Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Book review: The Kingdom Of Ohio

I have to admit that I'm somewhat of a bookworm.  Always have been.  I've been known to go to the library and check out a dozen books and return them just days later to get another dozen.  And I can't say that I have a favorite genre, although I do tend to go for historical fiction more often than not.  Which is why this book appealed to me. 

The book begins with the narrator, an old antiques dealer finding a photograph. In this photograph are two men and one woman.  He claims that because of this photo he forced to face the past he has tried hard to forget.  We are then drawn into the story of Peter Force, a young man who comes to New York City to work on the new subway system and Cheri-Anne Toledo, a princess of the lost Kingdom of Ohio.  Also playing parts in the story are Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla and other familiar historical figures. 

The story starts out as a traditional historical fiction novel.  There are even footnotes to help "varify" the events.  Then it takes a strange turn as elements of time-travel and alternate worlds are put into play.

Sometimes this book was hard to read.  Jumping back and forth between the narrator and his story was rather abrupt and happened at strange places.  There was a strange reference in the last few pages to the lost Ronanoke colony of Virginia that really didn't seem to fit.  And the characters were rather flat.

However, while it was hard to read, I was strangely drawn into it.  I wanted and needed to know more.  What of this lost "Kingdom of Ohio?"  Did it really exist?  (answer - no).  I kept reading, hoping for more on the characters, which was never truely fullfilled.

In the end, while I wish it was better developed, it was a good worthwhile read.  I really like when real life historical figures are thrown into stories and developed as characters.  And the idea of time travel through parallel worlds is intriguing.  As was the descriptions of a young New York City and the western frontier lands.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical novels that tend to be a bit tedious to read.


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