Sci-Fi Month 2016: Review of New Pompeii by Daniel Godfrey

Posted 16 November, 2016 by Rinn in Review, Sci-Fi Month / 18 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sci-Fi Month 2016: Review of New Pompeii by Daniel GodfreyNew Pompeii by Daniel Godfrey
Series: standalone
Published by Titan Books on 21st June 2016
Genres: Fiction, Science fiction
Pages: 459
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Goodreads
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

In the near future, energy giant Novus Particles develops the technology to transport objects and people from the deep past to the present. Their biggest secret: New Pompeii. A replica of the city hidden deep in central Asia, filled with Romans pulled through time a split second before the volcano erupted.

Historian Nick Houghton doesn't know why he's been chosen to be the company's historical advisor. He's just excited to be there. Until he starts to wonder what happened to his predecessor. Until he realizes that NovusPart have more secrets than even the conspiracy theorists suspect.

Until he realizes that NovusPart have underestimated their captives...

SFM16_7

This post is part of Sci-Fi Month 2016, a month long event to celebrate science fiction hosted by myself and Over the Effing Rainbow. You can view the schedule here, follow the event on Twitter via the official @SciFiMonth Twitter account, or with the hashtag #RRSciFiMonth.

I can actually remember when I first heard about New Pompeii. I’d just finished reading A Darker Shade of Magic, and flicked to the back of the book to read about upcoming titles from Titan Books – and there it was. A Jurassic Park style element involving ancient Romans? Err, yes please and thank you. I felt my little archaeologist heart drop a little when I saw the words ‘Expected publication 2016’. It felt so far away!

Fast forward to a year later, and what turned up on my doorstep, courtesy of Titan? My very own shiny copy of New Pompeii. Obviously when you’ve been waiting for something for so long, your expectations are pretty high, and I was actually worried that after all this time that it might not live up to my own hype – but as it turns out, there was no need to worry.

There have been a lot of stories of people undertaking foolish activities and studies, where you know things are going to go wrong – Jurassic Park is obviously the big one. But there’s something quite terrifying about that scientific project that could potentially go catastrophically wrong being human beings. The main error that NovusPart make is that they don’t seem to see the citizens of New Pompeii as actual people; they’re from the past so naturally they’re less intelligent, less developed, less civilised (ha!). These were the people who were responsible for so many human advances, so many things we’d be so stuck without now, and the people of NovusPart saw them almost like cavemen. New Pompeii raised some really interesting questions relating to this – what rights do these people have? But also, most terrifyingly – what effect will their presence have on the future?

As for the writing itself, the book was really accessible and did not resort to overly complicated terminology or anything like that to explain exactly how the process worked. It was simplified, and maybe not fully explained – but it’s science fiction. We’re already believing that people can be brought back through time, we don’t then have to criticise the how. And to be honest, I was much more interested in the clash of modern and ancient cultures and the idea of Nick trying to fit in with these people to learn from them, than the sciencey mumbo jumbo behind how they got there.

Overall, maybe New Pompeii didn’t feel quite as fleshed out as I was expecting. But it was a really good, fun novel, with plenty of action-packed scenes, I absolutely LOVED the concept and wouldn’t hesitate to read a sequel. What I would give to walk through those streets and interact with genuine ancient Pompeiians… A very strong four stars from me – or should I say IV stars? πŸ˜‰

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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18 responses to “Sci-Fi Month 2016: Review of New Pompeii by Daniel Godfrey

    • If you’re a fan of that concept, I think you’ll like this one – especially if you like that period of history too πŸ˜€

  1. This is the first time I hear about this novel, and I’m pretty excited by your review: the tragic end of Pompeii has always fascinated me, and I believe that this story will prove delightful. I’m quite curious about your mention of the cultural clash and the judgment errors by the “more advanced” people toward the so-called primitives.
    Really looking forward to this, thank you so much for showcasing it! πŸ™‚

  2. This is a cool premise! I love the idea of them pulled forward in time, at the last minute, and then underestimated and chaos breaks loose ha ha. I haven’t heard of this one but now I’m adding it- looks really good. Thinking of all the advances the Romans did- I can only imagine what goes down in this one! πŸ™‚

  3. I remember seeing this one ages ago and loving the sound of it. I haven’t picked up a copy yet but I definitely will do so (eventually).
    Lynn πŸ˜€

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