The idea for this novel is definitely an interesting one, with the initial exposition where in an alternate version of the Gregorian year 1884, Russian and English armies faced each other across America’s Great Plains, unready for the technology of extra-dimensional visitors known as the Nayarit. The main chapters open with one of the protagonists, Ivy Clemhorn, engaged in rock-climbing, and while she is reprimanded for pulling stunts in her command, she nonetheless earns the respect of her soldiers. The next chapter focuses on a minor character named Papanzin, whose father is Tlatcani and the head of Cempoala’s city council.
Another member of the Clemhorn family, Donald, boards a train in Detroit and encounters his sister Ivy in a compartment, with the mention of an Edict prohibiting any contact with a temporal line bearing advanced technology, somewhat similar to the Prime Directive in the Star Trek media franchise. The book repeatedly references the political conflicts between factions known as the Conservatives and the Progressives, with battles occasionally spawning among soldiers in the Mainline period and alternate timelines. A few twists abound late into the storyline, which ends with an obvious sequel hook.
All in all, while the premise of the book is promising, it falls flat in its execution, given the general afterthought of the interdimensional aspect, the story more bordering on human interest, its fantastical element quickly becoming secondary. After the main text, there are character and terminology glossaries, although these come too late and don’t ease the confusion throughout the plotline. However, the indicators at the beginning of each chapter about where and when they open somewhat help establish the various settings. Regardless, while I’ve enjoyed some other alternate history stories such as The Man in the High Castle, I’m definitely hesitant to recommend this particular narrative.
Book Title: Nightfall (Book 1 in the Clemhorn Trilogy) By Andrew J Harvey
Category: Adult Fiction, 250 pages
Genre: Science Fiction Military, Alternate History
Publisher: Zmok Books, an imprint of Pike and Powder Publishing Group LLC
Release date: February 2019
Tour dates: June 3 - 14, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 (My book includes some violence and adult themes including one off-camera torture scene)
After eighty years of war the remnants of humanity on the Nayarit Line struggled to survive in sealed domes, surrounded by radioactive wasteland and genetically engineered viruses. It was in the last, desperate years of the war that the first trans-temporal portal was developed at Chiqu, a small research facility on the west coast of North America. As the domes finally failed and civilization collapsed around them, Iapura led fifty-three survivors to found a new empire on a parallel Earth; an Earth where, in 1884, Russian and English armies faced each other across America’s Great Plains, totally unprepared for the technology of the invading Nayarit. The Cross-Temporal Empire now encompasses fifty-four parallel Earths. But with its ruling Council riven by dissent the death of First Leader Manet, sets the Council into a slow and irrevocable slide into civil war.
A war that threatens not only the lives of the Clemhorn siblings: Conrad, Arnold, Donald, and Ivy; but the very future of the Empire.
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Meet the Author:
Andrew spent his high-school years in the school's library lost in the worlds of Andre Norton, Robert Heinlein, and Isaac Asimov.
His first novel to be accepted for publication was originally completed to be read to his two sons at night. Now his children have left home he lives in Perth, Western Australia, with his wife, one dog, and sixty-four goldfish.
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