Part Science Fiction, Part Fantasy, part Thriller, this all adds up to one heck of a ride. The fact that this is the author's first novel makes it even more impressive.
The general gist of the story is that NovusPart, a large energy company have discovered a new technology that allows them to bring matter from the past to 'the now'. They have started by bringing citizens from Pompeii (hey, it's not a spoiler, the clue is in the title) forward and housing them in the replica New Pompeii. They do not know they have left 'original' Pompeii but some are starting to guess something is not quite right. Into the mix comes our hero Nick Houghton, research ,student, who is brought in as NovusPart's Historical Advisor. His actual recruitment seems a tad shady but he is just happy to be a part of something this big.
As a second story strand Kirsten Chapman 'wakes' in her bath only to discover she has been murdered.
As a general rule I am not a big fan of 'Michael Chrichtonesque' Sci-Fi Thrillers but New Pompeii certainly changed my mind on that. The way the author described both New Pompeii and it's occupants felt believable. It felt very much like seeing it through Nick's eyes which, for this reviewer is just how it should be.
The 'Kirsten' chapters added a lot of mystery to the proceedings. It is obvious her 'death' had a big part to play in the storyline but right up to the reveal I wasn't sure just what it would be.
If I had to find a downside to things it would just be my ignorance of historical terms, which I had to look up sometimes (but, hey, I've learnt stuff now so not that much of a downside really)
As for the characters - Nick was nerdish, Kirsten puzzled and the big chiefs of NovusPart just the right shade of 'big business sinister'. They all worked well for me.
I enjoyed this book a heck of a lot and wouldn't be surprised to see it on beaches and in airports all summer. Will it be filmed? Of that I have no idea but somebody, somewhere should take a chance on it (Oh, if only Mr. Spielberg read my blog)
Full marks to Daniel Godfrey for a very interesting and fun read - V/V stars