The space-time continuum has just been privatized. Novus Particles, an international energy firm, has inadvertently discovered a way to reach into the past and pluck out something…or someone. Despite rampant conspiracy theories, NovusPart claims that the space-time continuum is safe, as they have only ever transported people about to die—people with no future impact on history to be messed with. The proof of concept was the passengers and crew from a doomed airliner. Their encore? Nearly the entire population of Pompeii, snatched from history in the moments before the wrath of Vesuvius consumed the village. NovusPart has recreated the town as best they can, and spun a fable about being the agents of the deified Emperor. On the surface, all seems well…but the Romans were not stupid, and NovusPart has dangerously underestimated their captives.
Daniel Godfrey’s debut novel is truly a page-turner. His pseudo-science remains vague enough to be plausible without being annoying, and he leverages it to shift the world just ever so slightly, changing everything you think you know. The narrative continuously jumps between two threads, with the third-person narrator still managing to prove occasionally unreliable. We have struggling grad student Nick Houghton, trying desperately to figure out why he’s been selected to be the historical adviser at New Pompeii, and Kirsten Chapman, pulled through time mid-bath for reasons she cannot explain. Only time will tell the roles they are set to play in this little drama and whether or not either of them will survive…