The Company of the Dead

Author: David Kowalski

Pages: 832

Release Date: March 13, 2012 – Titan Books

ISBN: 9780857686684

What if it wasn’t a flying saucer that crashed in the desert in Roswell, New Mexico back in 1947?  What if it was actually a time machine?  That’s the idea behind The Company of the DeadIn 2012, Dr, Jonathan Wells accidentally learns about the time machine while treating a patient at Area 51 and in order to save his life gets transported back to 1911.  Once in 1911 with nothing to do, Wells decides to change history and make the world a better place.  First on the list, save the Titanic, but as we soon discover, that’s easier said then done.  Rather then save the Titanic, Wells merely postpones the inevitable for a few hours.  This small change allows some passengers to live that would have died and causes some to die that would have lived.  And so the butterfly flaps its wings.  If you have any intention of reading this book, I would recommend you stop reading this review as there be spoilers ahead.  Make sure you come back and finish this review once you have read the book, I’ll be waiting.

In 2012 2.0, the world is a vastly different place with Greater Germany and Imperial Japan as the two leading superpowers with the United States divided and partly occupied.  A small group led by Confederate Bureau of Intelligence agent Joseph Kennedy have learned about the time machine and Wells’ changing of history.  They’ve decided they like the original version better and set out to prevent Wells from changing the past.  Here’s where the story gets a little murky.  Apparently there is some type of time loop in which Kennedy continually tries to stop Wells and continually fails in one way or another, this is his last chance.  I found this to be unnecessary and somewhat bothersome; the story gets all mystical for awhile.  One other small issue was the explanation of how the time loop started.  Rather then address the paradox in any meaningful way, it got one or two throw away lines.  Otherwise I found this to be a quite enjoyable book.  At 832 pages it was a bit long and there were some areas that probably could have been trimmed down a bit. This might not be the book to bring on a cruise.

I received this book as an ARC from Titan Books.