The past can often seem very distinct and separated from the present. We, humanity, often glorify even the bloodiest of battles. We make heroes of villains and change the facts as we chose. Often it doesn't matter because we don't have enough facts to make an accurate judgment of the past, yet we do it anyways. My point is we often make history what we want it to be. Well what if we didn't have to. What if we could travel to the past and observe what really went on in the pages of our text books. This is part of the premise in Michael Crichton's sci-fi adventure novel about the past.
Chris, Stern,Kate, and Marek are part of a archeological team unearthing the ruins in the Dordogne river valley of France. Professor Johnston, one of the leaders at the site, has been visiting the mysterious ITC, the company funding the dig, hedquarters in New Mexico. But when the team in France doesn't hear from him at the scheduled time, they begin to get suspicious. Their suspicions are founded when they discover a 14th century manuscript with the words "Help Me" written in perfect English. Through a series of events, (I'm trying so hard not to reveal to many details.), the team is sent back to 14th century France to save the professor. The only catch... They just have 37 hours to complete the task. That might not seem to hard, but don't forget the is a dark period in history. Slaughter abounds and it is a whole new world. This book combines so many aspects that different readers will enjoy such as: Archeology, Knights, Castles, Science Fiction, and a heartless CEO.
While I enjoyed reading this book there were just a few things that bugged me. My biggest problem was with the story's main villain. He seemed almost cartoonish in his wish to exploit and control the archeology and the surrounding land. Maybe I'm just misreading his intents, but them seem very juvenile and not really deserving of his end. On the other hand his passive attitude about death and those he injured was disturbing and well crafted and justified his end better than his plans for exploitation. I also found a few of the characters just sort of lackluster. Yet there was good character development throughout the story which I think makes up for it.
A big part of my enjoyment of this book was the science aspect of it. While the author gives enough detail for you to know what's going on. He doesn't drown you in a sea of useless information. He is quick and to the point.
While there are a few downsides to the book, there is much more to be gleaned from it about our view of history and the time in which we live. As much as we enjoy history, We're never going back the past is in the past, so we must do all we can to make the most of the present.
Lance Fillmore (PSEUD)
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Author's note: If you enjoyed the book... Do not watch the movie version!!!! That is all.- 07/16/14