Author: Arshad Ahsanuddin
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Arshad Ahsanuddin
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 07/30/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Bisexual, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Science Fiction
One man will destroy the past to save the present.
The price is too high.
But it may already be too late to stop him.
Life settles into a routine for the inhabitants of Chiron Colony, humanity’s first interstellar settlement, after the threat of the time traveler Gifford has apparently been eliminated. But the Hourglass and its leader, Admiral O’Dare, are not content to rest on their laurels, convinced that time travel remains a palpable threat to human civilization. When Annette Sutton uncover a possible secret plot to eliminate the principal members of the Interscission Project decades in the past, when they had only just met, the colonists’ idyllic peace is shattered.
Can Martin and his people head off disaster as the Admiral moves to destroy the potential for time travel, once and for all? Or is there a deeper agenda in play? As loyalty and duty become pawns in the race to prevent the erasure of all that they have accomplished, Martin will have to decide once and for all how far he will go to save everything and everyone he loves.
Going back to the beginning can bring emotional devastation.
This is how we begin book three in this cracking series. Knowing what’s to come, it’s killer on the heart, I say. Course, on the flipside, it’s cool as hell getting to learn how some of our now favorite characters first meet, or lose one another, or decide to take a risk and go for what they want instead of what’s expected.
On Martin, Henry, Charles, Sophia, Jacob, Trevor, and many more, we get origin stories. For me, this upped the emotional ante, anticipating what fate awaits them, if it’s different than what we know from books one and two.
One of the most exciting things for me in this story is gaining more insight into Charles. It was a hope I carried from the beginning of book one. Up until now, we’d gotten much on the inner workings of Martin and Edward, so more of the puzzle that is Charles, how he felt and still feels about Martin, raises the stakes. The beginnings of their friendship is something I feel like I should treasure, and will.
Even as things change, relationships evolve, partners shifting and dancing around one another, the chemistry between Charles and Martin is everpresent. As is the deep caring and knowledge they trade back and forth. Being the imperfect human beings they are, however, these things aren’t always utilized in the smartest of ways. They’re both frustratingly stubborn, especially regarding each other. Lucky for us, and them, they wholeheartedly make up for it, lemme tell ya.
Ahsanuddin achieves all of this by sharing the many levels of intimacy these characters live and breathe together, breaking down any possible barriers between them and me.
Full circle. It feels like this is a large thread woven through every character’s arc. As is the idea of the road not taken, especially the one unseen until you’re already making you’re way along it. With all of the timelines and destinies, much of everything comes down to one misguided young man attempting to make things right decades after the fact. Unintended consequences and impossible decisions are the inevitable companions to his actions. What makes all of this thrilling and enthralling is the wonderfully messy and unrelenting humanity splayed about on the pages of this book. Every emotionally wrenching turn is rewarded with soul-satisfying surprise.
All of the uncertainty and loss and sacrifice is made worthy of the unexpected emotional payouts.
”You said we’d be wiped out of history if we stayed,” said Charles.
“Yes. But you’d live new lives based on the changed history,” answered the elder Martin. “Is that what you want? Or would you rather survive this iteration with your memories and life histories intact, to face the next iteration as outsiders to history?” He shrugged. “It’s up to you.”
The ultimate conundrum to end all conundrums. Quite literally.
The capacity of the human heart, to expand and shift in order to accommodate. To make those decisions that alter life forever, all the while knowing what you’ve given up to step into the unknown. It can make the emotionally impossible seem possible. Over and over this is demonstrated by these characters. As much pain and selfishness we use to fuel our actions, our love and generosity in spirit are limitless. That’s how I was feeling, and thinking, while reading this.
Since I’ve given Charles some attention here, I feel I must do the same for Martin.
Martin, my man, when I first met you, I never imagined you’d be our reluctant, imperfect, but undeniable hero. Despite knowing as much as I do about you, and your cohorts, by this time, I was still experiencing surprise. I was still wondering where in the universe this was all heading, which choice would each of you make when it comes to love, family, life and death, knowing the decision carries the power over all of them. You encompass all of this and I will always be rooting for you, no matter the iteration.
What a glorious ride! Complex characters, masterfully crafted action sequences, a plot that never quits, and a blend of inventiveness and science that makes for splendid gorgeous sci-fi. It makes me want to dance around and pump my fists in celebration. Thinking back on the opening scenes in book one, Zenith, where book two, Azimuth, then took me (so many directions!), and the final (are they really, though??) destinations of these people by the end of this story… Wow. Wow! Epic. This series for me is epic. Most of all, it’s the epic journey for Marty and Chuck.
And I’ll be taking this one again, I can tell you that. 😀
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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