Number of pages: 277
This is the third and final book in Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin's Earthend Saga.
Spoilers below for the previous titles:
[Spoiler (click to open)]
As established at the end of the first book, A Vision of Fire, the series deals with an ancient civilisation, the Galderkhaan, who perished several millennia ago. The second book, A Dream of Ice had them communicating with people in the present day through special tiles.
I was a bit confused about the ending of the second book, which I thought at first involved history being rewritten; it is made clearer in this one.
Right at the start, the souls of the central character, Caitlin O'Hara, and her son Jacob have been transported back to the time of the Galderkhaan tribe, where they are inhabiting the bodies of tribespeople. I could tell quite fast that this was gradually leading up to the natural disaster that wiped out the entire tribe.
The sequences that took place in the Galderkhaani empire were the most enjoyable for me; they are said to be a people who are able to fly airships, and who have a complex political system where their priests are at odds with their technologists (who seem to be the novel's main antagonists), which will eventually lead to their doom. For some reason, they put me in mind of the Beklan Empire from Richard Adams' book Shardik.
As well as introducing the idea that souls can travel in time, the book has a subplot involving a pillar of fire that erupted from underneath the ice in the arctic, and an investigation by the character Dr. Mikel Yasso to find out what caused it, and inevitably it is connected to the events from the previous installments in the series.
I didn't enjoy the second or third book as much as the first book in the series; I thought they provided a good overall story, but some of the book's fantasy elements felt a bit too complex, and I was occasionally having to re-read chapters, mostly trying to grasp the idea that ancient tiles were being used as a means for souls to communicate.
I found it best not to get too worked up trying to understand everything, including the conspiracy elements that came into play in this book and enjoy the main plot, which did end with a couple of satisfying twists.
Overall, I was glad that the series ended up just having three books (I thought it would run to about seven), as the writers were probably running out of ideas. I was glad I stuck with this until the end, although it didn't quite meet the expectations that the first book left me with.
Next book: Mr. Dickens and His Carol (Samantha Silva)