Time agent Otto Behr may have found the love of his life but, when a thirteenth century mission to Moscow goes badly wrong, the whole nature of the time war begins to unravel…or does it actually get knottier? Such is time-twisting nature of ‘The Ocean Of Time’ the second part of David Wingrove’s excellent series, ‘The Road To Moscow’.
I reviewed the first part of the trilogy here: http://sfcrowsnest.org.uk/the-empire-of-time-roads-to-moscow-book-1-by-david-wingrove-book-review/. Whereas part one focused on the thirtieth century Germans locked in a time war with the Russians, there now appears to be a more dangerous element that has entered the game. Not only that, it seems to be targeted at our protagonist Otto, who is now trying to also protect his family. The stakes have very much been raised.
Wingrove’s pacey, informative and above all readable style is continued in this second book. Otto is a good narrator helping us to understand where and more importantly when we are. This means you’re never really lost in the book, despite it jumping around in time and space so much. There’s also a handy dramatis personae should you get confused, though, don’t read it to begin with unless you want to spoil yourself!
The novel runs to around 530 pages, so is once again a lengthy read. I did feel that the first section of the book, as Otto and his wife attempt their first journey to Moscow, took quite a while and you’re nearly 200 pages in before the crazy time travel fun starts up again. Once that’s done, though, the pace doesn’t let-up and you’re dragged further in to Otto’s dilemma.
As you’d want from any second part of a trilogy, it ends with a big crisis and a huge twist that, for once, I genuinely didn’t see coming. Wingrove has managed to construct a book that keeps you guessing, especially since the enemy is one step ahead of the narrator.
If you haven’t read part one, then certainly go back and do so, you’ll find part two a lot more rewarding. As for the third part, I personally can’t wait. I went straight to Amazon to pre-order only to discover it was not available yet! If only, like Otto, I could jump forward in time to see what was next. Exciting, mind-bending and enormous fun.
(pub: Del Rey/Ebury Publishing/Random House. 528 page enlarged paperback. Price: £ 14.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-091956-17-2)
check out website: www.delreyuk.com