“It amuses me,” Sir Geoffrey said, “how constant it is in human nature to think that things might have gone on differently from the way they did. In a man’s own life, first of all: how he might have taken this or that very different route, except for this or that accident, this or that slight push—if he’d only known then, and so on. And then in history as well, we ruminate endlessly, if, what if, if only … The world seems always somehow malleable to our minds, or to our imaginations anyway.”
This novella is mostly the unusual adventures of an antediluvian secret society, like the anarchist one from Chesterton’s Man Who was Thursday, except its quite state obedient and is run by the likes of Rip Hunter’s Time Masters with a Victorian agenda- not letting the Sun reach any west over the great Empire. More like an Adjustment Bureau functioning behind a Narnia cupboard unaffected by Time and Space. Tiring at times with all the orthogonal logic of past and future, mirthless even, having it all explained in comported polished long sentences. But hang on till the splintered timeline starts making sense and enjoy the ride.
I happened to read the free sample chapter and immediately buy myself the rest then and there itself, rather unusual of me. And later learned the very existence of Cecil Rhodes, who wanted a secret society to ensure supremacy of British Empire over centuries, intriguing conspiracy theory material there. Also multiverse, negated past timelines, finding one self over time, manipulation of history in this brilliant, hugger mugger tale.
Like those very time travelers who returned to a present, not truly the one they departed from, post read me seems to have returned to a better bitter self. Definitely going to re read and with my limited knowledge I would like to classify this as advanced read in the time travel genre.