Cover Artist: John Coulthart
K. W. JETER
Publisher: Angry Robot Books
Originally published: 1979
This edition published: 7 April 2011
On the cover:
JUST WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THE TIME MACHINE RETURNED?
Having acquired a device for themselves, the brutish Morlocks return from the desolate far future to Victorian England to cause mayhem and disruption. But the mythical heroes of Old England have also returned, in the hour of the country’s greatest need, to stand between England and her total destruction.
This book starts out right after events in H.G.Well's The Time Machine. And it does
seem from the first chapter that this will be a direct sequel. But it soon turns out this is not the case.
Jeter manages to bring in elements of post-apocalyptic science fiction, Arthurian legend and a lost underworld reminiscent of Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth and mix them together to make a thrilling story. Jeter's writing drives the story along all the time, and the choice of first person narrative works perfectly.
There are several places in the book that the story takes an unexpected turn, and that is one of its strengths. Another is Jeter's take on the Arthurian legend, something I really fell for. I'd go so far as to say that this is an essential book for anyone with more than a passing interests in Arthurian legend.
Steampunk fans will also be glad to know that there are quite a few steampuk elements along the way too.
I really enjoyed this book and thought it was a great read. Both as a (sort of) sequel to The Time Machine, and as an original story in itself. I felt that the connection to The Time Machine is almost incidental. It does not suffer if you know nothing of H.G. Wells' novel when you read it.
I don't hesitate to recommend this book, and will leave you with the final of my review notes on the book: Did absolutely not see that end coming!
NOTE: An ARC of this book was supplied to me by the publisher.