cover image New Pompeii

New Pompeii

Daniel Godfrey. Titan, $14.95 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-78329-811-2

In this paradox-inflicted techno-thriller, all roads lead to Pompeii, or at least a modern recreation populated by original residents stolen from the historical city. Nick Houghton, a history scholar, takes a position with the mysterious Novus Particles corporation, which has the ability to snatch items and people out of the past. Its founders want Nick to join their latest project, New Pompeii, to infiltrate the populace and help maintain the fiction that it is still 79 C.E. Nick, already leery of Novus Particles, is further worried when he sees how the Roman “subjects” are learning to subvert the experiment. Debut novelist Godfrey puts in a lot of historical detail, comparing and contrasting the modern and ancient political schemers looking to turn situations to their own advantage. The ethics of time travel are also explored with intriguing results. Godfrey’s nuanced affection for all things Roman shines through, but readers will have to wait for the sequel to get the answers they seek. (June)