"Fine alternate history"
After receiving a battle-related injury during World War
II, John Rolfe recuperates in Oakland, California. John
works with a short wave radio when an explosion occurs that
opens an entrance into an alternate earth. In this world
Europeans never traveled to the equivalent of North
America. Thus the continent remains environmentally clean
and loaded with natural recourses unlike his birth world.
Over the years, John and his descendants selects twenty-
nine other families to work with him on exporting the
riches of "New Virginia" without destroying the beauty of
In 2009, law enforcement officials raid a First Side (this
world) warehouse in Los Angeles. The company worries that
someone smuggled items through the gate, which if not
stopped could lead to the industrial and governmental
complex learning of New Virginia and raping its pristine
landscape. John's granddaughter Adrienne tries to uncover
the identity of the traitor while Department of Fish and
Game Agent Tom Christiansen works a case that brings him
into her sphere. Tom and Adrienne are attracted to one
another, but neither trusts the other though they need to
team up to stop the destruction of New Virginia.
Fans of alternate history will appreciate the depth that S.
M. Stirling imbues in his delightful new novel. The rich
story line makes readers believers that other dimensions
containing different earths exist because the key cast
members come across as authentic in their dealings on both
planets. Adding fun is that Tom and Adrienne love one
another and share so much in common including mistrust and
a need to find the Judas-like betrayer before Eden is
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted January 10, 2003