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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


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THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
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THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
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Hocking, Ian: Flashback

  Amazon  

4 stars

It's been about six years since I read Ian Hocking's Déjà Vu, the first in his sci-fi series featuring time-traveling, not quite human Saskia Brandt. In the interim I'd nearly forgotten how much I enjoy Hocking's writing: it's clever and sharp; Hocking surprises with his word choice, which is a nice change of pace from more by-the-book books.


The story begins with a gripping prologue that introduces the character of Tolsdorf:

"His habits had drifted towards the eccentric. For instance, he slept fully clothed, and liked to take that sleep - when it came - within a secret compartment behind the mirror in the main room of the cabin. This compartment was lined with wire mesh because he had come to know these last three winters that people were manipulating his thoughts through focused radio waves."

Tolsdorf happens to be the first on the scene when a plane crashes in the middle of nowhere in Germany. The last transmission from the plane -- "Stendec!" -- had also been the last transmission of another doomed flight, the Star Dust, which flew out of Buenos Aires more than fifty years earlier, in 1947. No one -- or only a very few people -- know what the word means.

You'll need your wits about you when reading Flashback: it's the sort of smart, techno-jargon-filled, time-travel-y book that would even benefit from a re-read, just so you can fully wrap your head around what's going on. You'll also probably want to start with the first book in the series -- also available now in Kindle format -- before jumping into Flashback. But by all means do give the series a go.

[Disclaimer: since reading Déjà Vu I have become virtually friendly with the author, and so am not entirely un-biassed. But I thought he was a clever writer way back then, too.]

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