Anyone who's read Lies My Teacher Told Me : Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong knows about the devastating consequences that Columbus's voyage and ensuing colonization had on the native people of the Americas and Africa. In a thought-provoking work that is part science fiction, part historical drama, Orson Scott Card writes about scientists in a fearful future who study that tragic past, then attempt to actually intervene and change it into something better.
Tagiri and Hassan are members of Pastwatch, an academic organization that uses machines to see into the past and record it. Their project focuses on slavery and its dreadful effects, and gradually evolves into a study of Christopher Columbus. They eventually marry and their daughter Diko joins them in their quest to discover what drove Columbus west.
Columbus, with whom readers become acquainted through both images in the Pastwatch machines and personal narrative, is portrayed as a religious man with both strengths and weaknesses, a charismatic leader who sometimes rose above but often fell beneath the mores of his times. As usual, Orson Scott Card uses his formidable writing skills to create likable, complex characters who face gripping problems; he also provides an entertaining and thoughtful history lesson in Pastwatch. --Bonnie Bouman
K. (StoriesOfLondon) reviewed Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus (Pastwatch, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 3
If you've read Card's other work you will know to expect a lot of in-depth character-based events. It's different from any other sort of time-travel related book I've ever read (and I've read a few). Like the title suggests, it is a tale of a wished-for redemption, one that would have made our world a better place. I definitely reccomend it.
Very good book. The time travel concept was interesting. Actually before they can travel back in time they think you can only watch it. That is how they study history, through these time viewers.
The characters are very rich, and developed. And not everything works out for them in the end. Read it, you will like it.
Cheryl B. (shiva) reviewed Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus (Pastwatch, Bk 1) on
I love Orsen Scott Card's writing. This one took me a little while to get into, but I loved it. In the story people are able to watch history. One person watches it backwards and sees the effect of an event, and is able to go back to the cause of the effect. It's a great idea. The story is good. I read it years ago. I still think of it often.
A compelling portait of Christopher Columbus with the story of a future scientist who beleives she can alter human history from a tragedy of bloodshet and brutality to a world filled with hope and healing.
Kelly S. reviewed Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus (Pastwatch, Bk 1) on
3 1/2 stars: this book was recomended to me because I really enjoyed Michael Crighton's Time line. So while I was rivited by that book I was pleasantly entertained by this book. While it does deal with sci-fi past, present, future, issues it was simply not fast pace enough for my taste. I read a wide variety of books but the common thread of those I really enjoy is the fact I can not put them down. Unfourtunatley I could easily set this book down.