Apocalyptic visions unite three characters across two centuries in this mystery-laden fantasy about the disorienting power of repressed desire. In 1816, while traveling in the company of Mary and Percy Shelley, Lord Byron is seized by the imagery of a doomed world that he will pour into his poem “Darkness.” In the 21st century, English professor Adam Fane and his estranged son, Gordon Evans, both on the same campus in California, are themselves smitten by Byronic visions of a world on fire and loved ones imperiled. Eads (The Survivors) insinuates a thread of erotic tension into the experiences of all three characters, implying that their catastrophic visions are not views of the future but glimpses of the unexpressed turmoil within themselves. Events come together a little too quickly at the novel’s end, but readers will be engrossed by Eads’s skillful weaving of the past and present through the troubled psychology of sympathetic, fully human characters. (Oct.)
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