Thursday 20 July 2023

A Face in Time - Manuel Alfonseca

A Face in Time 1789-2089
Solar System Book 2.5
Manuel Alfonseca
ISBN 9781096491309

A Face In Time - Manual Alfonseca

With the reading of this volume I have now read books by Manuel Alfonseca 19 times. And it seems that with each new volume I read I have a greater appreciation for his skill and talent as an author. I first encountered his works based on the recommendation of a friend back in 2017. This volume is loosely related to his Solar System Quadriligy. In that it takes place between books 2 and 3 in the series. Once I started reading this book I could hardly put it down.

I have read a number of books by Manuel Alfonseca, across several series and some also some standalone stories; I have also read some of them more than once. I picked this one up while reading the Solar System Series. The descriptions of this volume states:

“Professor Lavalle, at the Sorbonne, suggests his History students a research work on the French Revolution. They will be able to use a chronovisor, a kind of TV that makes it possible to see scenes from the past. During his research, the young protagonist falls in love with a young woman who is about to be guillotined. With the help of a friend, they manage to save her by bringing her to the future.”

About the author we are informed that:

“Manuel Alfonseca has published more than 50 books, including 32 novels in different genres: historical, fantasy, science fiction, mystery and adventure. In 1988 he won the Lazarillo Award, and in 2012 he won the fourth edition of the La Brújula de Valores Award. With this book he was a finalist for the 1990 C.C.E.I. Award.”

The chapters in this work are:

1. One day at the Sorbonne 
2. The chronovisor 
3. In search of a dream 
4. Marie 
5. Diary of two sessions 
6. Disaster 
7. An unexpected encounter 
8. A new hope 
9. The experiment 
10. The result 
11. Suspicion and amusements 
12. An unexpected proposition

As mentioned this story is in the middle of four volumes in the series. They are:

     A Face in Time 1889-2089

This story was fascinating to read because from early on we could guess where the story was headed. And the possible train wreck that could be. But like said accident I could not lift my eyes from the page. As a dyslexic bibliophile I can absolutely relate to falling in love with an author, long dead, from their words or characters in their books So it is completely understandable that to be able to watch their life and jump back and forth. The hard part like would be the limited viewing time a week. Gomez is smitten, and even though it could cost him is career, his years of study, he continues to spend time researching this young woman he has fallen in love with. 

Part of what I love about Alfonseca’s books is the science. As a scientist for his day job he does an excellent job of writing novels about theories or suppositions in a very convincing way. His characters are masterfully written and the plots of his works always intriguing. I have yet to read anything by him that was a disappointment. And the fact that he does all his own translation from Spanish into English makes it even more impressive.

This was another excellent story from Alfonseca’s pen. This quadrillogy for me provides an echo of C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy; or his quartet if you include the partial story The Dark Tower. And this one most closely could relate to the Dark Tower story. I was absolutely hooked from beginning to end. I was very surprised by the twists at the end, I admit I was completely taken by surprise, and in part that is why I would love to see more stories in the series, to see how this would tie in with the other four. This story has far less action, but it is a drama build slowly and with rich and deep emotions being stirred by the story. This is an excellent science fiction story from a master storyteller and I can easily recommend it. A great story.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Manuel Alfonseca in English:
Jacob's Ladder
The Ruby of the Ganges
The Last Dinosaur
Ennia in Faerie
The Heirloom of King Scorpion
Beyond the Black Hole
The Water of Life

The Sleuths of the Spanish Transition Series:
Quetzalcoatl's Zahir

The Mystery of the Haunted House
The Mystery of the Sapphire Bracelet
The Mystery of the Honeymoon
The Mystery of the Egyptian Vulture Country House

Chronicles of the Magic Jigsaw Puzzle Series:
The Journey of Tivo the Dauntle
The Mystery of the Black Lake
The Silver Swan
The Secret of the Ice Field
The Lost Continent

The Chronicles of the Aeolian Family Series:

Human Cultures & Evolution
World Population: Past, Present, & Future
The Fifth Level of Evolution

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