U.S. Homeland Security investigator Christian Huxley is a lapsed Catholic who must grapple with his past as he unravels a series of puzzles hidden in a dead terrorist’s cell phone. His mission will take him around the world, visiting some of the most significant sites in religion and history. In a parallel world, where Christianity doesn’t exist, Romani technologist Tomadus is plagued by visions of another reality. Tomadus must embark on his own quest to save his world. As their realities merge, both men will confront the evils of their worlds as well as their own demons.
Author Ken Hansen’s attention to worldbuilding is to be commended. It is apparent that an extraordinary amount of research went into the development of Tomadus’ universe, which pulls on historical and religious sources. Hansen’s meticulous attention to detail makes for fleshed out characters and a fictional world that feels as real as our own Earth.
THE LIGHT OF OUR YESTERDAYS is ambitiously crafted, but at times its volume weighs down the plot.There is more than enough material for the story to be spread across two novels, or even a trilogy. There is a dizzyingly large cast of characters and several storylines, and the transition between them is not always smooth. Tomadus, despite being one of the protagonists of the book, is introduced several chapters in. His late entrance makes it a bit difficult for the reader to become immersed in his world. In a book stuffed with so much information, it can be tricky to keep track of the many characters and settings.
Confining the epic tale to one hefty tome creates pacing issues and can be confusing at times. Rather than moving along at the quick pace you would expect from a science fiction mystery, THE LIGHT OF OUR YESTERDAYS sometimes plods slowly, dwelling on details that are not critical to the plot. At times it feels more like a philosophy textbook or an analysis of religion than a novel. While some of these elements do add to the substance of the novel, they can also overwhelm the plot at times. But although the book is quite lengthy, readers who stick with Christian and Tomadus will be well rewarded by the exciting final chapters.
THE LIGHT OF OUR YESTERDAYS is an entertaining tale that at times moves slowly, but overall offers up a fascinating and original science fiction story wrapped in a mystery.
~Christine-Marie Liwag Dixon for IndieReader