Jason Golomb's Reviews > Time's Eye

Time's Eye by Arthur C. Clarke
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Feb 12, 10

bookshelves: science-fiction
Read from February 07 to 11, 2010

I thoroughly enjoyed Time’s Eye - it's got action, science, and solidly developed characters. It's also got an ancient history battle royale between Alexander the Great and his army vs. Genghis Khan and his Mongolian hoard.

Time's Eye is the first in Stephen Baxter and Arthur C. Clarke's Time Odyssey series which takes place in the same universe as Clarke's 2001 stories. Inexplicably (at least initially), Earth is sliced up and stitched back together creating a mish-mash of timeframes. This scenario creates the opportunity for Baxter and Clarke to position a Genghis-Alexander battle for control over the new Earth (dubbed "Mir" by the remnant individuals from the 21st century). The story is broad in scope, with multiple story lines intersecting, connecting and culminating in a satisfying conclusion. While the ending isn’t quite a cliff-hanger, it certainly sets up book 2 nicely.

Time's Eye has the requisite amount of hard science and pseudo-scientific - and sometimes atheistic - philosophical musings. These are the elements that Baxter and Clarke fans anticipate in their works. The philosophical vignettes are tightly written, and rarely feel forced or out of context with the rest of the story. I was thankful that there wasn’t too much rumination on the structure and specifics of time-travel.

The characters are solidly drawn and the authors were able to make the “real” characters like Alexander the Great, some of Alexander’s cohorts, and Rudyard Kipling (who gets caught in the time shifts), believable and relatively cliché-free.

In addition to the science fiction standbys of time travel and “those-that-watch-us-from-above”, the book contains solid historical fiction elements, specifically when dealing with Alexander and the Mongols. The authors take time to detail their histories, battle strategy and tactics of each set of warriors. There are also shades of Baxter’s Evolution while writing on the early hominids that get caught up in the time shifts.

Overall, I strongly recommend this sci-fi / alternative historical fiction from two of the best in the business.
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Reading Progress

02/07/2010 page 10
2.6%
02/10/2010 page 190
49.48% "Just met Genghis Khan...very cool"
02/11/2010 page 300
78.13% "Alexander the Great v. Genghis Khan. Battle Royale"
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