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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Prodigal Hour


Is there anyone not fascinated by the notion of time travel?  Whether the pull is simple curiosity about what the past was really like, or wonder about the future one is doomed to miss out on, there is just something irresistible about the possibilities of traveling up and down the time continuum at will.  Or, perhaps, the lure is more personal, a desire to right some personal wrong we have done or suffered, for instance.  Whatever the reason, Will Entrekin is here to tell you to be careful what you wish for – because you might just get it.

If Chance Sowin, the main character of Entrekin’s new novel, The Prodigal Hour, had arrived for work at the World Trade Center just a few minutes earlier, his life might well have ended on September 11, 2001.  Survival, however, does not mean that Chance’s life has not been changed forever.  He is no longer the person that entered the building that morning with his na├»ve optimism intact.  Chance knows that he is one of the lucky ones, and he feels almost obligated to take charge of his life, to make himself a better man than he was on September 10.  Now, it is a question of where to begin.

Chance is from New Jersey and, when his father asks him to move back home until he can figure out what he wants to do next, Chance decides to take him up on the offer.  For the second time in just a few weeks, though, Chance’s arrival time is fated to get him almost killed.  He gets home just in time to interrupt what appears to be a home invasion by a man threatening his father.  When in the ensuing scuffle his father is shot dead, Chance is left to deal with federal agents who hint that his father may have been working with international terrorists.

That Chance refuses to believe his father, a prominent research scientist, could have been involved in research on behalf of any terrorist group, is not surprising.  The notion is so farfetched that he is not even temporarily shocked by it.  The real shocker for him comes from Cassie, a young woman Chance shared his first kiss with when they were kids: his father has invented a time machine and she knows how to use it. 

Now what?  Should they use the time machine to go back in time to save Chance’s father from being murdered – and what will happen if they do?  If they save Dennis Sowin’s life, will they inadvertently alter the future in a way that causes other innocents to die – perhaps by the thousands?  Thus begins an adventure that will see Chance and Cassie visit some of history’s most intriguing hotspots.  Only when the pair decides to “improve” upon the past, do they get in trouble.  Will they, and the rest of us, survive their not so subtle tinkering with the past?

I enjoyed The Prodigal Hour, my fellow time-traveler wannabes.  I think you will, too.

Rated at: 4.0

(Review Copy provided by Publisher)
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