A Coin for the Ferryman – Megan Edwards – ARC Review

Title: A Coin for the Ferryman
Author
: Megan Edwards
Genre: Science Fiction, Historical Fiction
Published
: March 1st, 2022 (Imbrifex Books)
Goodreads


Synopsis: The story can now be told.

In 1999, an elite interdisciplinary team headed by Nobel laureate Andrew Danicek gathered in California to carry out a ground-breaking time-travel experiment. While the rest of the world remained unaware, Julius Caesar was successfully transported from the last day of his life to a specially-constructed covert facility. Four days of conversation with historians and Latin scholars were planned, followed by Caesar’s return to the moment from which he was extracted. But despite the team’s meticulous efforts to maintain secrecy and plan for all possible exigencies, a kidnap attempt plunges Caesar into peril. Fully aware that the future of civilization may hang in the balance, one team member must summon strength she didn’t know she possessed to return Caesar to the Ides of March.

The shocking details of Caesar’s visit and its effect on subsequent events have been protected by draconian nondisclosure agreements…until now.

Review:
Thank you to the publisher, Imbrifex Books, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Nobel Laureate Andrew Danicek gathers a group of elite researchers and scholars to work on a top secret project at the IDES lab in California – a time travel experiment to bring Julius Caesar from moments before his assassination into the present for four days. They plan to use this time to learn as much as they can from him, but despite the tight security and detailed planning, someone has learned the details of the goings on at the lab and attempts to kidnap Caesar. It falls into the hands of Cassandra Fleury, the youngest of the team, chosen for her ability to speak fluent Latin, to keep Caesar safe from their pursuers and bring him to the lab in time so that he can be returned back to the Ides of March. Missing their deadline to send him back could have grave consequences for the future of the world.

I can never say no to a time travel book, and when you add in Ancient Rome and Julius Caesar on top of that, well I requested this book before I even fully read the synopsis. This take on time travel was a really interesting one, not least because it was reverse time travel which I’ve never read before. It starts off in a setting that is academic with all the elements of a tense and groundbreaking research project in progress, and then pivots into thriller territory that kept me turning the pages. It’s a combination I haven’t come across before, but it definitely works in this case. It doesn’t delve into the science part of it all a whole lot, which I would have loved to know more about, but chooses instead to focus on the background of each of the IDES team, showing the reader glimpses of their lives and their mindset going into the crucial final stage of the project. However, the fact that the whole experiment involved them bringing someone into the present from the moment of their death instead of them travelling through time posed some fascinating ethical dilemmas involved in the process, something that Caesar’s final moments with the team makes the reader consider.

The IDES team is a diverse group of characters, and the story takes time developing each of their arcs to some extent. Most of the story is narrated from Cassandra’s POV so hers was the easiest to understand and follow. Julius Caesar’s perspective too was an interesting one, and useful too, because his initial interactions with the team weren’t anything earth-shattering, and getting inside his head gave a better idea his character. I was also surprised at the way the author chose to portray Caesar for the most part, showing a more human and flawed side to him rather than how history perceives him, but it was a smart choice, I think as it made the story that much more realistic. While I’m a huge fan of detailed character development, I don’t think this book needed quite so many POVs. Some of them barely had two chapters and there was nothing particularly momentous in them that could not have been conveyed through a different character’s POV.

The beginning of the book, close to 40% actually, was painfully slow. The only reason I kept reading was because I could see it was heading somewhere good, but I don’t think quite so much time needed to be spent on introducing characters and setting the stage. One thing that didn’t make much sense to me was that this 20-something undergraduate student was more of an expert in Latin than the two professors with PhDs and decades of experience on the team. I also thought that the ending was too rushed – apt, but it would have been nice to see it through Cassandra’s eyes like most of the rest of the book instead switching the POVs of other characters, that too set several years in the future. The tension level was really high during the last chapter and the tone of the concluding pages was just so different that it fell flat.

Overall, this was a fun time travel adventure, and a unique one, though it does take a little patience to get through it. This was a very enjoyable read and I would recommend this for any history fan.

A Coin for the Ferryman releases on March 1st, 2022.


Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!


19 thoughts on “A Coin for the Ferryman – Megan Edwards – ARC Review

  1. Stephanie February 16, 2022 / 10:01 am

    My brain was blown when I read “sci-fi” and “historical fiction” in the same line for genre haha! This sounds like such a creative book! I’ve certainly never read anything like it. I’ll be checking this out for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) February 20, 2022 / 7:19 pm

      Lol yeah, I couldn’t decide which genre this book fit into, then realized it’s technically both. Thanks for reading, and hope you enjoy this book!

      Like

  2. readandreviewit1 February 16, 2022 / 12:47 pm

    Great review! I love books about time travel and I’m trying to get more into historical fiction this year too, so I’ll definitely be checking it out. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Angie Soul February 17, 2022 / 9:15 am

    Sounds like a good read! I’ve been trying to read more historical fiction as I typically stay away from this genre. I’ll check it out. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Angie Soul February 17, 2022 / 9:17 am

    Sounds like a good read! I’ve been trying to get into more historical fiction books. Will definitely check it out. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sarah February 17, 2022 / 9:45 am

    First off, I’m extremely intrigued by the mix of sci-fi and historical fiction, because I don’t think I have ever seen those two genres together before. It’s a shame that the first half of the book was so slow but sounds like it’s worth sticking to it to enjoy the story. I’m definitely adding this one to my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) February 20, 2022 / 7:16 pm

      This was the first time I’ve come across that particular mix of genres too, but it makes a great combination! Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy it!

      Like

  6. Molly | Transatlantic Notes February 17, 2022 / 10:20 am

    The premise of the story sounds really intriguing; it’s a shame that there are so many character POVs being explored (which probably lead to the very slow start) but it seems like Cassandra and Caesar kind of held it all together. I am definitely into a time-travel story so thanks for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) February 20, 2022 / 7:15 pm

      Yes, it was definitely the two of them that kept the story moving, but once the action began, the pacing became much better. Thanks for reading!

      Like

  7. Fransic verso February 17, 2022 / 12:18 pm

    I love reading time travel books and reading through what is going on when we travel time. This is an amazing review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) February 20, 2022 / 7:14 pm

      Thank you! Yes, it’s so interesting to see how differently each book approaches the concept of time travel!

      Like

  8. Cassie February 17, 2022 / 4:34 pm

    I’m not so much into time travel, but I do like historical fiction. This book sounds interesting. I’m not one that is patient enough for 40% of a slow build, so not sure that would work for me. But, the premise of the story does sound interesting. Thank you for providing all of the detail. I just might have to give it a read.

    Liked by 1 person

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