A Coin for the Ferryman
by Megan Edwards
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Pub Date 01 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 19 Dec 2022
" If you have studied Classics in Rome as she has, or if you just want to know more about what might have happened on the Ides of March, this book is for you. A Coin for the Ferryman provides fun reading for beach or forum.”–Michael Maas, the William Gaines Twyman Professor of History at Rice University, and author of Readings in Late Antiquity, The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Justinian, and John Lydus and the Roman Past.
"Megan Edwards gets us turning pages”–David Brin, best-selling author of Star Tide Rising, The Postman, Existence, the Out of Time series.
"“Fascinating characters and their often sad stories coalesce into an unforgettably wonderful tale of time travel and its consequences, thrilling one moment, tragic the next."–W. Jeffrey Tatum, best-selling author of Always I Am Caesar, The Patrician Tribune, and Professor of Classics at The Victoria University of Wellington.
"“A Coin for the Ferryman is a fascinating thought experiment, and one rooted in a deep love for the classics and knowledge of them."–Greg Woolf, the Ronald J Mellor Professor of Ancient History at UCLA, and author of Et tu Bruté, The Life and Death of Ancient Cities, and Rome: An Empire’s Story.
“Megan Edwards masterfully combines her extensive knowledge of the classical world with her literary skills to produce an intriguing and compelling novel.”–Stephen L. Glass, Professor Emeritus of Classics and Classical Archaeology, Pitzer College
Average rating from 181 members
I thoroughly enjoyed this story! Nobel prize winner Andrew Danicek has built a “time machine”. He sets up a team and after a series of positive tests decides to bring a prominent historical figure to the future, Julius Caesar.
So now you have a man who lived 2000 years ago, walking around in our time. One of our other MC’s Cassandra is picked to be his “hostess” because she’s fluent in Latin. But nothing goes as planned!
Caesar can’t remain in our time, because they don’t know how and if it will influence the future. But will they be able to, with everything that has happened?
This book sounds amazing, as in its story, and really it is. It doesnt get bogged down in the science, but there is enough there to make it sound plausible, and that is all you really need. The writing is good, descriptive but not flowery, and the characters are fun, if you love them or hate them. I did not see elements of the ending, and I loved being surprised by that. This is a must read!
The premise of A Coin for the Ferryman is an intriguing one, especially for anyone interested in Ancient Rome. What would one of the most famous ancient Romans think of today’s modern society? I felt that Edwards gave us compelling characters in Caesar and Cassandra, but so many others fell flat for me. And the introductory chapters, especially the parts with the 1970s archaeologists, felt unnecessary. However, the book really picked up for the last third or so, and I found myself saying “just one more chapter” over and over, well past when I should have gone to bed! Thank you, NetGalley, for providing the book in exchange for an honest review. #netgalley #acoinfortheferryman
I love time travel novels. This book by Edwards does not disappoint. The writing style keeps one captivated throughout the book. I was surprised to the last page.
This novel surprised me.
My interest was piqued by the synopsis. A time machine brings Julius Caesar into the present day for a four-day visit? Sounds good to both my science-loving side, and my history loving side.
I was expecting something a little dry with lots of history and scholarly references. Something smart, and a little clinical.
What I got was a rich novel that I couldn’t put down.
It was definitely smart. But rather than clinical it was personal. This was all about the characters, for me, which I loved. It was beautifully written, and a unique story.
The pandemic has been hard, and reading this novel turned out to be a bright light.
I got to experience wonder, and awe, the satisfaction that comes from dedicating oneself to a scholarly pursuit - to dedicating oneself to high level values.
There was adventure. Uncertainty. Drama. Hope. Philosophy. Messy, imperfect humans just being messy, imperfect humans.
It reminded me a little bit of The Overstory by Richard Powers, in writing style. Lighter in terms of the narrative. Storytelling which can be complicated, using a gentle, nuanced voice.
So happy I found this novel and had the pleasure of reading it.
Thank you to NetGalley, Megan Edwards, and Imbrifex Books for providing me with an ARC in advance of the March 1, 2022 publication date so that I may provide my fair and honest review.
If you could pick anyone in history to talk to, who would it be? Well, what if it could happen?
A Coin for the Ferryman blends philosophy, sci-fi, and a whole lot of drama into an entertaining read! It's great (and consistent!) that Cassandra's name and the title of this book tie in with Greek mythology. After all, they were planning to pluck Julius Caesar out of time!
Speaking of, I love the concept of the book. Time-travelling shenanigans? Playing around with history and historical figures? Sign me up! Plus, the attention to detail regarding the dangers of time-travelling and said-plucking-out-of-time, from things such as being vulnerable to diseases or altering history, adds to the tension.
That being said, it took some time for the book to gain momentum. Around the end of the first quarter 'till the middle, the plot was unfolding a little slower than expected due to some stray subplots that might've been better acting as backstories. But, right after that things took a turn and the action kept coming!
P.S. That surprise twist at the *very* end caught me off-guard (But I should’ve known!)
Thank you to Netgalley and Imbrifex Books for providing me with the e-arc.
Thank you netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for a review
What would happen if scientists brought Julius Caesar to the 20th century?
While Julius Caesar isn't my favorite historical figure from this time, it makes sense that he was the chosen by scientists to bring to the present : he's well known, and his life influenced many others.
The plot of this book is very interesting, there are many characters, points of views and periods covered, but the author manages to keep it clear and interesting.
The latin-nerd in me is very happy!
I wasn't sure what to expect when I opened this book and I'm happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised! As a fan of time travel and ancient history, I loved *almost* every moment of this book. While some bits were a bit slow-paced, they fit well within the framework of the story and served to build up to those moments that made the wait worthwhile. My sole gripe was that most of the characters were somewhat unlikeable, but then again, who ever said that characters had to be likeable for a story to be good? My favorite character was undoubtedly Julius Caesar himself. Despite being a historical figure that I despise (I mean, the guy colonized half the world), I found his characterization here to be quite endearing. Edwards didn't recreate some cheap, gimmicky knock-off Julius Caesar, she brought the real one to life. He was calculated and cunning, just like his real-life counterpart, and I loved how he was portrayed as a human being more so than an antique statue brought to life. I would have loved for the other characters to have the same level of development and detail as Caesar and Cassandra had, but alas, c'est la vie. I loved how Edwards weaved in bits and pieces of history throughout the novel, which brought the history itself to life as well. And I was glad that the romance aspect was mild, as I was afraid it would consume the entire plot. A very enjoyable read that I would heartily recommend to anyone who's fascinated by ancient history and the concept of time travel.
An interesting premise not dissimilar to Timeline by Michael Crichton. In this, scientists in a secret lab successfully lift Julius Caesar out of history moments before his murder on the Ides of March and bring him to the 21st Century for 4 days before returning him to Ancient Rome. It's a fun if preposterous lead - the characters' behaviours are a bit 2- dimensional and the main character completely unbelievable as a gorgeous showgirl plucked from Vegas to study Latin. It's daft but enjoyable..
My interest was piqued by the synopsis. I liked the idea, and it was full of all needed “spices” for a good novel: philosophy, history, sci-fi, and a lot of drama. Caesar is one of the greatest characters in human history.
A great portrait of the figure of the one who knew how to rise from complete darkness to become the richest man in the world and has a power capable of ending the Roman Republic. At his death Caesar dominated almost the entire known world and this charisma lasts after more than 2,000 years. I liked how the author made him more human and showed a very sensible face of the entity.
It was so much fun to just imagine how Caesar would react in today’s modern society and how his attitude might be translated to our modern times.
This was truly an experience.
I was hooked from page one up until the very end. What started as a story of a normal girl working in Las Vegas turned into an extraordinary experience bending the timelines and the perception of right and wrong.
The experiment of kidnapping Cesar so realistic that after finishing this book I wondered if it really happened. It made perfect sense to keep it a secret and share the story now after some years.
But what felt even more real was the relationship between Cesar and Cassandra. It was wonderful. It was all I ever wanted. And it brought up the main question of a book. How much would you sacrifice for someone you cared for, even if it meant disrupting your world completely.
What a fun book - the premise is a great one to start with, the characters are interesting with good depth, and the writing is solid. It was so fun to think about how Caesar would react today, and how his attitude, worldview, everything would translate to how we live now.
This is just a really fun book that flips a few tropes around, with a somehow endearing Caesar (which honestly, is not how I generally would have ever thought Caesar would be) who was still calculating and cunning. I loved how history was woven throughout, that I would recommend to a lot of people but especially those looking for a different type of historical fiction, has a bit of a latin nerd inside them, and has a very clever twist that I really enjoyed. Absolutely worth a read.
Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC.
A coin for the ferryman had me hooked until the last page and for good reason. Edwards creates an incredible atmosphere while at the same time, teaching about historical events. Admittedly, despite being a Classical Studies major, I do not know a lot about Ancient Rome or Julius Caesar and this has definitely opened my eyes to many different things that I didn't know about happened in Ancient Rome (or that I simply knew of but did not know the details). I definitely had a very enjoyable time with this book and will be buying it and checking out more of Edwards' future books!
Thank you to NetGalley for an e-ARC
The well crafted story of " a coin for the ferryman" is a great entertainment, The synopsis introduces the intrigue, and then it is a guessing game ! The book is to be enjoyed bits by bits, just to have the fun to try to guess what will happen next. I am hoping for more now, Megan Edwards produced the best time travel story I ever read !
I want to buy a pile of books to offer as gifts !
All my opinions are mine, I received an advanced copy from NetGalley.
🖊 B O O K - R E V I E W 🖊
⬇️A Coin for the Ferryman by Megan Edwards ⬇️
Plot: In 1999, an elite interdisciplinary team headed by Nobel laureate Andrew Danicek gathered in California to carry out a ground-breaking time-travel experiment. While the rest of the world remained unaware, Julius Caesar was successfully transported from the last day of his life to a specially-constructed covert facility.
🌈 I was hooked the second I started reading this book, so much so, that I began taking notes on characters stories. The narrative is told across different timelines, a little confusing at first but it does get easier. I created a wild spider diagram so I could understand who I had met and why. Totally worth it.
🌈 I love to read a book based only on the title & cover art. Sometimes it works out, others it doesn’t. But this time, it worked. I thought it was going to be a story set in Ancient Rome, I was mistaken, instead I got Las Vegas & LA. I wasn’t disappointed because I thoroughly enjoyed it none the less.
🌈 Overall, I would say it’s a good book but the ending was lackluster. Personally, I would have ended the book earlier, the end chapter is irrelevant. But, I still loved it. Solid 4.
Would I read it again?
I feel like this book had so much potential it just didn’t hit the right spot for me. Other people would 100% enjoy it but for me it was too complex & tedious throughout. There was a lot of jumping back and forth between past and present and honestly i was lost 99% of the time. Absolutely loved the concept & idea of it i just didn’t personally vibe with the writing style.
Fantastic, Thrilling and Unique.................
A Coin for the Ferryman by Megan Edwards is a fantastic time travel thriller fiction. The plot has everything, from time travel to romance. But, the best part of the book is its climax which will keep you thinking about the plot for a long time. The author has amazingly plotted thrill, adventure and romance in one book. Also, diverse characters make the story more interesting. I would give the book 5 stars.
Time travel x Julius Caesar = one interesting concept; the moment I saw the description for this book, I knew I just HAD to read it. This multiple POV story takes scifi-fantasy realism and interweaves it with historical retellings of Caesar's life, bringing a touching tale with rich depth of character. This was an enjoyable read, at some times fantastical in the most comical way. I did feel that some moments that were supposed to be climactic and consequential to the plot fell a little short—at times I found myself having to flip back a few pages, confused after missing an important plot point. However, the rest of this tale was a delightfully whimsical read, and brought a breath of life through an intersection of topics that usually remain exclusive to academic fields.
We've all been asked at one point, who would you invite to a dinner party, dead or alive?
Andrew Danicek, is a Nobel Laureate who creates a time machine to bring back Julius Caesar from the minute before he dies at the Ides or March.
The book flows like a river through it's twists and turns, while never losing sight of it's main goal.
The characters are well written, and the plot is easy to follow, although the only hole I can see is when Andrew searchs for Andrej, the German boy he stood in for. Why didn't it occur to him to search for Dieter?
This is a beautifully written book that I shall be buying when it's published.
A group of scientists get together in 1999 to conduct a time travel experiment, ringing a person from history into the current times. Cassandra is a young scholar fluent in latin, a skill that is required for bringing Julius Caesar into the future, as she solely is able to communicate with their guest.
When Ceasar arrives, things don't go according to plan. Where they expected to converse and understand more about Caesar's time, the experiment goes wrong and Cassandra and Ceasar are on the run from people wanting to hunt down Caesar.
It has what you would expect, a bit of fish out of water, and whilst other books (eg. 'Look Who's Back') have dealt with the historical figure/fish out of water with a bit more humour, this book takes us through a romance which frankly, we could have done without.
There's a few things that were teased at the start that just didn't go anywhere, which was a shame.
Overall, it was interesting, but the emphasis on a cliched romance left behind some other elements of a story that could be been explored.
Thank you to NetGalley and Imbrifex books for giving me a digital arc of this book to read in exchange for an honest review.
This started slow and really developed characters with interesting back stories. I enjoyed that academia atmosphere and the top-secret, sketchy research vibe. Then when things were established and started to ramp up, it read like an academic thriller/suspense movie. The drama within the IDES project team kept me turning pages. There were a couple of action set pieces that added to that movie feel. I enjoyed the author's use of Las Vegas as a setting. It is clear that the author lives there and you feel the difference between the strip and off the strip. When they are on the strip, she used the extreme luxyry and theatricality of the setting well. There is the time travel element and those issues and paradoxes were addressed. Still, this did not feel strongly sci-fi forward to me. It is a well told and entertaining story with vividly drawn characters.
Thanks to Imbrifex, Netgally and Ms. Edwards for a free ARC copy. The book started a bit slow and it was hard to fit Caesar inton the story. Once he appeared, the story became exciting and started to speed up a bit. The author did a good job breathing Julius Caesar back to life. This is not the first book about Caesar but this is surely something different. This book is for history buffs and thriller lovers.
I was very intrigued by the summary, and I did enjoy the story.
At the beginning of the book we were introduced to so many characters, and they were all in different situations…It was a little confusing and a bit overwhelming. However, once I knew the characters better it was easier for me to follow. There was a lot of back story in this book and sometimes it felt unnecessary.
I did like the time travel aspect of it. I did wish there was more time with Caesar. I wish his and Cassandra’s relationship was more fleshed out.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
I'm a huge fan of both time travel and Roman history - and overall I really liked this book, tho I wish the character development was more fleshed out. Some of the characters felt one dimensional. Overall I enjoyed it very much.
This book hit all the right notes for a travel book. From timeline to other time travel, historical fiction was impressed with how she pulled this story together. It was an enjoyable read I recommend for others. It becomes a little predictable in the plot but was still a pleasure to read.
What if you bring someone back from the past? But what if you knew you had to send them back to their sure known death? This is a great read. It grabbed me immediately and I couldn’t put it down. Definitely a read for anyone interested in interactions with the past.
I was absolutely gripped from the first page. The characters are immersive and captivating and the story moves along at the perfect pace. I absolutely could not put it down!
Cassandra Fleury, a 20-something-old Latin and Greek student at USC, is brought on as the youngest member of a team headed by the Nobel prize winning scientist Andrew Danicek. The IDES team is tasked with bringing Julius Caesar to the 20th century, pulling him moments before his death on the Ides of March, to ask him some of history's burning questions and then promptly return him to the exact moment in time he was taken from. After a kidnapping attempt on Caesar, Cassandra is the only one who can help return him to his time, and death.
The majority of the story takes place in 1999 and is set between Las Vegas and California. Roughly the first 20% of the book drags and every chapter seemingly shifts POV to a different character we know little about. After a rough start, the story improves drastically and we start to really understand, and remember, the characters we've been introduced to. While it is not without faults (there is an uncomfortable amount of looking at women through the male gaze), it's definitely worth checking out.
Is it far-fetched? Of course, it's time-travelling Julius Caesar. Is it always historically accurate? Eh. Does the author take many, many liberties? Most definitely. But, is it fun? Absolutely.
As a Classics student I did not know what to expect going into this. It's hard to separate historical fact from fiction, but Megan Edwards has presented a story that is fun and delightful to read. Apart from the confusing aspects of time-travel in this book, the only super unbelievable thing was that a 20-something-year-old with only high school knowledge of Latin was more of an expert of the dead language than two PhD holding professors from a prestigious university who have decades more experience.
I really quite enjoyed this tale!
It was a little slow starting but once I got into it, it was hard to put down. I mean, time travel, who doesn't love it! Certainly a twist from the usual time travel but imagine what we could learn if it happened.
Overall I found it an interesting, well laid out story. And the ending didn't disappoint! Thank for to NetGallery for an advance copy for an honest review
Thank you to Imbrifex Books for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed this! A Coin for the Ferryman is an interesting blend of Greco-Roman History and sci-fi that will delight any fan of both. The novel follows a team of researchers who restore Julius Ceaser right before his death at the Ides of March to listen to his perspective on the event. The only problem is how to get him back. The novel is a fascinating insight into Julius Ceaser and an entertaining read. I recommend it for people who are interested in Roman history and the life of Julius Ceaser.
This is the best book I've read ALL YEAR. It was SO GOOD. I swear to god I haven't read a book this good in so long I actually cried when I finished it. I'm not at all exaggerating. This is a new favorite book of all time for me. Whether or not you were considering reading this book, just do it. It is so enjoyable and interesting and intriguing from the very start. Honestly, my only criticism is that she should have married Alexander and her not doing so makes absolutely no sense. In my head and in my future physical copy this is in fact what happens.
When an archaeologist discovers an ancient Roman coin on a Roman archaeological dig that turns out to have been minted in 1996, her colleague and erstwhile lovers decides it's a prank and then cuts her out of his life.
After her death, the heroine of this tale, Cassandra (hmmm!) realises the truth. The possibility that the ambitious CEO of a small multinational company might have successfully brought a key shaper of history from the past to the present for a few days is something she would know about. As a talented speaker of Latin, she was employed to communicate with Július Caesar on his sojourn in the present. Her stunning beauty surely had nothing to do with it....
Hard science-fiction aficionados may be disappointed: the logistics of time travel are kept relatively hazy, though the ugliness of only being able to translate either animal or human shortly before their appointment with sudden, violent death, has nothing nebulous about it. Then, there is the familiar trope of the Mad Scientist, for whom sentiment means nothing. The writer's understanding of the realpolitik of hustling and power dynamics in the world of business is sharply portrayed. Keeping the Ceasar project secret proves to be as difficult as might be imagined, as (greedy) other interests emerge from the woodwork Soon, Caesar and Cassandra are fugitives, as she struggles to get him back to his own time.
Ah yes, Caesar. Again, this writer recognises that a general and despot of this magnitude might proves to be more complex and devious than imagined - and potentially that much more difficult to contain.
Even with the pointed awareness that even today, women are still judged more by their looks than by their talents, there is an element of good-old glamour within the story-telling. Cassandra's first and only date as a call-girl means her sugar daddy is a sugar daddy who expects nothing in return as he sends her to university and beyond. She dines in the best places on exquisite food, mingles with the best-dressed super rich, gets to hide out in the most luxurious hotels.
The suspense remains taut enough to keep those pages turning. If this is likely to appeal on the strength of what has been written here.....you know who you are.
In a lot of my reviews, I talk about how the blurb and/or concept of a book is so good before talking about all of the ways that the book let me down. In some ways, A Coin for the Ferryman follows that trend. However, the concept really does carry this somewhat overbloated book enough for it to warrant 3 stars from me.
I mean, it's just so creative. Time traveling Julius Caesar moments before his assassination into the present day? Are you kidding me? In the first two chapters, Edwards really builds up the suspense around this idea by giving us both Caesar's and our protagonist Cassandra's perspectives. From there, however, things do go a bit downhill. There is so much exposition for this huge cast of characters and 50% of it could honestly be cut. Because the novel is so plot-driven, we don't really need every single character's backstory for us to become invested. Honestly, the only thing that kept me going was the promise of this insane time travel plot.
Actually bringing Julius Caesar into the present day is definitely cool and I would say that it is the high point of the novel. Again, however, we have another section that flatlines a bit after a big moment. Considering how wildly the time travel is presented in the first half of the book, it read throughout the second half as a very casual event. All of the high stakes moments involved with what is supposed to be this massive double cross therefore didn't completely hit for me. The choice to completely shift the framing device at the very end of the book is also quite disconcerting and would have been more effective if it had been established as such from the beginning.
All in all, I wasn't completely let down by this book. I enjoyed having it on as I went about my day. I just felt like so much of the book was taken up by needless character information that left little room for the author to actually unearth all of the immense potential that this concept had to offer.
Thank you to NetGalley and Imbrifex Books for an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review!
I really enjoyed reading this, it starts a bit slow but things speed up quickly and the whole premise is really rather interesting.
A Coin For the Ferryman
by: Megan Edwards
Publication date: March 1, 2022
Review date: November 26, 2021
Many thanks to NetGalley, Imbrifex Books & Megan Edwards for allowing me access to this arc. I’m leaving this review voluntarily. Hi
A Coin For the Ferryman is quite possibly the best book I’ve read so far this year.. I loved Everything about this book & would definitely recommend it to history & fiction lovers alike.. Time travel was never a big interest of mine but Megan Edwards truly is a gifted writer who made it a fun & interesting topic. I’m looking forward to reading more of her work. I give A Coin For the Ferryman 4.5 stars & hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.
#ACoinForTheFerryman #NetGalley #ImbrifexBooks
I really liked this book, and it was different to most of the other books I’ve been reading lately. In this book we follow Andrew after he builds a time machine and starts to experiment with it. He sets up the IDES project and after multiple positive tests he decides to bring a historical figure to present day, the one and only Julius Caesar. The experiment is successful and they transport Caesar to present day mere moments before he was supposed to be assassinated, but now that he’s here, how on earth are they going to get him back? If Caesar stays in the present day what consequences will there be for the past, and how will it impact on the future?
Although the start was slow, this book was a really fun read and I ended up flying through it from around chapter 10. Definitely recommend this one for a bit of light reading to break up a longer book.
really well imagined? i'm not sure how to describe it, maybe i liked it so much because it reminded me of the librarians from tnt. classics fans are gonna love it.
I was out of my comfort zone while reading this story, I enjoyed the connotations I understood from Shakespeare's telling about Julius Caesar and I understood much of the references and foreboding.
The first chapter of this book really intrigued me. It was quite an interesting read. If you like historical fiction with a bit of fantasy this might be worth giving a shot.
I chose this read because of my love of both time travel and alternate history literature. In this different spin on time travel efforts the experimenters chose as their first human trial one of the most famous historical personalities, Julius Caesar. Their decision was made without prior certainty that Caesar can actually be returned to his time without detriment to our time. Julius Caesar when provided the opportunity to communicate his own version of his historical accomplishments instead develops a romantic attachment to his interpreter. After their heroic time travel technical accomplishment, the scientific cadre loses their focus entirely enjoying social events, and useless attempts to monetize the presence of Caesar even at the horrific risk of destroying our entire time fabric. I felt the trivialization of such a monumental time travel event lessened the thrill of reading about the achievement.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Imbrifex Books for the chance to read this book . I am sucker for time travel stories. I read any that come my way, and so I have read some good, some bad and some ugly. This book doesn't fit easily into any of my categories. The first part was very good, as the characters were introduced and set up, the middle was a but vague and muddled, and the end was quite satisfying. There are a lot of characters, some of which we meet with a lot of exposition , and never see again. There are others that I really wanted to learn more about. The basics of the story are that in the late 1990's, a team of scientists and latin scholars meet to collaborate on a time machine, the purpose of which is to transport Julius Caesar from Rome, moments before his death, to modern day Pasadena,to spend 4 days talking to him, and learning from him , and then return him to Rome, and his death. Cassandra Fleury is a beautiful blond who lives in Las Vegas and who wants to return to college to continue her Latin Studies. Through a series of events, she is given that chance after a meeting with a billionaire philanthropist. While she is pursing her studies, she is recruited for the time travel project.I enjoyed this early part of the book, as it set the stage , gave us information about the participants and the project in a straightforward manner. The middle part , however, after Caesar comes to America, is a bit confusing and more than a bit ridiculous. There are car chases, double crosses, helicopter shootouts- really more befitting a James Bond movie . I found it hard to believe that Cassandra would immediately become a master at evading criminals through the streets of Pasadena. The end was good , if a bit predictable. There was an epilogue which was clever and satisfying.I am giving it 4 stars, because it was clever and audacious. It did not adhere to "conventional" time travel stories , which have all things changed to due a visitor from the future. The people who met Caesar, were changed, which is explained at the very end. I enjoyed it.
Thank you to net galley and the publishers for allowing me an advance copy of this book. SPOILERS AHEAD.
"Time travel is real and Julius Ceaser is watching the film Cleopatra at Ceasers palace."
I really enjoyed a coin for a ferryman. It was an interesting concept that was developed relatively well. The would what you do if you could meet x person from history is a common question with many having Julius Ceaser on the list.
The story is a little jumbled at the beginning. Torn between a thriller and a almost found footage style. But overall it was an easy read.
However the book felt too rushed at the end. It would of been nice to see what had happened after, from Cassandra's perspective. It also felt a little weird how obsessed the authors characters where over her appearance. At times the way the characters would talk about her took you out of the story. You would also need to set aside the absurdity of a first time high class call girl, who is fluent in Latin, being given a full ride scholarship from a customer. Then being recruited to be part of a top secret science project; where she meets Julius Ceaser and falls in love with him over 2 days.
Absurdity aside, especially as it's a time travel story with Julius Ceaser as the romantic lead, Coin for a ferryman was a fun read and would recommend if you need to take a break from a more intense book.
In 1999, an elite interdisciplinary team headed by Nobel laureate Andrew Danicek gathered in California to carry out a ground-breaking time-travel experiment. While the rest of the world remained unaware, Julius Caesar was successfully transported from the last day of his life to a specially-constructed covert facility. Four days of conversation with historians and Latin scholars were planned, followed by Caesar’s return to the moment from which he was extracted. But despite the team’s meticulous efforts to maintain secrecy and plan for all possible exigencies, a kidnap attempt plunges Caesar into peril. Fully aware that the future of civilization may hang in the balance, one team member must summon strength she didn’t know she possessed to return Caesar to the Ides of March.
A very interesting book. I studied Latin for 4 years in high school and loved classical civilizations so this book is exactly what I enjoy. I love the details about Rome and all the historical facts. Love the insights into Roman history as well. I enjoy the twist at the end too.
Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc.
(4/5) A time machine brings Julius Caesar into the present for a four day visit, but things never go exactly to plan when you're dealing with the most well known Roman citizen in history. This book is perfect if you're a fan of both time travel and Roman history. I felt like the pace of this book was overall well done, and it didn't get bogged down in small scientific details/explaining every possible loophole or potentially disastrous outcome. There were some slow points, especially early on in the book, but after I reached 50%, I couldn't put it down. I also appreciated having many narrators (though I found some more compelling and well-rounded than others and at some times the characters and storyline felt two-dimensional). Overall, a fun read to start 2022!
A very unique take on a time-traveling narrative. Lots of hidden "Easter eggs" both in "present day" and in the past.
We all know what happened on the Ides of March - now meet the team of the IDES lab who plan to take the opportunity of that day to bring Caesar - briefly - into our own time! The plan is laid out, the team assembled, and the day arrives. - all will go according to plan, right....?
As I began reading this book, I was definitely taken with the range of characters, their backgrounds, and how they would play into the climax we all knew was coming - Julius Caesar brought to our time, thus the second half of this book threw me for a loop. Out of all the characters, the core of the story is Cassandra and Julius. In many way, this book has something for everyone - drama, sci-fi, historical fiction, action, mystery, and romance. You'll even learn some Latin along the way. A good book that you could easily recommend to anyone.
I first want to say how much I appreciated the premise of this book. It's such a clever and fun idea and the story that follows is an immensely fun thought-experiment of sorts that imagines Julius Caesar coming to the future for a few days. With that, I largely enjoyed reading this book. I do feel that it could've been a bit shorter, with the story occasionally offering up too much backstory or other flashbacks that felt like it slowed down the plot at times. Overall though, I did have fun reading it, and it tells a good story.
I saw, I read, I LOVED this book. Imagine, if you can, traveling back in time or better yet being able to bring someone from the past to the present time. A Coin for the Ferryman allows you to do just that in a very convincing way. What I loved about this book, primarily, is that all the ethical questions I had were answered by characters in the book who had the same questions. The scientific questions I had - how can a person survive in this time period - as one example were answered. It was amazing how easily I believed that Caesar had actually stepped from the past into the future. And, he reacted exactly as I thought he should but even better. He acted like someone who ruled an empire, he acted like a survivor. The only negative or drawbacks was the amount of people that I had to keep track of in this book. I actually had to start from the beginning (twice) to keep up with the names, and the dates. Some of the people and events, in my opinion, were merely fillers and not necessary. The characters with similar names (Alexander and Andrew) were a hindrance, and the side stories although not annoying got in the way of the read. I enjoyed the romance with implied versus graphic sexual content, I liked the friendship, and I really appreciated that the protagonist finally realized what I had realized all along - the experiment with someone else's life without knowledge or consent was cruel, and no better than kidnapping. I loved the way the story ended, and if possible would love to see a time-travelling sequel.
What would Julius Caesar, one of the most famous ancient Romans, think about modern society? A Coin for the Ferryman is a creative and entertaining mingle of Greco-Roman History and science fiction that will delight any fan of both. Pinky swear. But, don’t worry, I will explain further.
The narrative involves nearly a dozen characters whose lives intersect because of the dream and will of one determined scientist. Nobel laureate Andrew Danicek hires an elite team of academics, plus Cassandra, a young woman who can speak Latin, to work on a time travel experiment. But he doesn’t want to just bring anyone into the present from the past. He would like to meet Julius Caesar right before his death in the Ides of March.
The start was slow-paced but enjoyable, with fleshed-out characters and interesting backstories. One of the introductory chapters might feel unnecessary, but everything will make sense in the end. We just have to wait for the bigger picture. And, personally, I really liked to see all the little pieces getting together as the story progressed.
When things were established, it read like an action movie, with plenty of suspense and, more or less after 60% of the book, even the blossom of a romance. Most of the story takes place in 1999 and is set between California and Las Vegas. There’s a lot of different POVs, which I thought it was cool and well-executed. I didn’t dislike any character in particular; Faith seemed insufferable for most of the book, but there are actually a lot of good reasons for it. My favourite chapters were probably the ones that focused on Cassandra and Julius Caesar. And, I really have to say it, Caesar was endearing as hell. I loved his cunning side.
About the sci-fi part, I didn’t expect the author to show us all the intricacies of a time travel experiment, but I would have liked to know more about the science behind the project. Despite that, the characters were vividly drawn, as I already have highlighted, and it was a fun adventure. There were enough twists, double-crosses and secret agendas (though I would have liked to know more about people's intentions behind it).
The conundrum about the moral and ethical problems involved in disrupting a life was probably one of the key themes of the story. And I think Caesar's last scenes with Cassandra and the rest of the IDES team give us a lot of food for thought on that matter. But I was also expecting a lot more focus on it. I really wouldn’t mind if Megan Edwards wrote another hundred or two hundred pages.
Thank you to NetGalley and Imbrifex Books for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Note: Thank you to Netgalley & the publishers for allowing me access to this arc!
Overall, this is a good read. I may not have loved it, but you might! I think it is important to say this because the author clearly worked hard on this book, which shows in writing.
However, after reading the intriguing premise, I really wanted this book to be great as a history major. Unfortunately, I was a tad disappointed. It was good, but it didn't blow me out of the water as I had hoped! The book's first half was good, but the second half, not so much. I've read many books that are the opposite, so I was surprised that I was forcing my way through it.
The Good Things
1. The title: talk about CATCHY!
2. The premise is extremely creative and has the potential to be a FANTASTIC story once edited to avoid over-bloating.
3. I tend to be picky about writing styles, and the author is skilled. The book was devoid of any clear writing errors.
4. The climactic event - I don't want to go into too much detail and end up spoiling anything- is great! If the rest of the book read in the same manner, I'd have given it 4-5 stars!
The Bad Things
1. I feel like there were things at the start of the book that sort of, spurted out?
2. There are many parts of the book that are SLOW. And I have both a history and an English degree, so I've taken part in many slow reads.
3. It COULD use a better cover. I only say this because I have many friends who refuse to read books that don't have a great cover.
4. The climactic event I mentioned above was GREAT, but following it? Not so much. It was a tad too underwhelming for my taste.
5. I feel like Caesar's reaction -or lack thereof- to time traveling isn't as realistic as I would have liked. Obviously, this is a work of fiction, but I would have preferred the character's reaction differently.
6. Around halfway through, I started getting a little bit confused. I feel like the author was almost trying too hard to push an exciting story without focusing on things that don't necessarily help the story.
My Final Rating:
☆☆☆ (Amazon - will post the review as soon as the novel is released)
A captivating historical fiction. A team of scientists time travel Julius Caesar before his assassination. Bringing him into the 21st century. I’ve never read anything quite like this novel.
The characters were fleshed out and the story was imaginative.
Cassandra was a showgirl in Vegas who was chosen to study Latin, the idea of the sketchy lab room was not what I was expecting, but none the less it was enjoyable. She was a good fit to be the heroine.
It took me a while to completely finish this novel as the beginning is slow and when I say beginning - basically the first half of the book. Also the lack of emotional depth of Caesar was a bit too well done. He’s never seen the technology in the 21st century and it didn’t give him a big “wow” that I would expect he would have.
Overall, I would give this 4 stars. It was interesting, kept me captivated for the most part and I love the concept of how time travel is used in this book.
Thank you NetGalley for providing the story arc for an honest review.
Thank you to Netgalley, Edelweiss+, and Imbrifex Books for the opportunity to read and review this novel.
A Coin for the Ferryman by Megan Edwards seemed like an interesting, light read that would have me learning more about mythology and Roman History. For these reasons, I decided to pick up the novel, interested to read it. And for that, I have many thoughts on the book.
Story: I have to say, the beginning of the book was confusing for me. I felt as though the different characters and actions were oddly introduced, and I was quite bored. For this reason, it took me quite a bit to pick this book back up after I read the first couple of chapters. To put it earnestly, I was bored and did not feel as though putting in effort towards the book.
But as I picked it up again, I became more and more intrigued within the plot and the framework for A Coin for the Ferryman. The mysteries of the story became fascinating and I was really enjoying the book now.
The story was okay, if I am entirely honest. It was light and pretty easy to follow once you got more into it, but I have to say, there were moments where it dragged or went off course. I wish that the story and plot was excecuted better, because I feel as though the premise was very interesting and could have been amazing. Overall, I do not have very strong feelings about the story for A Coin for the Ferryman.
Writing: Megan Edwards' writing was splendid. I was really happy with her style, it would make beautiful poetry, I believe. Coming from a logical standpoint, the writing was well done and nicely edited, made for nice reading. Within voice and style, I really did find her writing lovely.
Characters: The complexities of the characters within the book were half baked, it felt like. There was so much that could have been done, but I was still bored with the characters at many points throughout the novel. I think the story would have also been much better if the author incorporated character sub-plots. It just felt lacking.
To conclude, this book was okay. A Coin for the Ferryman could have been great; the beginning aspects were all there, it was just lacking in some ways. I think the writing was beautiful, which made up for some of my disappointment. Overall, I think this was very interesting, but needed to go in different directions. A solid 3/5 stars.
Thank you again for supplying me this novel and giving me the chance to read and review it, Netgalley, Edelweiss+, and Imbrifex publishing!
This was such an interesting read, and tackled time travel in a clever, new way. I really enjoyed the layout of the chapters and how short and easy to read they were. I loved the inclusion of classics and academia into the science world, and how all the different arcs came together. The multiple perspectives and timeline was confusing at first but once i got deeper into the book it was easy to follow. The science and idea of time used by the author made sense, and was easy to follow. This was a really creative story, and I am so glad I read it!
3.5/5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️
The premise of A COIN FOR THE FERRYMAN is a real bomb. A team of scientists uses revolutionary time-travel technology to bring Julius Ceasar into the future, snatching him from the past moments before his death. They are supposed to bring him back to ancient Rome, but plans like this are supposed to go wrong in sci-fi novels, aren't they?
This book is so much fun that I breezed through all 500 pages of it in a heartbeat. Ceasar, in particular, is well-written, the epitome of a charismatic, calculating politician.
I wish I could say the same about the other characters in the book, but I found them a bit flat, and I questioned half the choices they made throughout the story.
I highly recommend this book for fans of Michael Crichton and Blake Crouch.
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an ARC of A Coin for the Ferryman!!
In a Coin for the Ferryman, Julius Caesar is brought to the future for four days so he can be studied, but as kidnap attempt through everything into chaos.
I really wanted to love this book. Everything about it from the time travel to historical characters really spoke to me, but this book just didn’t do it for me. Caesar has no reaction to time travel and I honestly could not get over that fact. The story is a bit in the long side and drags on. There are a ton of characters to try to keep track of.
I liked this book okay. Maybe I set myself up for disappointment because the description sounded so exciting. I was able to finish it, so it gets three stars automatically.
I couldn't wait to read a fresh take on the time travel trope. History, science, and just a bit of outlandishness. A fresh and unique take. I really enjoyed it, and would definitely recommend this to anyone looking to read something outside the box. Just don't take the subject matter too seriously. Embrace the story for what it is, and enjoy all the absurdity it contains.
What would Julius Caesar do? An amusing science fiction what-if interwoven with drama, romance, and humor. Be patient with the multiple storylines early on as they quickly come together in the main story. Chapter 3 reads like it belongs in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and pulled me in so I would finish this book.
As someone who loves history, I was pretty excited to read this. A Coin for the Ferryman is about scientists, who have managed to make a time machine, enlisting the help of academics to achieve Phase 3 of their plan: to bring Julius Caesar into the present day (which for them is 1999) just before he is stabbed to death.
This seemed like a pretty solid plot to me, but when I actually read it, I wish the execution had been a bit more exciting. Our characters faced pretty much no challenges for over half of the book - so the first 50% of the novel was just them managing to accomplish literal time travel with no hiccups and a very vague and confusing explanation for how it even worked. There were also a lot of pages wasted with random backstories about how people met and that was kind of boring because I didn't even like most of the characters. Even when our characters started to face more obstacles, which took the form of rich people being their usual rich and morally bankrupt selves, it still wasn't all that suspenseful - regardless, I still found the last portion easy and entertaining enough to read quite quickly.
As aforementioned, I didn't like most of the characters - of our mains, Cassandra was the only tolerable one. Caesar was also quite interesting, but I do think that his actions were a little unrealistic given the circumstances. I also think he was under-utilised as a character - I wish we learnt more about him, and maybe spent more time with him in the present day. As for the other characters, I think they could have been more well-developed. One-dimensional or not, they were rude, stubborn, irritating and, despite being among the top of their fields, quite stupid. A lot of the issues that we did have to overcome in this book can be attributed to people not using their brains.
Similarly, in regard to the romantic relationships, the main two that were introduced were also extremely underdeveloped and came out of nowhere (one of them ended almost as quickly as it started, which made me wonder why it was even included in the first place). I honestly think that both of these relationships added nothing to the story - a bold statement, considering the "reveal" relevant to the relationship introduced later on the story, but I still think that making that particular relationship romantic in nature wasn't necessary. Both of the relationships had a significant age gap, which I did not like - this is just a personal preference, but the age gap trope in general tends to make me uncomfortable. I do think that the other relationships that weren't romantic in nature, specifically the ones that Cassandra had with her "mentor" figures, were done well.
Another issue I had with this book was that the characters were kind of sexist. We were constantly reminded - in every single chapter - how beautiful our main character, Cassandra, is. That in itself isn't necessarily problematic, it was just annoying - it was more of an issue because her beauty was often the thing remarked upon before anything else. For example, she was supposed to have been chosen to be a part of this time-travelling project because of her exceptional ability to speak Latin - and yet, her good looks were considered "almost as valuable as her language skills". Why?? They tried to say that Caesar would feel more comfortable because of her looks, but I don't think that THE Julius Caesar, one of the most renowned military figures in history, is going to be intimidated by a strange ugly girl any more than he would a pretty one. Even one of the female professors found it difficult to believe that a woman as beautiful as Cassandra could possibly be as fluent in Latin as others had claimed. The physical appearances of the female characters were almost always remarked upon, even when it wasn't even relevant. The way that the male characters viewed female characters in general also just didn't sit right with me. One female character was labelled as "emotionally damaged" after having an understandable reaction to something that was upsetting and, afterwards, her valid concerns were ignored because she was "ridiculous". Additionally, one male character remarked how impressive it was that Cassandra, a young woman, could drive a manual car. I realise that this book is set in 1999, but quite frankly, I don't care - the blatant misogyny wasn't necessary. Not even Caesar, who lived over 2 millennia ago, was not as incessantly demeaning.
The book also needed a little bit of polishing with the actual writing. A lot of sentences didn't include all the necessary details to make sense. Sometimes, I would use the previous sentences to fill in the gaps, but it would turn out that these sentences were unrelated. I realise that this may be a personal comprehension issue, but what cannot be disputed is that there were some continuity errors. On three separate occasions, I noticed that it would say one thing initially, but it would say something completely different the next time. For example, it had originally said that a character had injured their left leg - but then it suddenly said it was their right leg. Although such mistakes don't greatly affect the plot, they were a little bothersome to read.
Overall, this was a flawed book, but it can still be enjoyable to read if you enjoy history.
This was an interesting story filled with a lot of superstition. It packed a lot of history which I enjoyed very much. I find when you are learning from a story things you had no idea about it is quite enjoyable.
Thank you Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for a review.
A Coin for the Ferryman is a time travel historical fiction with the premise, what would Caesar do in our modern society. We met a lot of characters in this book, but the main one is Cassandra and Caesar, of course :) Maybe would be better to have less point of views, which were in my opinion redundant in the beginning.
Cassandra is as beautiful as intelligent, what we got reminded whole book, however some of her decisions are not that smart. Caesar shows up much later, what is a shame, it would be more interesting spend more time with this character. His reactions to the modern world inventions felt though a bit unrealistic.
Despite all this I enjoyed myself by reading this book, so 3,5 stars :)
A Coin for the Ferryman
Clever, intriguing, great potential sometimes fulfilled.
A wonderful well drawn character drama with a background element of time travel. The plot is actually a simple one: a scientist invents a machine that can transport a person or an object from ancient times to the future for a limited time and the problems that ensue. The one caveat is that the person must be seconds from their death and returned to that moment in order to not upset the history that comes after. The person that is chosen for the first trial experiment is Jules Cesar.
That is it in a nut shell but there is so much more. It is the much more that I loved and so much of the set up of the experiment and the background of the characters involved that I found clunky and over explained. At times I felt like an archeologist on a prolonged dig finding such worthy treasures after much toil. It is not the way I like to feel after reading a good book. Yes it takes some work especially at first but by the end I was highlighting and bookmarking passages and admiring more if not quite appreciated the work that came before. The author does an excellent job of showing through a creative written tale how power is used, what history can tell us and not tell us, and how small individuals can play a role that history never records.
The things I loved were the use of Latin phrases in the text. I love how this ancient language and how it is translated in English was used so well in a purportedly science fiction book. For someone unfamiliar with the language it was a real bonus. I felt the author did a wonderful job with this. The other thing I admired and at times drove me crazy was the author’s work at making all the puzzle pieces fit. The good part of this was that at the end I had few questions about how this time travel worked and who the characters were and how this fitted into their reaction to each crisis (and there were many). The bad part of this was as a reader I did not feel that the author trusted me to make any intellectual leaps—that every move, character trait, or flaw was so explained that it took me out of the story. Much of this was in the form of individual history, that at times went on for pages and just felt unneeded, upsetting the pacing and my engagement with the story.
Yet by the end when the pieces came together I could see the author’s work, yes at times it felt clumsy and just plain wordy, a cup of coffee was never just a cup of coffee but a light latte with an infinity sign swirled in. I too often wished she would just get on with the telling rather than all the showing. Too much description of non essential elements that got in the way of a ripping good yarn was the just of it for me.
I’m not familiar enough with Netgalley Arcs to know if this will disappear from my Kindle after a while but I hope it does not. I do believe it is a story I will revisit and think about. Especially the last third was well worth the time it took me to get there. I think this is a book that will gain stars with time. My 3.5 may well edge up to 4 and perhaps even higher. One does tend to forget the stuff that got in the way and all the wonderful bits will shine through. I felt towards the end that this author was beginning to realize the power of her writing, was finding the beauty in her craft and using that understanding to convey it. I would definitely be interested to see what she does next.
"Vivamus atque amemus"
Let us live and let us love
To keep this brief I'll say this is perfect for fans of anything classics, latin and if they're scifi/time travel nerds, even better.
I personally liked the plot once I had the whole panorama in front of me. I, after finishing, had to run back to the first two or three chapters in order to see things I had missed, all the foreshade and little details that make more sense when you're done, and, isn't that the very spirit of time travel?
I can say, the only thing that kind of threw me off a bit personally, are certain depictions of women through the male eyes, even between other women, but I doesn't change my feelings towards the core of the plot.
I very much liked the idea and the concept. Still I found the first half a bit too long and slow for my taste. But I quite enjoyed everything after the arrival of certain someone.
Overall it was very entertaining and interesting reading.
This time travel book was historically accurate and quite enchanting! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought there were a few instances that were a bit blurred in meaning, though.
this was so fun i studied classics at university and im always interesting in reading books about it so i was glad to read this one it picks up quickly and the writing was good the characters were interesting to follow and it was intersting to see how the relationships between the characters change throughout the story and it addresses the dubious morality of return Caesar back in time knowing he would die i was wondering if the time travel would seem believable even in universe but i enjoyed reading it
I'm a big fan of time travel in any form so I had high expectations of any story that brings Julius Caesar from 44 BC to 1999 AD. What could go wrong? Lots of things and Megan Edwards deals out the challenges like a veteran card dealer in Las Vegas.
Set in 1999, the finely crafted and sometimes flawed characters are brought together for one purpose and they all follow the script until it gets changed, cue the bad guys. This story isn't a romp through history, it's a well planned journey through the lives of a group of people who are trying to do the impossible for four days.
The story brings up a question. If you could bring back anyone in history
would you? Should you?
I'm so very glad I went into this book blind and didn't have any idea what it was about or what to expect. In A Coin for the Ferryman, we follow a team that has built a machine that can transport things through time. They need to know exactly when and where people are about to die in order to do that, as they snag them just before the moment they would die, to lessen the impact on history, and then return them just in time to die. The assembled team is a rag tag bunch of characters that I thoroughly enjoyed, and their interactions were hilarious to witness.
So, when you can bring someone forward in time and you need to know exactly when and where they will be, who do you choose? Caesar, of course! I loved seeing the modern world through his eyes and being along for the ride that was this book! It was a wonderful surprise and I loved every moment of the journey!
A Coin for the Ferryman finally answers the age-old question: "What would Julius Caesar think of Las Vegas?". Actually, that never question occurred to me until I started reading this book, but it is an interesting one!
The novel follows a team of brilliant minds (including a Nobel prize winning physicist, several classicists, a doctor, and a really cool undergraduate student who knows how to speak fluent Latin) who embark on a mission to bring Julius Caesar to the United States just before the year 2000 starts. In addition to being a blast to read, the book also touches on the culture of academia and the role of wealth in intellectual pursuits, especially with ancient fields of study. I think anyone who has an interest in classic Rome history and or time travel would enjoy this book. A book club would likely have fun discussing the ethics of time travel, and perhaps who they would choose to transport to their time. The best word to describe it is a romp!
That being said, I noticed a few minor issues that might deter another reader from finishing this. On the big-picture level, the beginning started quite slowly, with introductions to a large cast of characters taking up the first half of the book. A die-hard science fiction fan would likely note the lack of intense scientific terms and explanations (however, someone who enjoys the historical aspect of time travel narratives, like me, appreciates that!).
A few more granular details: Though this is even acknowledged by the book, the time travel project team completely forgot that Caesar was a tactical mastermind. While this led to some interesting hijinks, I found really implausible that all of the bright minds who can make time travel happen forgot such an important part of Caesar's identity. There was also some uncomfortable sexist language towards the protagonist, Cassandra, actually on the part of another female academic. I would've enjoyed the book a lot more if this was left out entirely.
However, if anyone is willing to put those issues aside like I did, I think they would enjoy this book greatly. I've certainly never read anything like it!
Thank you, Imbrifex Books and NetGalley, for the early release of this book!
A Coin for the Ferryman starts out in the present, but quickly moves to 1999-where the bulk of this story actually took place. A scientist and Novel laureate, Andrew Danicek and Eric (I don't remember his last name), another character, figure out time travel. There are three stages for time travel and they've successfully passed the first two stages. The third stage, transport a human from history to the present (1999). Through much discussion, they choose Julius Caesar. After a lot of research and team members being added, the day finally comes. Julius Caesar arrives from the Ides of March right before his death. He will have the choice to remain there for four days or to leave seconds after arriving. Cassandra, the beautiful, fully fluent in Latin, college student, is the one that is tasked with translating for Caesar. Of course, seconds after his arrival things start to go bad. Then they go from bad to worse. Cassandra ends up being the only person that makes sure Caesar returns to the Ides of March.
The title jumped out at me as I'm a big fan of mythology. Upon reading the synopsis, I was excited, time travel?! I was instantly excited. The beginning of the story did start out slow, but the ending was fast. I had to force myself to put the book down so I could go to bed!
I enjoyed the this take on time travel. It's not one you typically see in sci-fi; usually the person is going to a specific period, not bringing someone into the present. I liked how Caesar was always calculating and appeared "cool". I did quite love the ending and got so wrapped up that I thought it was real (for a hot minute - I was tired).
I would definitely recommend this book to sci-fi/time traveling fans.
ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review.
It's one of those "Me, not the book case". It's well written and well plotted but I didn't care for the characters and the story fell flat.
Not my cup of tea.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
I found the concept of A Coin for the Ferryman to be thrilling–moving through time to interact with history–but the reality of time travel scares me, as I feel the human race would abuse the discovery.
I do not know much about Caesar but liked that Megan wrote his character in a good light, making him seem open minded as well as a great warrior, which he is documented to be.
Cassandra, a Latin student, was brought into the team of would-be time travelers because of her knowledge of Latin. She was clever, gifted and beautiful with strength she did not realise she possessed. A fortunate encounter changes Cassandra’s life forever in ways she could never imagine.
It would be interesting to read about her life after the Caesar interlude.
Including the gold coin in the story was a clever idea -in future when I find something out of place I will wonder where it really came from
Whilst I enjoy this book, I found it lacked something – this could have been due to distractions whilst I was reading. There are a few points in the story that left me with questions, unfortunately if I asked them, it would give away parts of the story!
I give A Coin for the Ferryman 4 stars, as I like the originality of the story.
Thank you to the publisher, Imbrifex Books, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Nobel Laureate Andrew Danicek gathers a group of elite researchers and scholars to work on a top secret project at the IDES lab in California – a time travel experiment to bring Julius Caesar from moments before his assassination into the present for four days. They plan to use this time to learn as much as they can from him, but despite the tight security and detailed planning, someone has learned the details of the goings on at the lab and attempts to kidnap Caesar. It falls into the hands of Cassandra Fleury, the youngest of the team, chosen for her ability to speak fluent Latin, to keep Caesar safe from their pursuers and bring him to the lab in time so that he can be returned back to the Ides of March. Missing their deadline to send him back could have grave consequences for the future of the world.
I can never say no to a time travel book, and when you add in Ancient Rome and Julius Caesar on top of that, well I requested this book before I even fully read the synopsis. This take on time travel was a really interesting one, not least because it was reverse time travel which I’ve never read before. It starts off in a setting that is academic with all the elements of a tense and groundbreaking research project in progress, and then pivots into thriller territory that kept me turning the pages. It’s a combination I haven’t come across before, but it definitely works in this case. It doesn’t delve into the science part of it all a whole lot, which I would have loved to know more about, but chooses instead to focus on the background of each of the IDES team, showing the reader glimpses of their lives and their mindset going into the crucial final stage of the project. However, the fact that the whole experiment involved them bringing someone into the present from the moment of their death instead of them travelling through time posed some fascinating ethical dilemmas involved in the process, something that Caesar’s final moments with the team makes the reader consider.
The IDES team is a diverse group of characters, and the story takes time developing each of their arcs to some extent. Most of the story is narrated from Cassandra’s POV so hers was the easiest to understand and follow. Julius Caesar’s perspective too was an interesting one, and useful too, because his initial interactions with the team weren’t anything earth-shattering, and getting inside his head gave a better idea his character. I was also surprised at the way the author chose to portray Caesar for the most part, showing a more human and flawed side to him rather than how history perceives him, but it was a smart choice, I think as it made the story that much more realistic. While I’m a huge fan of detailed character development, I don’t think this book needed quite so many POVs. Some of them barely had two chapters and there was nothing particularly momentous in them that could not have been conveyed through a different character’s POV.
The beginning of the book, close to 40% actually, was painfully slow. The only reason I kept reading was because I could see it was heading somewhere good, but I don’t think quite so much time needed to be spent on introducing characters and setting the stage. One thing that didn’t make much sense to me was that this 20-something undergraduate student was more of an expert in Latin than the two professors with PhDs and decades of experience on the team. I also thought that the ending was too rushed – apt, but it would have been nice to see it through Cassandra’s eyes like most of the rest of the book instead switching the POVs of other characters, that too set several years in the future. The tension level was really high during the last chapter and the tone of the concluding pages was just so different that it fell flat.
Overall, this was a fun time travel adventure, and a unique one, though it does take a little patience to get through it. This was a very enjoyable read and I would recommend this for any history fan.
Thank you to the publishers, author and NetGalley for the free copy of this book.
This was definitely an interesting read. Wasn't what I was expecting from a time travel story- it wasn't quite focused on the sci fi aspect of it at all, which actually kind of worked for this. I didn't quite connect with the characters though, and it was a little bit of a slow burn.
If you could pick anyone dead or alive to have dinner with, who would it be? In A Coin for the Ferryman, that person is Julius Caesar.
This is a time travel novel that takes place in the recent past – 1999. A Nobel laureate physicist has cracked time travel, the only catch is they must know the exact time and place the person they want to bring to the future has died. There are quite a few options that would make sense, JFK, Lincoln, but none spark the same fascination as Julius Caesar. This novel tells the story of Caesar’s travel to 1999 for 4 days, and as one would expect, things don’t go to plan.
This is an interesting novel to review, because it has a lot going for it, but it does have its pitfalls. First, I could tell a lot of time, effort, and research went into this novel, and upon my own curiosity I found out the author has a degree in classics and has been working on this book for 20 years. The love and passion shows, and I’m very happy for this author getting her novel published.
With that being said, I think the novel is a bit too long. It’s 540 pages and I think it could be edited down, maybe taken 100 pages out. There are a lot of POVs – essentially every character we see had at least 1 POV chapter, but I don’t think it was all necessary. I will say, Edwards ties each character up in the end, but I didn’t think it all impacted to the primary arch of the story. There was a large section in the beginning of the novel that gives backstory to the physicist Andrew Danicek and team members with smaller roles, but it took a while for me to figure out how it connected to the larger story and I almost DNF’d it if I’m being honest. I’m very glad I continued reading this story, but I wish some of that would have been taken out. I did feel some satisfaction once I got to the end, but again it would not have missed it if it had not been there in the first place.
Once we get into the meat of the novel and encounter our main character, Cassandra, and Caesar I was really into this book and got through it so quickly. It reads very cinematically, and I could see it easily being adapted into a movie – think the likes of Angels and Demons or The Da Vinci Code. We have a fun historical character, an attempted kidnapping, romance – it has a lot going on, but I ate it up and would LOVE to see it on screen!
Another thing I loved is the chapters are really short. This novel is long, but the short chapters make it move pretty quick. I’ll also say this is 100% a plot driven novel. That isn’t normally my cup of tea, but again, I was into it, and it’s probably because I’m interested in ancient Greece and Rome. If you’re looking for huge character development, or not interested in Caesar, move along.
This novel sits somewhere between a 3.5-4 star for me. It originally was more like DNF-2 star, but it got a lot better as it went and I can appreciate the way the author ended it. If you can suspend your disbelief, hang with a little corniness in the ending, and like a lot of plot, this novel could be for you!
Thank you to NetGalley and Imbrifex Books for the advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Pairing ancient Roman history with sci-fi seems like a recipe for a book that I would love, so when I saw this on NetGalley I had to request it!
The premise is fascinating: a Nobel prize winner finds a way to build a time machine that somehow manipulates spacetime to retrieve objects, animals or even people from the past. The further back the time machine goes, the longer the object can stay in the present, and it’s unclear what would happen if it weren’t returned.
The book starts off with a chapter from Caesar‘s perspective before switching to the main character Cassandra. Both seem rather at random because after that, the other team members are introduced in great detail including their back stories. Of course it’s interesting to get to know them better, but eventually none of them really matter to the plot which made me wonder why there was such a big focus on them at all.
Anyway, the characters were well written but I didn’t connect with them and at the end of the day didn’t care for them. Oh, Alex was great of course, but I wish he had played more of a part in everything. Still, introducing the side characters at length meant that the time during which Caesar was finally brought to the present time felt extremely rushed.
Of course, much of the fast pace is due to everything that happened. But I would have liked it much more if there had been more of a focus on the moral aspects and the philosophical questions that were touched upon: What can history really tell us? What will we just never know? What to gather from an unreliable narrator? And rather than just saying everyone might die if he doesn’t return to the past, would it be justifiable to keep Caesar in the present? What consequences would that have for him and for humanity today? And not to forget that researcher who found the coin that was mentioned in the beginning - even if her good name couldn’t be restored, there wasn’t even any debate about whether it was okay that she was collateral damage for the experiment. Those are all things that I had hoped would be discussed, but weren’t sadly.
All in all, this was an interesting book and I‘m happy I read it, but I didn’t like the ending (which suggested that these were real events, because as a physicist: just no), and I think there were some things that could have been better.
The book starts slow. For the first 25% (more or less) we get a lot of information. All of the characters that we come across get some background information, which was sometimes interesting, sometimes not so much. There were definitely parts that didn’t contribute to the plot. We also make some timejumps, that I didn’t always get. But after Cassandra gets enlisted into the team, we stay in the same time and the story starts to flow.
I did like that we didn’t get much information about the technology they work with. To some it could maybe feel like “easy”, but I didn’t feel the need to know more about that.
The chapters are really short (like 2-5 pages), which makes you want to read “one more chapter” all the time, but it also “breaks” the story in a matter of speech. Especially when the POV changes, you feel a bit disoriented. We get POV’s from almost every character, which makes it complex, but it enriches the story as well. I especially loved the chapters from Caesar’s POV.
It’s always tricky to write a POV from a real person. I’m definitely not a Caesar-expert, but I do know some things about him from my Latin-classes in high school. I found his character really well done. We see how cunning and smart and controlling he is, yet he also experiences emotions like love and sadness. I loved seeing his reactions to modern technology, even though that part may be a bit unrealistic. I get that Caesar wants to be in control all the time, but I can’t believe someone would be THAT chill if he gets transported 2000 years into the future.
It’s in the blurb, so we know that it’s coming, but after we get to the point where someone is after Caesar and wants to abduct him, the story reads like a thriller for a part. I found the escape-scenes very exciting.
What I didn’t like as much, was the relationship between Cassandra and Caesar. I get that they get closer as they are on the run together, but it was a bit too much for me.
Also, everything comes really easy for Cassandra. I understand she has real academic talent, but she has the right connections for everything and gets almost immediately what she’s always wanted.
I found the ending really well done. It definitely felt like this could have happened.
The writing style was also very fluent. The short chapters definitely helped to get through this book easier, as I found myself saying “only one more chapter” very often. It’s also easy to read a chapter in between your work or something, as it takes literally only 5 mins to finish a chapter.
To summarise: I liked this book very much, it read fluent and the plot was really interesting. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who has interest in Rome/Caesar and timetravel.
If a 500-page book seems just too much of a commitment, give this one a pass - but keep it on your radar for happier times. This is certainly genre-bending, but the genres it bends are very flexible, survive and thrive in Megan Edwards' myth retelling/time travelling/thrilling/humorous volume with a moral. The chapters are short so one can always read a few more without getting stuck in the middle of something.
"It was both distressing and enlightening to realize that history, even when reported by an eyewitness, is not the same thing as the past itself. At most, it is an impressionist painting. It conveys an image of real events, but it is blurred by swirls and daubs of opinion and agenda."
This line right here made this book resonate within my research loving heart.
A Coin for the Ferryman is great for history lovers and fiction fans. It's engaging and exciting and Edwards' depiction of Caesar was extraordinary to humanize a man who has long been idealized by the writings he left behind. The attention to detail and historical passion that must have gone into writing this book clearly shows and a reader can't help but honestly believe that for four days in 1999, Julius Caesar walked among our time. Bravo!
"History - the words that seek to preserve the past - is nothing but a fortress built of smoke."
Ancient Rome and time travel... when I saw the premise of this novel, I was all in. The structure of how this story was written was a bit of a distraction for me. There are a lot of characters, all from different backgrounds who are eventually brought together in an interdisciplinary team to bring Julius Caesar back from the dead. The team works in secret with a plan to spend four days with the man learning from him. Things go awry pretty quickly and the story goes from an archaeology focused scifi novel to more of an action story.
I really loved the idea of this one. Getting a glimpse of the past through the eyes of one of its most infamous inhabitants was such a cool idea. The scenes with Caesar himself were fantastic, as a character he was really clever and engaging. The problem is, it took til halfway through the book to get to him. Then most of his time was on the run. I loved all the scenes of revelation about his own history and his charming interpretations of the modern world.
I didn't love the action and spy drama like intrigue, although I could see that it would appeal to others. I also didn't love that every able bodied male and female had to have some affair during the story. That seemed unnecessary to me.
Overall, it's a very pacey, readable sci-fi novel with lots of love for the Latin language and ancient Roman history.
Thanks to Netgalley for advanced access to this novel. All opinions above are my own.
A time travel experiment gone wrong turns quickly into a breakneck chase thriller and an intimate character study.
Man, time travel is going to be a headache for archaeologists.
Cassandra Fleury, casino waitress and amateur classicist, stumbles upon the job offer of her life when a friend of a friend of a friend is in urgent need of a new hire for a top secret science project. Required qualifications: a pretty face and fluent Latin. Cover story: helping date relics from antiquity. The actual mission: teleporting Julius Caesar from the instant just before his death, and interviewing him to collect fresh data on the less known areas of his life and his time.
Author Megan Edwards has previously published a memoir, a romance novel, and two murder mystery thrillers. A Coin for the Ferryman is her first dip into science fiction, and it provides exactly the kind of cross-fertilization that the genre needs every once in a while. This is a fun time travel adventure, but also a profoundly empathetic tale of responsibility, a humanist look at the tragic vagaries of cause and effect, and a sharp analysis of the ethical dilemmas of anthropological research.
Ideally, when you design an experiment, you take care to control all the variables. You strive to keep your subject within clearly defined parameters so you can gather the data you came for. But such degree of control is iffy when you're studying human beings. There have been decades of discussion among anthropologists about the proper methodological design that must be used to preserve at all times the due respect for the dignity of the subjects under research. In the case of A Coin for the Ferryman, the scientists ought to have known that they had no hope of maintaining control of their experiment when their experiment happened to be a man trained to command legions.
Moreover, the instant you invent time travel, you become an accomplice to all the crimes of history. The choice to not intervene in every known murder that has ever happened is morally equivalent to the choice to contribute to their occurrence. But so many threads of causality lead to the present, so many tiny changes sustain this moment that an equally strong case can be made for the need to leave the past intact. Both sides of this discussion are explored in the novel, and at no moment does it pretend that it's easy. To preserve history, the scientists have to return Caesar to the Ides of March. Literally billions of human fates hinge on keeping that moment the way it happened. But to knowingly send him to his death is akin to joining the mob of his stabbers.
As the days pass, and Caesar learns more about our world, the goals of the experiment become increasingly harder to stick to. However, the complications that start adding up and threaten to break the story never slip out of the author's grasp. Her experience with crime fiction comes in handy in the meticulous way the pieces of the plot are arranged: even when an earlier scene that is set later in time has already explained a key event, the moment of the reveal still lands with a punch. Lines of dialogue, physical objects, places on the map, moments in history: every detail fits in place with clockwork precision. Part of the pleasure of reading A Coin for the Ferryman lies in marveling at the care with which the whole is composed of seemingly incompatible parts. Every decent time travel mystery hides a twist that suddenly makes everything resolve into coherence, and this novel achieves the task with impeccable plot logic. It does not matter in the least that you can see it coming: it's the manner of execution that does the trick.
However, the author has too much understanding of human nature to fall into the temptation of making events seem inevitable. Choice is the key component of every turning point. History is not made of predictable, mechanical motions, but of the jumps in the human heart. That was true in Caesar's time as it is in ours. The novel is chock-full of flashbacks, which in most other genres might be wearisome, but in time travel are actually commonplace. The author uses these scenes to highlight the importance of tiny changes that lead to huge effects. In the past of every major character there was a moment that seemed inconsequential yet proved to leave an irreversible mark. The novel seems to be saying that, just as you cannot hope to control history, you cannot hope to control an individual destiny. That sentiment may sound shocking to modern sensibilities, but it's in line with the classical view of fate that prevailed in Caesar's time.
The mission to send Caesar back to his time is resolved in a way that Edwards narrates with extensive detail. A conventional action adventure might opt for a faster pace, but Edwards wants to direct your attention to the fragility of plans and the ease with which our best intentions can get derailed. Mistakes await at every moment of choice. However, this is not a fatalist story. It's trying to say something far more sophisticated than "science is hard" and "people are tricky." The mistakes made by the scientists stem from their unquestioned, culturally conditioned assumptions about Caesar's behavior, and Caesar makes the same kind of mistakes when trying to understand our world. In epistemology, this failure of communication is known as illusion of transparency, and the phenomenon that causes it is called inferential distance. Edwards isn't just replaying the fish-out-of-water trope; she's making a serious effort to illustrate why it happens, how it distorts the practice of the social sciences, and how fatally dangerous it is to believe you know more than you do.
Caesar himself is, of course, the high point of this book. I'm no expert on the classics, but I found this version of Caesar a solid one, and I'm sure those with more knowledge will find plenty to savor in the way Edwards has created a believable human being from the fragments that have survived over the centuries. Part of the joy of science fiction is to make the unfamiliar feel close. In this Edwards excels.
The plot of A Coin for the Ferryman is a dream come true for fans of Roman history, but it's much more. It's an effortlessly readable novel for fans of literary fiction, an erudite thought experiment for fans of anthropology, a pointed satire of office politics for fans of academia, and a welcome addition to the canon for fans of time travel.
Baseline Assessment: 7/10.
Bonuses: +1 for making great use of the type of subplot juggling that writing crime thrillers trains you for, +1 for the skill with which even the clearly predictable plot points still feel like surprises when they arrive, +2 because science fiction books written by authors coming from other genres can easily make the mistake of trying too hard to prove their nerd credentials by spending dozens of pages on explaining the technical details of how the machine works, but this one wisely keeps the attention away from the science lecture and aimed straight at what the consequences of the science mean to the characters.
Penalties: −1 because the characters not connected to the time travel experiment suspend their disbelief about Caesar's presence in our time a bit too readily, −2 for rather excessive adoration heaped by everyone at Caesar's character.
Nerd Coefficient: 8/10.
I enjoyed myself immensely while reading A Coin for the Ferryman. I had my fair share of Latin and Greek at high school, and the Roman Empire and the start of Christianity had a prominent place during my time at university studying religion. A Coin for the Ferryman combines the historical figure of Julius Caesar with contemporary Las Vegas, crime and romance.
So what is it about? Dr. Andrew Danicek has managed to build some sort of time machine. At first to be able to precisely date objects by transferring said object from its original time into Danicek's present and back. And if such a thing is possible with objects, wouldn't it also be possible with animals? Or even human beings?
A team is formed for one very secret mission: transferring Julius Caesar. only minutes away from death in 44 BC, to Danicek's team in 1999. Why? To study him of course, to learn from him. But will it all go according to plan? And what is young Cassandra's role in all this?
A Coin for the Ferryman is author Megan Edwards' incredible attempt to see how Julius Caesar would respond to our modern world. It had me laughing from time to time about all the sly things Caesar was doing, but all in all this book is quite serious. And when everything threatens to go wrong, Edwards fires up the story by adding some sensational pursuit and some overtly sweet romance.
I find it hard to review specific aspects of this book, because I am afraid I will give away too much of the story while doing so. The characters and tale are fantastical, but also in a way very real. Just like Dr. Faith Hopper in her fictional note at the back of the book says, 'readers are left to decide for themselves whether to believe it.' So I'd suggest you pick up a copy of A Coin for the Ferryman and decide for yourself!
Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for a digital ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. Well, I'll say this: the synopsis really hooked me. I've been on a historical/sci-fi kick as of late, so this really whetted my appetite. Overall? It was...a lot. Not necessarily bad, this is just not the sit-down-and-breeze-through type of book. It was like mining for buried treasure, under lots of cooled lava, under the ocean, with old equipment, at times, as a metaphor. I don't want to feel like I've had to do most of the heavy work when I finish a book. There were so many moving parts/pieces to fit together that it was a feat to see it all wrapped together. I think maybe a chart connecting all the pieces/players/situations might have been helpful for me to make. Edwards is a very skilled author, who builds up the writing and creates a lush, complex world to be in. I was really impressed with the dexterity of the novel, and simultaneously frustrated with how nothing could just be...it. Like, can't a bowl of soup JUST be a bowl of soup, not a broth with a spelled out message, or a secret ingredient? I almost wonder if this could've been done in 2 novels, instead of the complex layers and threads that make this up. I can't imagine how Edwards kept track of it all!
I was looking forward to this book a lot because I love Ancient Greece and Rome. The premise, Julius Caesar, being pulled forward in time was also something that was intriguing. I think Edwards has a great writing style which is engaging and pulls you into the story. The plot overall was good and I enjoyed it, but I felt like there were too many characters with too many backstories. I also expect a certain amount of time jumps when I am reading a book about time travel, but I found these somewhat confusing and hard to piece together especially at the beginning.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Having perfected time travel , the plan is to bring Julius Caesar to 199 for four days of discussions with historians. During that time the rich benefactor of the project insists on hosting a private party at her estate in his honor. What could go wrong? Well written, with great characters, a fast moving plot, and a love story that spans two centuries. The reader has to suspend believe not just for the time travel but the idiocy of the nefarious characters, and the altruistic rich benefactors who appear just when they're needed, But this is fiction and the story was terrific. Highly recommended.
Thanks to Netgalley and Imbrifex Books for the ARC.
Ok, imagine a world where time travel is possible. Want to know what happened in Rome during Julius Cesar's time? Well, let's just transport him to our time so we can ask him as many questions as we want. Unfortunately, it's not that simple and problems arise. If they can't get Cesar back into his own time, the current & future timelines might collapse.
A blend of Science Fiction and history. A great what if book? The author does a great job of balancing the fiction/with historical background. Just enough to it actually being believable. This book would be enjoyable to readers who love Rome history and history in general. As I was reading this I thought, this is crazy what if book? But then I remarked. After all, that's what Science Fiction is rooted in right? The what if?
I love time travel when it's done well and this was done exceptionally well! I loved the premise of bringing Ceasar back for a few days to talk and learn from him and loved how it went off the walls. I think there was a little too much build up to the whole thing but saw the need for all the backstory. This was a unique read that I enjoyed a lot.
Was happy to include this inventive book in March’s edition of Novel Encounters, my regular column highlighting the month’s most anticipated fiction for Zoomer magazine. (at link)
Yes, yes, yes! An incredible story that I will remember for a long time.
Everything I have to say about this book will make you think I must be a close relative or best friend of Megan Edwards. I can assure you that I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her but would be honored.
This book is so good that you will forget to eat, let the dog out, and go to bed at a reasonable time.
The pacing and the writing are stellar and I was totally absorbed with the characters and their interactions. This story had me completely transported and I will revisit it again.
A huge thank you for my e-ARC, which was provided by the publisher and the author via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Would I read it again?
Yes, without a doubt.
Would I recommend it?
Yes, wholeheartedly. If you love time travel, Roman history, or moral dilemmas, then you will really enjoy this book!
Is it a permanent addition to my library?
I’m ordering a copy as we speak
Animal abuse (two instances - brief and not graphic but necessary to the story)
I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
A Coin for the Ferryman offers an intriguing premise, i.e. what if scientists were able to grab people out of the past and bring them into the present for a short time and them drop them back into the past at the same point in time that they were taken?
More specifically, the story involves a scientific project the removes Julius Caesar from ancient Rome on the date of his assassination and brings him forward in time to 1999. This provides for a lot of fascinating speculation about Caesar’s interpretation of modern life as well as potential insights that he provides to historical events. The part of the book that dealt with Caesar in the present was the part I enjoyed most. Unfortunately, the earlier part of the book entailed a ton of character back story that in most cases was not needed.
I gave A Coin for the Ferryman four stars on Goodreads. I was prepared to give it 3 stars before the story became more interesting midway through, but upped the rating to 4 stars based on a strong finish and a fascinating premise.
Intriguing story line, pulling a historical ruler into a "modern age" to learn from him. It's interesting to consider the Ides of March from his perspective. It's not a serious or literary exploration, but is definitely more light-hearted. The sexism is a bit much (woman get very little respect), and romance feels contrived.
My thanks to Imbrifex Books for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘A Coin for the Ferryman’ by Megan Edwards in exchange for an honest review.
I read this book without prior knowledge and was surprised when it opened with Julius Caesar waking on the morning of the Ides of March 44BC and being warned frantically by his wife, Calpurnia, of danger.
He reaches the Theatre of Pompey and is approached by someone who begins to speak then nothing “not only silent, but gone—along with the stench of garum and garlic. In his place was Venus, gazing into Caesar’s eyes and reaching her hands toward him.” Definitely an intriguing start.
In 1999, 26-year old classics student Cassandra Fleury is plucked from her life in Las Vegas to become the youngest member of the IDES Project, an interdisciplinary team engaged in a groundbreaking experiment involving time-travel.
Their plan is to snatch Julius Caesar moments prior to his assassination, hold him in seclusion and involve him in discussions with historians and Latin scholars. Cassandra, who is fluid in Latin, is to serve both as the translator and as hostess. Indeed, Caesar initially mistakes her for Venus. After four days they will return him to the moment he was extracted in order to preserve the timeline.
What could possibly go wrong? These folk have clearly not encountered any time travel fiction! No further details to avoid spoilers but it certainly proved an interesting plot with some great action sequences, twists, a compelling lead in Cassandra and a fascinating portrayal of Caesar.
‘A Coin for the Ferryman’ was clearly a labour of love as Megan Edwards writes in her Acknowledgements that this novel has taken twenty years to write. In addition, she was a Classics major and had taught Latin for many years so knows her subject.
Overall, I found this an enjoyable ‘what if’ time travel novel with an informed portrayal of Julius Caesar at its heart and some fascinating ideas throughout. I definitely will be interested in reading more of her writings.
Definitely recommended for readers seeking something a little different.
I have a contentious relationship with books involving time travel. It’s a love-hate relationship, to say the very least. When they’re good, they’re very, very good. But when they’re bad, they’re simply horrid. It takes very little to collapse a time travel story into utter drivel. When I read the blurb for this book, I was intrigued by the notion that the time travel in this book would be achieved not by our intrepid scientists and scholars traveling to the past, but by pulling the past into the future, like one would pluck the best fruit from the tree.
Only, in this case, the best fruit they’re plucking from time is Julius Caesar, moments prior to his assassination on the Ides of March.
I was somewhat worried this book would be an awful bore, but it really wasn’t. It was engaging, fun, interesting, and had a well-plotted and well-executed story arc. It hooks you from the beginning by laying a few fun seeds that end up providing exposition and helping plot points become fulfilled later in the book, which was a nifty and entertaining way of problem-solving just when you were wondering how the heck the characters were going to get out of a certain predicament.
I also worried this book would be bogged down with science jargon and academic brou-ha-ha (which you’d think I’d enjoy, being a scientist and academic myself), but the author thoughtfully didn’t try and attempt to bore her readers with too much science and instead focused on her characters, which was the right call, in my opinion. And the characters were so well-developed because of it.
And, let me just say: any book that has not only a high-speed car chase with Julius Caesar involved and then adds in an emergency escape flight by vintage plane with the same historical figure is totally worth reading.
Thanks to NetGalley and Imbrifex Books for early access to this title in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Full review and the few issues I had with the book is up now. This book was gripping from the go. It could be the prespective changes so much early on that help the pacing but from the flashback into the book chapter I was hooked for sure.
Thanks to the publisher - Imbifrex Books for providing ARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.
A Coin for the Ferryman by Megan Edwards is a time travel story. The plot of the story goes like this: there is this scientist who invents the machine that can bring back a living thing from the past to our present-day for a specified period of time, the only catch being that the person must be seconds from death and be returned to that very moment so as to not upset the history that comes after. They decide to bring in Julius Caesar from the past. Now, the question is - will they be able to return him back to his time successfully without altering the future? You have to read to find out for yourselves.
I liked the various characters in the story, in particular, I loved reading about Cassandra. I was impressed with the use of Latin phrases in the texts inside the story. I listened to the audiobook narration of the book which was amazing as it brought all the more feel to the adventure that was needed for the setting.
There were unnecessary details that were irrelevant. There were too many descriptions of the things I was least interested in. The story was uselessly dragged to a thick book that could have been cut to a short and crisp one.
It was a fun, light, thrilling, and adventurous read and I would recommend this to SciFi junkies out there.
Release Date: 01 Mar 2022.
Review Posted: 13 Mar 2022.
Megan Edwards Coin For The Ferryman was an entertaining read. As a techno thriller writer myself (DS Kane'd bestselling SpiesLie series), I know good writing when I read it. This book is certainly worth your time.
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
A Coin For The Ferryman follows the story of Cassandra, as a chance meeting at the Las Vegas strip causes her to become part of a team whom eventually succeed in bringing Julius Caesar to the modern day.
There were some elements of this book I really enjoyed - Caesar’s portrayal, for one. Many other review commented that Caesar was a little too…ok with everything he saw in the modern day. However, I believe the reason the book gave for this was not only accurate but most definitely the reaction Caesar would have. Caesar never really asks questions - because to do so would announce him as the follower, not the leader, of this group. Caesar was presented as calculating, cold, and even rude at the beginning - and I felt this really let his character arc through the story.
The premise of this story is pretty clear: Caesar comes to the modern day. And yet, he doesn’t actually arrive until pretty much exactly halfway through the book. A huge amount of time was spent fleshing out Cassandra, and the other members of the IDES team (the name of the group who bring Caesar to present day). I really felt lots of this was unnecessary- especially when one of these side characters (who was only present for perhaps two chapters) is mentioned in chapter 2 as part of the overarching link between the beginning and the end.
After a brief POV from Caesar, we jump to Cassandra as she reads an autobiography we later see her get gifted in the book. This was how the dramatic premise of the book was set up. The autobiography talks of a modern coin found in an ancient archeological dig, and implies that the biographer’s career was forever altered because of it. As it happens, Cassandra knows the truth, and never realises it until opening that autobiography once the writer has died.
Sound complicated? I agree.
Having taken about 5 days to read this book, I still struggled to remember the link between that author, the coin, and Cassandra. The coin wasn’t even really part of the main premise - instead an object to denote an emotional moment.
I really just felt that the beginning and end were very clunky in that respect. Having waiting 200 pages to see Caesar arrive, I’d have liked a bigger incentive to keep reading.
That being said, I really enjoyed the spirit of this book, and as a classics kid seeing all these references to ancient places and incentives was really lovely. I very much enjoyed the character of Caesar, which as the main element of the story fortunately outweighed any apprehension I had about certain other areas.
Thank you very much to NetGalley for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!
In a time traveling meets Roman history adventure, a group called the Ides project manage to transport Julius Caesar to 1999 America just before the ill-fated Ides of March assassination. The only catch, in 4 days, he must be returned to the exact moment he is extracted from, and straight to his certain death or risk changing the world as we know it forever.
I went into this NetGalley eARC with the idea that this was going to be a more ridiculously sci-fi novel, instead, it was a twisty-turny tale of all the Ides project team irrevocably being tied together and pasts/futures entwining in bizarre ways. And I confess I didn't hate that.
The story did have quite a few clunky bits that were meant to intertwine in the end that kind of bogged down the story a bit, and some of the characters were a bit flat. It did take me a while to really get into the book but when all was said and done, it was a fun crossover that I didn't expect but definitely enjoyed getting tangled up in.
3.5 stars rounded up. I thought it got off to a great start, then bogged down a little while we introduced each member of the team. But it picked up once Caesar arrived. Very entertaining read!
This was cool. I didn't read every single page, If Im being honest. I skimmed a bit. But I will go back and read it thoroughly when I have some more time on my hands.
I was given an advance reader copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I loved the premise of this book although the writing was very simple. I’m not sure it reached its full potential.
A Coin for the Ferryman has a great premise - Julius Caesar, plucked out of Ancient Rome by a time machine, just prior to his assassination into modern times. For me, the book did not live up to its promise, though it had its enjoyable moments. It took too long to develop the story, the characters seemed two dimensional, and the plot developments were unbelievable at times. The author clearly knows her classical history and did present it well within the context of the plot.
My thanks to Imbrifex Books and Netgalley for providing a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
A time travel experiment brings Julius Caesar to the present day, and after a kidnapping attempt, he and young Latin language whiz Cassandra wind up at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. It's a fun premise with a lot of action, although the Caesar's Palace scenes are hampered by boring conversation and a brief love affair between Caesar and Cassandra that barely registers. The story is told mostly from Cassandra's point of view, and while she is interesting enough, the reader is left wanting more of Caesar's perspective on his puzzling adventure.