WARNING: THE FOLLOWING MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS. I WILL TRY MY BEST TO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS, BUT THAT MAY NOT BE POSSIBLE. IF THAT DOES NOT BOTHER YOU, PLEASE READ ON. IF IT DOES, BY ALL MEANS GO READ THE BOOK, THEN COME BACK HERE.
(In case you can’t read the synopsis in the photo above – because, yes, it’s there. 🙂 )
A group of paleontology grad students decide to spend their summer digging for the next big find. What they uncover is beyond what any of them could have imagined.
Or, is it?
The Navigators takes us on a wild ride of intrigue and mystery. Dan mixes techno thriller with a heist novel and a bit of sci-fi thrown in for good measure.
Did the team discover a time machine? If they did, what do they do with it? What would you do?
The dangers that press in all around them force them to ask, who can they trust? What powers want this time machine, and how far are they willing to go to get hold of it?
What I liked
This is a book unlike any I’ve read in a long time. Unique in its premise, and in its execution. The mix of genres works. This is a testament to the talent that Dan has with words.
There are no plot holes left open, no loose ends not addressed. For me, the unexpected exploration of faith and the hand of God in our lives (and the lives of those we love) was satisfying. It didn’t answer anything, but the questions it leaves in the mind of the reader are well worth exploring.
What I did not like
Gratuitous. I don’t like anything gratuitous. I know many readers will have no problem, but yes, I do. It’s probably why I can’t rate this book higher.
What do I mean? The language. I am all about making characters real to life. You don’t need Pollyanna language when you’re describing real life characters, but you can go too far. For me, this book went too far.
And, sex. The scenes devoted to sex in this book did nothing to advance the story. Nothing at all. Personally, sex scenes don’t ever add anything to a story for me. I understand that they may have been in there to add an element of romance, but it felt puerile. You can have romance, a deeper romance, without them. I actually had to skip over them, and I don’t think the story lacked at all for not reading them. The very definition of gratuitous.
Structurally, the POV changes were a bit jarring. The use of 1st person POV for one character mixed in with 3rd person limited POV for every other character (including ones that had limited space devoted to them) didn’t mesh for me. In the beginning, it was hard to follow the POV of another character after we had been in the mind of one for most of the beginning of the book.
Sometimes, it felt that scenes were added last minute just to fill pages. They were entertaining, but felt a bit disjointed with the rest of the narrative. Perhaps written just to give a character something to do (I’m looking at you, Barry, but not just you).
This was an inventive story. I enjoyed the premise, the plot, and the conclusion of it all. I could have done without the language and adolescent dream sex scenes. Without those, and a bit of tightening on the POV, this would be a master level book.
Another Book Review, and more to come. I promise.
I will also copy this to my Goodreads page, too. I mix well known best sellers, classics, independents, and so on.
Let me know what you think. Did you enjoy the book? Have you read it, or do you plan on reading it? Better yet, have you seen the play? What did you think?
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