4 out of 4 stars
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The Quantum Cartographer by Kristen Keenon Fisher takes the reader back to the Twentieth Millennium B.C., to a world where time travel is possible. Kressya city (once welcoming all time travelers) is now divided into the Old Kressya and the New Kressya. The latter is home to a ruling despot who is plotting to experiment on and destroy all time travelers (whom they call “sky-fallen”) who arrive at their doorsteps.
It is the year 2033 in Nevada. Eliza Carrefour is taking care of her two-year-old son, but she is constantly on edge. Her fears materialize when strange people appear at her doorsteps asking about someone called August while simultaneously eyeing her child. Eliza knows what she must do. She grabs her son and drives to a hidden place that August mentioned to her a while ago. When she gets there, she learns that she must send her son back in time to fulfill his destiny and, hopefully, put an end to the raging, ongoing war.
The story captivated me from the start. I love time-travel fiction (be it books, movies, or television series) and as such, The Quantum Cartographer doesn’t disappoint. Although if you dig deeper, you realize the book is so much more than just a sci-fi and time-travel adventure. It is a story about dictatorship, Utopia, and the long-term Resistance movement to eliminate the oppressors. At its heart, it is the history of humankind itself with all its never-ending struggles.
The story is fast-paced. The scene of Eliza driving away with her son, Nija, to escape from her followers, reminded me of Sarah Connor making her getaway from Terminator. My heart was pounding, and I was cheering on Eliza to escape. I was on the edge of my seat even when the story moved back in time to the ancient land of Kressya. There is always something going on with Nija, our main character in the story. He is repeatedly getting himself into trouble due to his unpredictable teen behavior, and he is relentlessly chased by the Scythe, the city guards who want to apprehend him at all costs. I often chuckled at some of Nija’s rather short and smart-ass lines that popped up at the weirdest times.
The author created a whole group of entertaining characters. Eserae Sorra, a teen who teams up with Nija, is fearless, clever, and quite fun to be around. As the story unfolds, she begins to play a major part in Nija’s life and in the events to follow. Then we have Serros, a quirky old guy who takes care of Nija for a while. Legends call him “a man who survived a thousand deaths.” He loves his Saphire rum too much, but when it comes to fighting, he can sober up within minutes.“And you are …?” the shopkeeper asks them collectively.
“Lying low,” Nija answers.
I have to admit that I struggled a little with the story at first as I had several questions right off the bat. How come the ancient time was as modern as ours? What or who is the Cartographer? And what on Earth is the Crux? And how does all this relate to time-travel? However, when Nour gave a detailed explanation to Eliza before sending Nija back through time, my confusion cleared up.
The writing is near perfect. While there are some difficult and uncommon words within the pages, they are soon explained in following dialogues or descriptions. You are never left in the dark for long. The Quantum Cartographer is a well-written and properly edited book. I expected several grammatical and spelling mistakes while reading, yet I have found none, which is a rarity in a debut novel. I had a great time with this book, so I give The Quantum Cartographer 4 out of 4 stars. I can recommend it to anyone who loves science-fiction and time-travel stories with a hint of reincarnation, and to people who welcome excitement and thrill in their books.
The Quantum Cartographer
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