The Time Travelers
Humans have long been fascinated with time, speed, and sound. Light is measured by brightness (lumens) and sound is measured by amplitude of sound waves. However, time has a different quality. It slowly drags by for the office worker on Friday afternoon, while flying by on the weekend. And who hasn’t felt a sense of traveling back in time when visiting an ancient site? Richard C. Brusca incorporates this malleability of perception and spins an intriguing tale of mystery in The Time Travelers, a masterly novel encompassing the Aztec Empire’s cryptic and ancient approach to time.
The novel is set in Mexico City and takes the reader from Montezuma’s Aztec city of 1519, and Hernan Cortez’s conquest of the Aztec Empire, to the Mexico City of 2032. Journalist Francisco Montoya opens the story searching for facts of the strange events that occurred in Mexico City’s Zocalo on Día de los Muertos in 2026 when several celebrants died and several others disappeared. His search leads him to an odd man in a local saloon who reveals to Montoya the dramatic tale of the day.
The saga begins with a graft-riven construction project near the Zocalo which must be archaeologically cleared. The dig uncovers an ancient Aztec box decorated with scarabs. The box is given to Doctor Daniel Zavala, director of the National Anthropology Museum. Zavala opens the box which reveals its treasure: a rare brown obsidian ten-inch sacrificial blade, strong enough to cut through bone, and decorated with Guatemalan jade. Excited by the discovery, Zavala creates an exhibit to display the finding. However, the blade is stolen prior to the exhibit opening. Lola Perez, a police detective, and Zavala work side-by-side to solve the mystery and recover the blade. Their search takes them to Father Mateo Ganando, an elderly Catholic priest at the Metropolitan Cathedral, also on the Zocalo. However, Ganando is less a priest than the keeper of concealed Aztec writings which hold the secrets of time travel and lie hidden in a basement adjacent to the cathedral. The two sleuths soon find that the missing blade is integral to revealing those secrets.
Brusca, a scholar at the University of Arizona specializing in the North and Middle America leverages his knowledge to create a compelling and exciting tale of Aztec revenge and time travel. Facts are intricately woven into the fictional tale to create a greater whole. The narrative sparkles with intrigue as Zavala and Perez race to uncover the mystery. Readers, whose likely only time travel will consist of traveling through the days of their lives, will delight in this intriguing take on time travel.
|Quetzalcoatl Press/KDP Publishing
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