Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Second Sight

I really like the style of this book where the author talks to the readers in first person as we go through the book. “Come with me. Why do you hesitate? … Think of me as a guide, an interpreter. Though I may take a wrong turn now and again or introduce you to some characters of questionable nature, you can rely on me, I assure you. I’ve done his before.”

Second Sight by Gary Blackwood changes history slightly. Joseph and his father have a mind-reading act in Washington D.C. They are very popular and even President Lincoln comes to see the act. Joseph is an actor just like John Wilkes Booth who he meets and gets to know. At the boarding house where the family lives, Joseph meets Cassandra who reminds him of his deceased sister. Cassandra truly has the gift of “second sight”—the ability to look into the future.

There is a special type of fiction called uchronia, an alternate history. In this genre the novels ask the question “If some pivotal event in history had taken a slightly different turn, how would it have affected later evernts?” Blackwood says he really hasn’t written an alternate history, but rather an altered history. Really only one small part has he changed (a part involving Mr. Lincoln), the rest is historically accurate.

I have enjoyed all the books by Gary Blackwood, Wild Timothy, The Shakespeare Stealer, Shakespeare’s Scribe, Shakespeare’s Spy, and The Year of the Hangman.


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