"It would almost seem like you were in two places at once or, in this case, two timelines at once."

Like Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, some time travel books leave one pondering fate and man's inhumanity to man. Tomes about dystopia often stamp unforgettable characters on readers' minds, such as Stephen King's The Stand. Spy novels and westerns memorialize deception and violence, respectively. However, Thibault's book is a sweeping saga that incredibly encapsulates all of the aforementioned into one whopping tale and leaves readers with stunning literary images.

The majority of the story takes place in 1989 or 1891, depending on one's view of whether chronology is linear, parallel, or simply an outmoded myth. Certain earth-orbiting satellites have gone awry, causing fail-safe systems to fail and humans to react all too humanly. The result leads to experimentation in potentially time-altering weaponry. This, in turn, leads to the protagonist, Richard—an on-again, off-again CIA operative—winding up not only in two places at once but also in two epochs as well. He struggles to get out of exceedingly dreadful doings in the Old West and meet the legendary spy, Moodbain. Meanwhile, Moodbain simultaneously tries to help the former snoop via artificial intelligence and techno-travel along the time-space continuum.

Thibault is an exceptional writer who makes all of the paranormal mumbo jumbo particularly compelling. He wisely spends the majority of the pages fleshing out the very human aspects of his characters—their doubts, fears, and coping mechanisms. He's also able to create mesmerizing scenes of human savagery that defy comprehension but, unfortunately, not credulity. This is a writer unafraid of excess. He uses his considerable skills to create a compendium of chaos within a world committed to caution, and in so doing, leaves readers with a novel they will remember for a very long time.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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