much more interesting character….
There is so much about Hotel Moscow that I loved… the details of the hotel itself – what a nightmare that place was! … The bleak situation for the Russian people – and the women in particular – is very educational aspect of the book. I found myself pulled along in Brooke’s mission…. Two of the Russian women who really stand out in the novel are Olga and Svetlana…. One of the hallmarks of a good book — I feel strongly about the characters – whether I hate them or admire them. There is much in Hotel Moscow that would appeal to many different readers. I would definitely recommend it.”
Good Girl Gone Redneck
“When I had the opportunity to review a book by Talia Carner, I jumped at the chance. One of her previous novels, Jerusalem Maiden, was one of my favorite books of 2011. So I knew that falling in love with her writing style would not be difficult. And I was not disappointed…Carner’s writing is filled with cultural references. I can envision myself there and feeling, experiencing – everything in her story. It’s almost palpable…. The descriptive way that Carner details what Brooke sees, from the moments she arrives in the city and breathes in the architecture and people around her to random pieces of furniture to place us fully in her surroundings is a huge part of what makes me love her writing.
This book is filled with mystery, turmoil, anxiety and pretty much runs the gamut when it comes to emotions. As the reader you can easily put yourself where the author takes you, and this includes the characters’ minds. The women that we meet go through so much. We stand idly by, as witnesses, stuck in one spot – hating, loathing, burning with anger.
We hurt. We hate. We take deep breaths.”
“…the jacket description really undersold the story! The book was awesome in all the ways I expected…and I learned a lot…The perspectives of the Russian women gave even more insight into life in Russia. And the descriptions of the time period and location in general were very vivid.
Beyond this, I was surprised by the spy thriller elements of the story. The book included a lot of action and almost constant tension. I particularly liked how the author worked little details about people and places into her descriptions of events. It was a great way for the fast pace and well-written descriptions to coexist…. Despite the horrific events in the story, the descriptions weren’t so graphic they decreased my enjoyment of the book. The last surprising bit of awesome was the author note at the end, explaining that much of the book was based on the author’s own experience in Russia. As someone who loves learning factual information from historical fiction, this was a cherry on top of a great reading experience.”