Classic Steampunk Novel Review: The Anubis Gate by Tim Powers
Review by Helen Pilz (www.helenpilz.com)
I write historical time travels. My work-in-progress deals with going back to Jack the Ripper’s Victorian London. (Like author Jana Oliver, I want my novels to be as historically accurate as possible. Talk about years of research! )
After browsing our Age of Steam blog’s Steampunk book list, I picked up The Anubis Gate by Tim Powers.
Plot Summary excerpted from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Anubis_Gate
In 1801 the British have risen to power in Egypt and suppress the worship of the old Egyptian gods. A cabal of magicians plan to drive the British out of Egypt by bringing the gods forward in time from an age when they were still powerful and unleashing them on London, thereby destroying the British Empire. In 1802, a failed attempt by the magicians to summon Anubis opens magical gates in a predictable pattern across time and space.
In 1983, ailing millionaire J. Cochran Darrow has discovered the gates and found that they make time travel possible. Darrow organizes a trip to the past for fellow millionaires to attend a lecture by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1810. He hires Professor Brendan Doyle to attend and give expert commentary. One of the magicians, Doctor Romany, happens to spy the time travelers and kidnaps Doyle before he can return. Doyle manages to escape torture and flees back to London, now trapped in the 19th century.
Time-trapped American Doyle battles the Egyptian magician for his live and the life of the British Empire.
Recommendation: The Anubis Gate doesn’t have the commonly thought of Steampunk technology elements such as steambots, airships, but it has time travel, alternative history, magic, an immortal werewolf, and well done twist and turns.
I give The Anubis Gate five out of five watch wheels.