A suspenseful example of an emerging subgenre, the homage to Heinlein's young adult fiction, this novel will satisfy readers of all ages. Eighteen-year-old Charlie Newell has inherited a ranch from Uncle Max, who is missing, presumed dead. Hidden behind a pile of old hay in the barn is a tunnel that doesn't lead to the airstrip but to a pristine, uninhabited parallel Texas stocked with extinct megafauna. Charlie recruits four friends to help him exploit the wild side of his ranch, but the project becomes wilder than they expect, and they find themselves in danger not from saber-toothed tigers, but from their fellow Americans.
From Publishers Weekly
With adept storytelling, Gould, in his second novel (after the well-received Jumper, 1993), weaves the tale of Charles Newell, who discovers a gateway on his late uncle's farmland that leads to a "parallel" earth that is an ecological paradise of extinct species and lands unmarred by human presence. Charlie, who narrates, captures some passenger pigeons that he sells to major zoos and conservancy groups for a small fortune intended as seed capital for his master plan: to drill the alternate earth for its untouched gold. To help in this venture, Charlie reveals his secret to four of his friends, recent high-school graduates all. Working together, the five learn to pilot planes; but in time, their alliance and friendships are tested. The stakes become increasingly higher as well, climaxing in the arrival of government operatives. Ultimately, the financial considerations of the gateway prove no more important to Charlie or his pals than ecological and familial concerns. Adolescent readers will identify with the young heroes and heroines here, while older ones will be charmed by a yarn in which even the evil characters are intelligent and clever. Several loose ends cry to be tied up in a sequel; hopefully, Gould will oblige.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.