Deana's Reviews > The Return

The Return by Richard Maynard
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's review
Feb 18, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: 2008, read-owned, 4-5stars
Read in January, 2008

I really wasn't expecting anything good from this book, but was quite pleasantly surprised. The book had a very interesting concept - some scientists went into space and got lost, and due to the differences in space-time that we already know about, and a thing called "refraction" of space which (as far as I know) the author just made up so that the book would make sense - but anyway, due to these things, rather than coming back 60 years in the future (when by their time they had been gone about 15) they came back a few hundred years in the future. And to their horror and dismay, all of the buildings and landmarks of their time have fallen apart and become dliapidated. Also, they quickly ran into "savages" - humans wearing nothing but skins, throwing spears for weapons, hunting and gathering for food. And fiercely territorial.

With all the libraries and sources of print fallen into disrepair and books turned into bedding for rodents, this is the story of the scientists as told by their captain. The story of how they survived, how they became leaders of a band of humans, their trek from present-day France to present-day England (both of which are somewhat recognizable to the scientists) through the tunnel, attempting to teach some civility, art and ingineuity to the current inhabitants of the areas. All the while, trying to find clues to the reason for the human demise.

Overall, it was pretty good. As I said before, I think the science behind the "refraction" in space was made up to make the story work - also I think the explanation for the disappearance of humans is questionable - without giving away the reason, it seems to me that it would have caused some problems in the eventually-born children as well and therefore the human race just would have vanished, not been able to survive, even as dismally as it did manage to. And as my boyfriend pointed out - even kids know how to use VCRs, and in 1988 when the book was written (and the narrator never gives a year for their departure from Earth, but it's clearly "the future") there should have been some kids smart enough to pop a VHS casette into the VCR to learn some of the more important aspects of our technology.

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