Monday, May 29, 2006

Ticking away the moments

Thanks to the Harper Collins First Look program (which you really should join,) I just finished the not-yet published Three Days To Never by Tim Powers. The good news is that it is classic Powers, a tightly plotted tale of secret history involving Einstein, the Mossad, the ever popular Albigensian Crusade, and Charlie Chaplin. The bad news is that while it is the equal of Last Call, it doesn't quite reach the heights of Declare.

Let me be clear, this is a very good book and well worth reading, it just falls within a more comfortable pattern than Declare. I found myself missing the giant sweep in time and scale of Declare. On the plus side, the book is more stream-lined that many of his others. I've found that Powers can meander a bit in the kooky magic he creates. He builds up a bit too much detail at times. In most of his books, real history is used but with a twist. In Last Call, card playing is an act of sorcery. In On Stranger Tides, pirates use magic to find the Fountain of Youth. This time, he manages to hide what is going on while keeping it quite interesting and the story moved along quite well. I also like how me makes what appears to be a small character flaw in the main character become a bit creepy as the novel progresses.

If you've liked Powers in the past, you'll be happy with this one. If not, it's a good place to start.

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