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Tuesday, 19 July 2016
Review: New Pompeii
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
In the near future, energy giant Novus Particles develops the technology to transport objects and people from the deep past to the present. Their biggest secret: New Pompeii. A replica of the city hidden deep in central Asia, filled with Romans pulled through time a split second before the volcano erupted.
Historian Nick Houghton doesn't know why he's been chosen to be the company's historical advisor. He's just excited to be there. Until he starts to wonder what happened to his predecessor. Until he realizes that NovusPart have more secrets than even the conspiracy theorists suspect.
Until he realizes that NovusPart have underestimated their captives...
I'm not going to lie to you guys, I mostly jumped to review this because I'm a huge history nerd and Pompeii has always intrigued me, so I was like...ooohh..New Pompeii.....OOOHHH MICHAEL CRICHTON and basically lost all cool and was like GIMME GIMME.
This book quickly sucks you in, the opening is chilling and sad, the narrative is intriguing and compelling. We have a dual POV. Nick who's failing to get anywhere with all his applications for research being turned down who's hired by NovusPart to work on the project. Living in the fake Pompeii...walking among its people he realises something isn't quite right. The Romans aren't as oblivious and accepting as the company thinks. We then have the narrative of Kirsten alongside that, she disappeared from Cambridge University thirty years ago and is taking a bit of a trip through time. Kirsten offers us an intriguing narrative at the beginning of the book and she keeps you reading while Nick faffs about before gets to New Pompeii. I was so entranced by Kirstens narrative...was she dead? What happened to her? and so on, and she provides us with more information on the corporation and the people who run it. The narratives appear to be separate from each other but there's an event. I'm not going to go in to more detail because spoilers but there's a part in the book when your entire view point changes, and you realise how everything has come together and you want to read more about both characters desperately and I'm like 99% sure there is a sequel so I'll be all over that!
This organisation is so freaking shadowy you don't even understand. You're reading about it and you know there's something off with the whole thing, there's a triumvirate in charge of the corporation but one is missing, there's an anti NovusPart organisation trying to bring them down, then there's the Roman's and their leader who are by no means as stupid and oblivious as the NovusPart people think they are. Although it could be said that one of the McMahon was having way too much fun pretending to be Roman to probably take notice. Like dude....a toga? Really? Calm down. This book is so well written, it's so complex. There's tangled timelines, what could have happened, what did happen, there's information missing and plenty of intrigue. It was pretty difficult to put this book down once it really got going. There are surprises and plot twists all over the place that you don't see coming and it really makes you think. There are some really thought provoking ideas in the book to do with history and changing things and what could have happened and so on and the morals of it all.
I completely and utterly loved how the author explored the 'What if' of Pompeii meeting the modern world. Those scenes where utterly thrilling to read. The author has clearly done his research as the book has a very authentic feel to it when you're walking the streets of New Pompeii with Nick. I know it says on the book that it's reminiscent of Michael Crichton, now I haven't read Jurassic Park, and the film is probably totally different from the books BUT I did get that Jurassic Park vibe....a scholar being brought in....arriving and seeing New Pompeii....being in this little bubble of land filled with history to explore and examine. Definite Jurassic Park vibes, but like....if the raptors wanted to beat you up a bit and make you fight for your life before they tore you limb from limb.
New Pompeii is perfect for history nerds, sci-fi nerds...hell even fantasy nerds, I kinda think the book is a little of all three! You guys know I don't really read SF, it's not what I go for, but I can't resist anything to do with Pompeii and I completely loved this book. It's fascinating and addicting, thought provoking and full of action. I'm so intrigued to see what happens in the next book! I'm also refusing to believe there isn't another book because after that ending there HAS to be another book...right!?