Reviewed April 24, 2006.
Tom Doherty Associates Books
(Tor), New York,
2006. 271 pages.
Available at Sembach Library
(MCN F LEV).
the year 2042,
this is a book about time travel, its implications and its
Waters, a doctoral
student studying ancient Athens,
is given a newly discovered manuscript copy of a dialogue of Socrates. In this dialogue, a visitor comes from the
future and asks Socrates to come with him, ahead in time.
The visitor has prepared a mindless and
soulless clone to take Socrates’ place in drinking the hemlock. Then history will not be changed, but the
future will have the benefit of Socrates’ wisdom.
after Sierra sees
the manuscript, her mentor, Thomas O’Leary, who showed it to her, is
he said he would be. Then the news
reports that he was lost at sea in a completely different part of the
world. She searches on the computer to
find out more—and finds a photo of Thomas standing in front of a club
in New York City. The picture was taken in 1883.
The story is
visiting ancient Athens and Alexandria
and Phrygia, as well as future London
and New York City and, of course, Athens. Mostly, it follows the timeline as lived out
approximately five main
characters. So it’s easier to follow
than you might think.
through time and characters, the author does leave out some crucial
that I wish were there. At one point, we
find Sierra with a new lover. At first,
I thought she was simply the sort who would sleep with anyone. It turns out that he is supposed to be the
love of her life. I wish that the author
had let us see the two meet and fall in love, and we would have been
in sympathy with their wish to stay together.
doesn’t quite wrap
things up at the end. We don’t find out
what becomes of the mastermind behind the time travel chairs. And we don’t find out why he wanted Socrates
to come to the certain time the mastermind picked.
those quibbles, this
is a fascinating book, with a taste of ancient philosophy along with
times. The only other book I’ve read
that’s remotely like it is The Time Traveller’s Wife. However, this story is completely different,
more about adventures and intrigue and elaborate plots for changing
than about the relationship between one man and woman.
It’s more of a treat for the mind than the
heart, though the heart is touched a little bit as well.
Copyright © 2006 Sondra Eklund. All
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