I am just getting back into the swing of reviewing again and was looking for something fairly light and interesting after reviewing two poetry collections. I majored in history as an undergraduate and enjoy science fiction, so this seemed like a good pick. The premise of the story sounded solid so I gave it a chance. My willing suspension of disbelief is rather well developed. I know the transporter in Star Trek is beyond any scientific plausibility, but it does speed the story along. I know wizards and dragons don’t exist, but they do make an interesting fantasy story. The same goes for time travel. Other than looking at the night sky and seeing a star as it was millions of years ago, you aren’t going to jump in a machine and travel into the past…but it does make a good story. H.G. Wells and others have used a time machine in their stories quite successfully.
That being said, for the amount of detail given to the characters, more could have been done explaining the science (fiction). Caesar didn’t seem too fazed to be ripped out of his time and pulled into the tail end of the twentieth century. Seeing cars as horseless chariots without giving them another thought was a bit bothering. Also driving in Las Vegas didn’t cause a mild panic attack on a person who never even experienced a light bulb. If the characters had a desire to know more about Caesar, why not go themselves into the past and document it?
The story was read by Mark Ashby who is known for his documentary style reading. Ashby does have a good voice for documentaries. He sounds like a national news reader from the 1970s (level with minimal emotion) but with a slight Jimmy Stewart twang. His style however does not mesh well this type of story. At first, his voice seemed to work, reporting the background, but reading characters voices in that same manner just didn’t seem to work.
A Coin for the Ferryman has the potential to be an interesting read, however, it needs more work and help in keeping the story line on track.