Causey delivers a mix of business, government, religion, and fantastic technology in this debut sci-fi novel.
Time is not running out; it’s running backward. Using the discoveries of the genius Dr. Lacy Sylvan and the work of his paternal grandfather, William, Carlton Ferguson has opened portals into the past—generating massive profits for the family company. Any time and place in the last 48 hours can be reviewed through these Reflection Windows, and while the public doesn’t know it, Carlton hasn’t stopped there, extending his reach by years toward his dream of viewing right up to the beginning of time. Not only that, but he’s kept the secrets of the technology between himself and Sylvan, and even she doesn’t know the full extent of his capabilities. The Reflection Windows have rendered nearly all crime a thing of the past, so it’s tough to imagine anyone going after Carlton. But when Sylvan’s home is bombed, it’s just the beginning of a cascading series of events that could put everything he’s accomplished in jeopardy. Both the religious contingent and the government want control of the technology, either to discover secrets or out of the belief that some things are better left unseen. And when Carlton finally begins to make decisions about monumental issues—whom to trust, how to live, what is right or wrong—the world may be forever changed. This story grapples with ideas that are precise and contemporary, like the question of security versus privacy, and others that are timeless, like whether it is greater for the mind of man to know or simply to wonder. And the glue binding these concepts together is made of precise, well-crafted prose and intricate details, not to mention a fascinating main character. Indeed, the digressions into the precise ways Carlton gets things done and the mechanics of the Reflection system might become dull were it not for the passion the protagonist shows for his life’s mission as well as the complexities of his psyche, from his family history to the loneliness he inflicts on himself. He plays God but nonetheless remains distinctly human. This is a remarkable novel and hopefully a herald of great things to come.
A powerful portal story with a stirring protagonist; it’s everything a good sci-fi tale should be and more.