On coincidences, limits and mankind
On a first reading you are tempted to see it as a story about time and coincidences – maybe because in the making up of the action the present affects both the future and the past. In the novel there can be noticed an overlapping of planes and a constant swinging in a play with the time – which the author looks like having a good command of. If reading the pages more carefully another idea comes into being – that of mankind having to be aware of the limits it cannot go beyond.
The author sets on stage well defined characters and particular typologies, begins forcefully, interestingly, outlining from the very first sentences an outlandish world built each time antagonistically as an everlasting balance between now and then, here and there. Furthermore, he composes and continues on a time arrow attached to the beginning of the volume, useful to the reader as a reference system.
From the very onset, mystery reigns and the author resorts to the usual science fiction props he looks used to, while the scientific constructs go well maybe due his empirical background. There turn up the Erudites, the theme of the Island – as the only left ethos, there is floated around the idea of a society sheltered against the trivial interests of parties and the intrusion of politics, there even looms a distant and shady future under the threat of imperialism: "Wonderful cities are on the verge of destruction, blameless people will perish, thousands years old inheritances having defined the culture and history all over the planet will disappear! What a shame. And all this because a rotten lust for power, way too rotten not to involve nations from far and wide."
We are likewise witnessing a new world war throwing into battle the Tentorians (whence the name of the volume) – those to make up the first bionic people army, watch the advanced laboratories cryogenic techniques becoming usual, and not lastly we notice the instauration of Tentoria and her leader, Xilo. "Those still alive got this piece of land to build their own city on. They had been provided this land to keep at bay the thought of conquering other territories. There were but several kilometres square they called Tentoria."
The ingredients are spicy and colourful, there is a great attention paid to details, to depicting the characters and the inner spaces. "The grey white shade of the buildings material and the cubic structure shaped modular architecture were dominating the Tentorian city skyline." The dialogue is present from the very beginning and there are few pages the author makes use of other literary techniques on.
Noteworthy is the evolution of Cole – whom the author builds up carefully from details, subjects him to challenges, being the key character the plot is connected to and evolves in time. Cole comes up trumps as to the science fiction hero, directly or indirectly interacting with the other characters in the novel. He’s also the one to say the final remark of the novel. He is rational and takes decisions. It looks like the author himself fell for his character and afforded him moments of self-examination in hours of need. "He gave up thinking. He laid his head back on ground, closed his eyes for several moments and put his hands over the face. Hangover was throbbing through his body. He was feeling sapless, dejected; sensing dirt both all over his body and inside him."
The plot develops as the narration widens, in time proving challenging, thrilling, written down in a language within anyone’s grasp. It’s a gripping reading, penned in a fetching and suspenseful style holding the reader close and having him witness the events occurring. Maybe there are still lingering some drab, excessive details devoid of literary relevance, but they are somehow incidental to the science fiction genre. But there are also intensely expressive paragraphs where the author reveals his openness to the characters’ psychology, to the idea of friendship, of sacrifice and of the hero sometimes sticking his neck out. It is not by all means (only) a science fiction novel but rather an adventure one making use (learnedly) of the science fiction as the background props.