Hulen makes an impressive debut with this enjoyable time-travel fantasy.
In the year 2181 B.C., Khara, a lesser-known ancient Egyptian princess about to ascend the throne in Memphis, Egypt, is whisked through time and space to 21st-century New Mexico. Landing in the desert just outside El Paso, she has 70 days to find her way back and fulfill her destiny—if that is what she chooses to do. When an understandably disoriented Khara is brought from the desert to the office of Victoria Barron, an immigration attorney, the fun begins. The acerbic, skeptical Victoria, determined to protect her strange new client, and the composed, occasionally imperious, mystical Khara are drawn to one another through their individual tragedies and loneliness. As one searches for the truth and the other for a way home, they become embroiled with a murderous black-market antiquities dealer, venture into the world of Native American legends (plus a dab of mescaline), and are distracted by potential romantic liaisons. Along the way, the two improbable companions forge a friendship that transcends the millennia that divide them. All this plays out against the beautifully detailed landscape of the Southwestern desert. A Wrinkle in Time for adults, this pleasantly engaging fantasy adventure has all the elements of a good novel: strong heroines, evil bad guys, romance, a journey to self-discovery, and the unknowable mysteries of the universe. The enduring lure of time travel forms the backbone of the story, while complexities in the numerous subplots will keep readers willing to suspend their disbelief. The story is marred only by incomplete copy editing that leaves a trail of errors as little stumbling blocks that momentarily disrupt the narrative’s flow. Missing words (“they had abandoned the wine something called tequila”) and usage errors (“The regretful on his face was genuine”) break the tempo but could easily be rectified.
An imaginative tale sprinkled with a bit of magic and leaving enough unanswered questions to keep readers pondering the possible consequences long after the last page has been turned.