I'm really starting to enjoy Robert Sawyer's books. This is the second book of his I have read. I started with Flash Forward (which is also fantastic).
This book starts in the future. Scientists have discovered a way to time travel, but can only go into the distant past because the energy levels needed to travel into the past decrease exponentially the further back in time you go. So scientists are sent back to study dinosaurs and find out how they became extinct. What they find out about the past is shocking. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed this story. I read almost the entire book on a flight back to Florida from California. Very fast paced, entertaining read. I would recommend it to any fan of sci-fi and time travel stories.
So far I haven't found a Sawyer I haven't enjoyed and the twist in this one tops them all. Evidence of dinsaurs has been discovered as has time travel. A group goes back to try and solve one of our great mysterys. They finally do by finding evidence of other life superior to ours.
The description of the various dinosaurs is excellent and all the characters seem quite real. I also found out a few facts about the past such as the level of oxygen was quite different. There's a touch of Jurassic park in this as good, at the least.
So, a pair of bickering paleontologists climb into a time machine and head back to find out what they can about the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
What they find is OMG. Can't tell you. It's the most off the wall explanation of what killed off the dinosaurs I've ever heard. And at the end, it's all tidied up into the world of today.
So, pretty much fascinating. There was also a little bit of soul-searching in multiple timelines thing going on, but that's a bit awkward. This is early Sawyer, and it seems he was still working on how to flesh out his actors beyond the nifty science-style ideas.
To the reviewer whining about the use of the term "archaeologist"in the blurb above: I just have to point out that AUTHORS don't write book blurbs. They write books. PUBLISHERS are responsible for everything you see on the outside of the book ... like the blurb.
I haven't read this book, and based on the description, I never will. I just have to point out the Archaeologists don't study dinosaurs. Ever. They study ancient human cultures. Paleontologists study extinct life...like dinosaurs. If the author can't even get that right, I doubt the rest of the book will be believable.