Monday, June 4, 2018

Review: The Hidden Truth and A Rambling Wreck

On 9-11, the capitol was burning, the white house destroyed. The newly sworn in President Lieberman swore to get the terrorists and their Saudi backers. At least the World Trade Center is still standing.

Welcome to the alternate history of Hans Schantz's The Hidden Truth.

In book 1, our hero, Peter Burdell, trips over an obscure fact: three historic deaths in electromagnetism that happened before their time. Conspiracy? Maybe? But that would require modern technology and knowledge to sway the course of history...

So in A Rambling Wreck, this leads to a 400 year old (minimum) conspiracy that spreads through government, science and academia.

Part of the problem with reviewing one book at a time is that, here, they're really one continuous novel. We follow Peter as he follows an obscure piece of historical trivia that doesn't jive with other sources of history, and then he goes right down the rabbit hole. The end result is that these books are one part alternate history, one part paranoid political thriller. Usually, paranoid thrillers are a turn-off for me, since they tend to be exhausting. Here, though, it feels more like Person of Interest. It's a little paranoid. With touches of the FISA memo sprinkled in. (And Hans wrote this over a year ago, so, worry about his prescience.)

It's a fun series. There are parts that drag, but not many. Most of the slow bits are highly informative and interesting. You get to learn stuff. This one is politics and science heavy. The history here is the easy part. The politics is merely the terrifying part.

Foucault's Pendulum, that masterpiece of Umberto Eco (wherein he created Dan Brown as a fictional character long before anyone had ever heard of him) took every paranoid conspiracy theory, fed them into a computer, and the computer tied them together into something apocalyptic.

Hans has taken over a hundred years of historical facts and made a conspiracy that will scare the heck out of me for a long while.

This is why I want to nominated the sequel to  The Hidden TruthA Rambling Wreck, for this year's Dragon Award for Alternate History.

If you don't have your ballot filled out already (either IRL or in your head,) here's my list. It includes the lists of other people, so there are options. Just remember to vote.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please, by all means, leave a message below. I welcome any and all comments. However, language that could not make it to network television will result in your comment being deleted. I don';t like saying it, but prior events have shown me that I need to. Thanks.