"Project Neon" by Jonathan K. Crockett
The real project to be admired here is Jonathan’s epic book – vast and hugely impressive, Project Neon is a fantastic achievement. And, more to the point, it is a tremendously good book; the author should be immensely proud. That said, I felt it wasn’t quite as polished as it absolutely should be, and warrants, which is a shame, and the reason for my decision to drop a star; it is fair to say that this is a book which should otherwise be worthy of full praise. Whilst Jonathan is clearly an immensely intelligent, knowledgeable writer, who definitely knows his way around the English language, it is fair to say that his proofing needs a little extra gloss for it to deserve the accolades it undoubtedly would.
Ambitious, clever and grand, Project Neon is half procedural sci-fi and half historical drama. Crossing The Terminator with Valkyrie, it tells an extremely detailed tale of the painstaking creation of a time machine, then the panic which ensues when a vicious neo-Nazi is sent back by saboteurs to help Hitler win WW2. The N.S.A./C.I.A. respond in kind, by sending back their own agents to neutralize him. Naturally, then, all manner of catastrophic time-continuum scenarios start to present themselves, and the good guys in the present timeline scramble to fix one potential mistake after another.
Jonathan knows his history and his subject – as well as being a very good author; this composition is informative, and entertaining on a vast scale. But here is also the book’s biggest issue, for me; it is simply too long and too detailed. This in turn gives it a convoluted, confused feel, and ironically enough it is not the science fiction element but the increasingly tangled new lives of the subjects, in the past, where it becomes a touch difficult to follow. I don’t think the story arc is necessarily what confuses it, though, but rather the mere length; there is profound, vivid detail to wade through whilst staying engaged with the multiple-character and multiple-timeline narratives. This is a book for someone who really wants to get their teeth into a decent, Crichton-style thriller, and loves a bit of men-in-black, time-travel, Hitler-cabal and war history. And it really is as good as it sounds.
I think Jonathan would do well to polish up that proof, which can’t really be ignored. But if you can look past that, and like your history with sci-fi fusion, I hugely recommend this book; if you like the genres and themes just mentioned, it will definitely be as good an epic story as you will read on the subject. Jonathan is fantastic, and I will certainly be looking forward to reading what he writes next.
In : Book Reviews
Tags: jonathan-k-crockett sci-fi historical fiction drama hitler nazis world-war-two german