Book Review: Past Imperative (The Great Game #1) by Dave Duncan (three stars)
“None of it made real-world sense, nor ever would. You could not expect Sherlock Holmes if you already had Merlin.”
Engaging story of people and places who are not what they seem, or even what they themselves believe them to be. Draws on English archetypes and supposed religious prophecy on an almost-parallel world. Bounces between fantasy and science fiction as easily as between the universes portrayed. A small side of historical fiction. Previous exposure to Shakespeare not required but enhances the fun.
“She ducked into a doorway and made herself as flat as paint.”
Both protagonists are unwitting and unwilling pawns in a greater game. Drawing them toward each other compounds their confusion. Great fun for the reader.
“How can I tell if they’re friends or enemies?” “Well, look out for johnnies in black gowns like monks. They’re called ‘reapers’ and they’re deadly. They can slay a chap with a touch. Otherwise—friends will help you. If they try to kill you, assume they’re enemies.” “Why didn’t I think of that?”