From Publishers Weekly
Anthony's fifth Geodyssey novel (after 1999's Muse of Art
) covers approximately 100,000 years of human evolution, moving at the speed of the glaciers he frequently describes. In between lectures on the development of human bodies and culture, a small group of archetypes with names like Hero, Haven, and Harbinger act out scenarios that demonstrate Anthony's ideas. The result resembles nothing so much as a middle-school textbook with cheery characters attempting to make learning fun, except that these characters are deadly earnest. Anthony's thesis that much of our evolutionary history was caused by climate change is fascinating, but his fictional mouthpieces do little to improve his heavy-handed narration. Readers familiar with the brilliant nonfiction work in this field will find this message novel inferior in both scholarship and prose. (May)
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Anthony's Geodyssey series, which this book resumes after 11 years after Muse of Art, uses an unusual device. The same group of characters appears in different settings and eras, but in differing relationships. In this case, the connective thread is climate change, which humans have faced many times in their history on the planet. The Geodyssey formula has been effective before, but this time the repeating characters seem designed to diminish the impact of the overarching question posed by the title. Anthony appears to suggest that today's climate questions are just another version of an age-old story. A reiterating focus on rape also makes this a less compelling read than some of the earlier books. Staunch Anthony fans, however, may enjoy this extension of the series. --Patricia Monaghan