Lawrence’s debut balances adventure, mystery, science, religion and morality.
Mark Lawson discovered time travel in order to save the human race, but he recognizes that his techniques could also be used to manipulate history. Nearly half a century later, that’s exactly what temporal terrorists are doing—and the Guardians exist to make sure they’re not successful. But it would help immensely if the Guardians knew exactly who they were fighting. Their story offers readers a complicated romp through time, with scenes spanning the centuries. For the most part, Lawrence handles the changing times with a deftness that is unexpected in a first-time novelist, though his short treatises on Greek history may make some readers feel like they’re sitting in an obscure history class. However, it’s the characters and the choices they make that matter the most, and that’s what will draw in readers. While the story is what most would call science fiction, it may not be what fans of the genre would expect. Science exists and, indeed, remains central to the story, but doesn’t drive every aspect of the plot. Much of that depends on history, characters, religious faith and more. The characters are not only trying to understand and deal with technological advances, but are asking what it means to be human and how the new technology fits into their lives and culture. Lawrence’s story manages to be exciting enough to make those who crave adventure happy, while also examining the metaphysical and moral implications that time travel could have on individuals, groups and cultures. This is a compelling, detailed read, and one that offers its audience something solid to chew on.
Lawrence does a masterful job of drawing readers into his fully realized, morally complex vision of the future.