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THE LIFE OF THE WORLD TO COME by Kage Baker Kirkus Star


by Kage Baker

Pub Date: Dec. 9th, 2004
ISBN: 0-765-31132-1
Publisher: Tor

Another entry (The Graveyard Game, 2001, etc.), in Baker’s superlative series about Dr. Zeus.

That would be the company that discovered time-travel in the 24th century and immediately set about ensuring its own existence and enriching its stockholders by ransacking the past. In the inaugural volume, botanist Mendoza, one of a race of immortal cyborgs Dr. Zeus created to serve its interests, visited 16th-century England and there fell in love with charismatic scholar Nicholas Harpole (he was burned at the stake for preaching heresy). In 19th-century California, Mendoza loved English charismatic spy Edward Alton Bell-Fairfax, who so much resembled Nicholas that they might have been twins. Edward died in a hail of bullets, but Mendoza, threatening to betray Dr. Zeus and in any event knowing too much, was exiled to the Back Way Back, 150,000 years in the past. Here, she endures 3,000 years alone—until, in a stolen time-shuttle, arrives charismatic Alec Checkerfield, the 24th-century's richest man, and dedicated, so he says, to destroying Dr. Zeus. Mendoza almost believes him . . . because he's Nicholas and Edward’s triplet! The three, it turns out, are the genetic creations of childlike geniuses working for Dr. Zeus in 2350; they’re supposed to be the first of a new breed, Heroes, designed to replace Dr. Zeus’s hulking, outmoded Enforcers. But other, shadowy, manipulators within Dr. Zeus have different plans for Alec; and what happens in 2355, beyond which even Dr. Zeus’s operatives cannot penetrate, is a mystery to all.

An astonishing and thoroughly satisfying installment. What’s more, Baker’s overall concept and rationale, flawlessly sustained through five books, grows ever more spellbinding and impressive.