From Publishers Weekly
In this light, engaging time-travel yarn, Levinson (The Silk Code
) ponders the problem of saving someone who refuses to be saved, in this case Socrates, the Athenian philosopher condemned to death in a shameful moment for democracy. Inspired by a newly discovered dialogue of Socrates in which he's offered escape by time travel, Sierra Waters, classics grad student in 2042, joins her professor, Thomas O'Leary, in a quest to return to the past. Along the way, Sierra gains a lover, the charismatic Athenian leader, Alcibiades, as well as an enigmatic ally, the fabled inventor Heron of Alexandria. Plans are made, betrayed and relaid, all aiming to bring Socrates away before his execution. But the wily thinker, out to embarrass Athens, will have none of it. The plot threatens to fracture as the characters constantly move backward and forward in time, but by the surprise end, Levinson succeeds in tying the main narrative together in a way that neatly satisfies the circularity inherent in time travel, whose paradoxes he links to Greek philosophy. (Feb.)
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Classics grad student Sierra Waters is understandably skeptical when her advisor hands her an unknown Socratic dialogue between the imprisoned teacher and Andros, a time traveler. Andros offers Socrates an escape from the hemlock--a clone will be left in his place, and Socrates will live in the future. As she investigates the document's provenance, Sierra comes across a number of bizarre coincidences and, finally, the genuine possibility of time travel. She embarks on an adventure across past, present, and future, trying to puzzle out Andros' identity and save Socrates. In transit, she picks up Alcibiades of the honeyed thighs and enigmatic Heron of Alexandria. Eventually, she finds Socrates. The plot twists across itself, filling the book with paradoxes and potential paradoxes in total disregard for linear time, betrayal, and plotting. In the end, Socrates' fate and Andros' motivations and identity unexpectedly conclude a quick-to-read, entertaining treatment of the problems inherent in time travel with style and flair. Regina SchroederCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved