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The Veil of Smoke (TimeDrifter Series) (Volume 2) Paperback – December 20, 2014
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About the Author
LAUREN LYNCH has lived in nine of the United States, but currently calls a log cabin in North Carolina home, along with her husband, teenage son, two dogs, a cat, five chickens and even the occasional bat. For more information, visit: www.laurenlynch.com
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The Veil of Smoke is the second in a time traveler series but the book stands on its own. While some references are made to the first book in the series they do not distract. This is, much as C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, one in a series of books, each with its own plot line -- but together propelling the characters from one mission to another.
It is a Christian allegory but not heavy on the theology. I took away from the book the concept that while God works in our lives, we too must make choices that determine outcomes -- whether they be good or evil. We see in the people of Pompeii many of the same types who walk amidst us today. Busy, tied to this world, oblivious to the transitory nature of life, participating in evil, blind to any greater purpose. Where better to examine all of this than in Pompeii as the earth shakes and clouds of doom gather above?
Lynch brings to the book historical authenticity. She has clearly done her homework regarding the city and what being there was like before and during the famous eruption that buried all. It makes for a better reading experience knowing the detail she throws in from time to time: that a villa was under repair, that the wine was pressed in great earthen bowls or that slaves yearned for freedom no matter how devoted to their masters. She brings antiquity to life.
This is a well written, well researched novel. I recommend it to those who like Christian allegories, C.S. Lewis-themed fantasy, or historical fiction. Two thumbs up!
The story begins with the tale of Marcus, a young man about to embark on a life of adulthood, albeit reluctantly. Marcus isn't interested in finding a job or continuing education and is offended by his mom's pressure for him to take on some responsibilities. Soon Marcus finds himself in a situation out of his control, and he wishes that he'd listened to Mom.
Book One introduced the readers to Anna and Brendan, both whom have traveled from the '20s and the '50s, respectively. Anna and Brendan return to Book Two and both are well-traveled time travelers in The Veil of Smoke. Once arriving in Pompeii, they realize that they are there to help someone, but they have to figure out who that is.
Narnia-like in style, The Veil of Smoke is a book that has Christian allegory but isn't super preachy. Additionally, it has a clear good versus evil theme along with moral values and a focus on making good decisions. Over time, the characters experience personal growth that Lauren builds into the story in a seamless fashion.
I was very impressed with the depth of Lauren's research into the events around the disaster at Pompeii. Her descriptions of the city, the celebratory festivals and worship of the gods was very focused and painted brilliantly in my mind. She clearly is very gifted with description and research.
The characters—primary AND secondary—are very well fleshed out and the scenes played out like a movie in my mind. I had a very hard time putting down The Veil of Smoke, and I have already started reading Book Three, The Tower of Refuge!
I was given a copy of this book as a gift, was not required to provide a review, and my opinions are always my own.