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Timecachers Paperback – September 1, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
From the Author
In contrast to conventional historical accounts of this period, this story attempts to present a pragmatic and heartfelt glimpse into the minds and souls of those affected. Unquestionably a dark stain on the history of the United States, the story is not simply a condemnation of the actions, nor does it attempt to justify them. Judgment is left to the reader, who is given the opportunity to consider his own reactions to these historical events. Every effort has been made to present the story in a historically accurate setting.
I am very appreciative of all readers who take the time to fully read and review Timecachers, both praising and critical. My intention with this book is primarily to enlighten readers about this important historical period in what I hope is also an entertaining story.
One common critique concerns the proficient vocabulary I gave to the Tsalagi dialog. In reality, many of the Cherokee of that era really did speak quite eloquently. Consider the fact that the Tsalagi's were a verbal culture. All knowledge was passed down the generations through storytelling rather than the written word. This gave them a natural love of language and a masterful command of it. They were also vigorously striving to become acceptable to the whites, partly by demonstrating their sophistication through the use of intelligent speech. Further confirmation of Cherokee oratory aptitude can be found in the preserved letters of the various Tsalagi chiefs of the time. For example, Chief John Ross's letter to Congress in 1836 is as eloquent as anything written by his white peers, if not more so.
As for the dialog in the story, readers should keep in mind that most of the Tsalagi characters were formally educated, and the chosen leaders of their communities. John Carter was a college graduate, Benjamin Rogers a prosperous land owner, and Jimmy Deerinwater was inherently sagacious. I confess that I gave literary license to the dialog of the more down-to-earth characters such as Guwaya and Yonah. Since English was a second language for them, I chose to bestow their speaking with the proficiency of their native language rather than emphasize unfamiliarity with their adopted one.
Those looking to further their knowledge of Tsalagi culture will find the Cherokee Nation website (cherokee dot org) to be an excellent source of information as well as a superbly designed site. For historical reference, James Moody's History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees is an excellent place to begin. I also wholeheartedly recommend the works of Robert J. Conley, whose captivating novels are filled with fascinating Cherokee history.
Review from Dr. Richard H. Sutor:
Timecachers - A Novel by Glenn R. Petrucci
First time novelist Glenn Petrucci must have listened to Robert Frost's advice regarding pathways for he has certainly taken the path less traveled. And, as Frost suggested, it has made all the difference.
Petrucci's tale deals with topics fraught with peril for anyone who has done insufficient research including the retelling of a major historical event and conversations in a native American language. It is obvious Petrucci has hit the books. The history is spot on and the Tsalagi conversations ring true. He's even included an abbreviated Tsalagi dictionary as an appendix. Also worked into this story are time travel and the techno-sport of geocaching. What emerges from this unlikely mixture is a well written, gripping tale populated with characters who quickly go beyond being descriptive words on a page to living personalities.
The tale opens, as you would expect, introducing the major players - each of which is given their own introductory chapter providing just enough background to bring them to life. From chapter Five until the final chapter some 55 chapters away, the plot unfolds with many unexpected twists all of which seem plausible.
As noted earlier, a large part of the plot takes place in the past, 1838 to be precise, and Petrucci handles this historical material in a way in which the events become as real as today's headlines. But don't be concerned that this is all so deep it will seem like a history lesson. Petrucci amply demonstrates a wry sense of humor using puns that extend even to the character's names and having characters deliver some cutting comments regarding the way in which technology has become ingrained in today's lifestyles. There's also a good number of references to contemporary Delaware, Petrucci's home state. And, yes, he has fun with those too.
This book is not written as page turner so don't expect each chapter to end with a cliff hanger compelling the reader to push on. Petrucci has packed this tale with doses of emotionally charged scenes that will cause the reader to develop new insights into the explored topics. As for the manner in which he handles the time-travel component, let's just say that it happens when neither the characters or the reader expect it.
This reviewer did have one problem with this book. It had nothing to do with its almost 600 page length. By the time chapter 58 was finished the characters in this book had become people about whom he cared. With only two more chapters to go he found himself not ready to say goodbye to them. It was with reluctance he read those final two chapters and found the tale wrapped up in a way he had not anticipated. Still this one has to be called - a good read.
Richard H. Sutor, Ph. D.
From the Back Cover
It was breakthrough technology, but where would it lead them?
When Adam Hill of Overhill Engineering accepted the assignment to test the innovative device, he knew the project would be exciting, but this was far beyond his team's expectations. A handheld navigation device with the ability to provide precise location information anywhere on earth--or anywhere in the universe--without the need of a supporting satellite system!
"We've discovered some interesting anomalies that may actually enhance the unit's functionality," said Dr. Odan, the enigmatic inventor of the LANav device. "We need engineers who are familiar with hardware and software testing, as well as an aptitude for outdoor activities, such as backpacking, orienteering, and survival skills. They will also need practical knowledge of early American history."
As avid outdoorsmen and geocachers, Adam's team was well suited to the project. Field testing the device would require them to travel to the remote mountains of northwest Georgia, where wilderness skills would understandably be required. But what possible need for knowledge of early American history could there be?
They soon discover the device has the capability to lead them not only to any destination--but to any time--in this case May, 1838, the beginning of the Cherokee Indian Removal.
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Top customer reviews
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The beginning of the book was dry, but I plowed throught it and I'm glad I did. After the characters were introduced throughout the first few chapters, it began to become increasingly more interesting. Especially for the heady, technichal, geeky, outdoorsy and the history lover types of people.
The story goes over the period and lives of several Cherokee families at the beginning of the Trail of tears. The book can be graphic at times, and I would not recommend for younger readers, but is very satisfying read.
Overall, I give this book a 5/5 stars! I am on my way to order the next book in the series.
My only disappointment was that I wanted more. I hope that Mr. Petrucci will consider writing a sequel to this book. I would love to see it evolve into a series.