From Publishers Weekly
) avoids flashy action scenes in this tale of two friends using a time machine to take a grand tour of history. When Adrian Shel Shelbourne's physicist father disappears and leaves behind a time-travel device, Shel and his friend Dave Dryden, a language expert, search for Shel's father in Galileo's Italy, Selma during the civil rights marches and other famous times and places. Realizing that time resists paradoxes and history can't be changed, the two friends seize the opportunity to live enriching, truly humane lives from Thermopylae to a few minutes in the future. As the paradoxes begin to pile up and their luck in dodging some of history's villains runs out, McDevitt ingeniously handles a tricky denouement that will leave readers satisfied. (Nov.)
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When scientist Michael Shelburne vanishes, his son Adrian—Shel to his friends—suspects unusual circumstances but not that his father has discovered the secret of time travel. Figuring it out, however, Shel and friend David Dryden use Michael’s devices to find the missing man in a quest that takes them through Depression-era Philadelphia, Renaissance Italy, the bloody civil rights march at Selma, and the as-yet-unburned library of Alexandria’s collection of the classical Greek dramatists. Eventually they succeed, but Shel’s curiosity spurs him to travel into the future, where he discovers his impending death, and then to search for a way to avoid that fate. That search occupies the book’s latter half and becomes a masterpiece of storytelling and exploration of the paradoxes of time travel. In fact, the whole book ranks very highly in McDevitt’s quarter-century of work distinguished by high intelligence, fine world building, and superb characterization. --Roland Green
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