Monday, 24 October 2016
BOOK REVIEW: NEW POMPEII BY DANIEL GODFREY
New Pompeii by Daniel Godfrey
For readers of Michael Crichton and Robert Harris, this novel, one of a series (the second instalment out on June of 2017) gives thought to the issues of both past and present, gibing them a sense of history, but also as Nick Houghton finds out is room for studying the real Romans he has in a replica of Pompeii dubbed New Pompeii.
So far, Nick's grant applications have been refused due to his father's "mistakes", but his friend, Ronnie gets him tickets for a seminar at the British Museum. Nick thinks Ronnie is the sort of guy who's fun to be with, but not so good at being serious. And the reason he's fetched Nick to the seminar is because of NovusPart as he has heard on the grapevine that people are going missing from a Pacific expedition, the result of is ending up with people being taken and killed, but he would be very wrong - also Nick's wrong about why Ronnie brought him there. He intends to assassinate one of NovusPart's most important men. Incidentally, the reason for his father's disgrace was him making damning reports about NovusPart, and with Ronnie and his men being arrested, the proposition for Nick to join their company as a historian is starting to look very tempting. NovusPart are responsible for being able to transport objects and people from the past into the present; the Peking Man and the passengers of Flight 391 being examples here.
The blurb doesn't mention this, but this book is also part thriller as every chapter that concentrates on Nick's issues with NovusPart, there is a separate set of chapters on Kirsten Chapman's predicament. As a college bedder, she had the responsible job of giving information to new college students, but she has disappeared, presumed dead. As no one can see her, she thinks she's a ghost though there is a better explanation for what's happened when there's someone more familiar linked to it.
In New Pompeii, Nick feels as though he might be a lab rat as well as his situation grows worse. He has been taken in for a serious project and behind the scenes, Ronnie wants him to let him come along to Italy and the site of Pompeii to get some answers. As he already knows he's a loose-cannon he ahs to keep him on a tight rein as he could scupper his chances of finding out the truth of what NovusPart are plotting. It is fascinating to see how Godfrey has made Nick a part of real Roman history by having him dress in the traditional robes, and taking in the scenery and atmosphere (even if he is slightly reluctant to be a part of it). Here is where the two different styles coincide with readers finding out more on Kirsten's link to someone in the NovusPart team who could also be a murder suspect. Godfrey has thought up the sort of Pompeii many would like to have known and wanted to be a part of and this is also a thriller that convinces the reader he is capable of showing us the seriousness of messing with time.