Monday, 17 October 2011

The Revisionists Review

The Revisionists
-       Thomas Mullen
Publisher: Mulholland Books
E-Arc with thanks to netgalley and Mulholland Books
Zed is an agent from the future. A place where all of the world's problems have been solved. No hunger. No war. No despair. His mission is to keep that way. Even if it means ensuring every cataclysm throughout history runs its course, especially one just on the horizon. Zed's mission will ensnare the lives of a disgraced former spy named Leo; a young lawyer, Tasha, grieving over the loss of her brother; Sari, the oppressed employee of a foreign diplomat; and countless others. But will he finish his final mission before the present takes precedence over a perfect future? One that may have more cracks than he realizes?

Zed is from the future, from a perfect society and has come back to our time in order to prevent time travelling terrorists from disrupting the past and stopping his society from coming into being. In the past he runs across a disillusioned lawyer struggling with her brother’s death in Iraq, a former spy now working for private business and a down trodden servant in a Korean diplomat’s household. These four characters lives swirl around each other, creating eddies and ripples which impact each other, even if they don’t always know it.
The setting for this political time-travelling espionage thriller is Washington DC – a town which deals in ideologies like currencies – and this is reflected throughout. Each character questions their beliefs at some point and no-one view point is ever decided as right – in fact each character’s sanity is questioned and there is no right or wrong - just a myriad of grey.
This wasn’t always an easy read, but it was fascinating. At first I struggled with the writing, expecting a more adventure driven story, but soon I was drawn into these people’s lives and their dilemmas. I can’t say I ever fully relaxed though and I was always aware I was reading rather than pulled along by the story. However, the story made me think and I was never tempted to give up. The ending was ambiguous and makes you question what has actually been happening. This is an interesting if never entirely comfortable view of the world today and if we are making it a better place for tomorrow,
Recommended for fans of Ken MacLeod and Robert Harris. 7 out of 10


  1. What a fascinating premise. It's a pity you weren't totally immersed in the story though.

  2. I am unsure, I hear thriller and back away at once. For some reason I just do not care to read those, but hey I like to read the reviews :D

  3. Yeah, sounds like that type of narrative would have been lost on me. I need simple and fun to read. LOL

    Good for you for sticking with it and getting some enjoyment out of it, Mel. :)

  4. Hm... might pull me too much out of the story if it did it for you at first, but I do like a thriller.... I may have to read this one to find out and satisfy my curiosity!

  5. This sounds really neat. I'm not sure it's one for me but sounds different and interesting. Thank you!

  6. I wasn't able to get a copy of this from NetGalley, which disappointed me because it looked so interesting. I regret it even more now, because all the reviews I'm seeing for it say that it's pretty good!

    Oh well. I don't doubt that it's one I'll end up buying at some point anyway, so I'll get my chance to read it and see for myself in the end.