cover image Gods of Dawn: Blood of the Heroes, Book 6

Gods of Dawn: Blood of the Heroes, Book 6

Steve White. Baen, $16 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-4814-8257-8

For the sixth entry (after Soldiers Out of Time) in this adventure series about a cold war fought across time and space, Jason Thanou of the Temporal Regulatory Authority is sent back to the Vatican in 1978 to investigate evidence of Transhumanist interference in the death of Pope John Paul I. While there, Jason and his team stumble across a potentially devastating secret that requires them to travel back further than ever before, to 4004 BCE Mesopotamia, where aliens are posing as ancient gods at the dawn of civilization. Now Jason’s team must foil their enemies’ schemes without disrupting history or betraying their true origins, since revealing the existence of time travel this early would be disastrous. As with the previous installments, White focuses on historical authenticity and clever temporal mechanics, furthering the ongoing metaplots about the Transhumanist conspiracy and feuding alien races influencing human development; characterization is light, mostly revolving around Jason’s drive to fulfill his mission without violating his orders or the ever-important Observer Effect. It’s a strong story, though there’s an episodic feel as the protagonists move incrementally toward a distant final showdown with their enemies. (Aug.)