The Many Coloured Land by Julian May
Review by Jacqui Slaney
Having once asked Rob for suggestions on what books he would like reviews on and being told to choose what ever I wanted, I am now totally taking advantage of this and writing a review on an author that I am very fond of.
The Many coloured Land by Julian May is the first book in a series of four - The Saga of Exiles. I first read this book quite a few years ago, I liked it so much, I went out and bought the rest of the series and then the second related series as well.
This is the description:
Among the misfits and mavericks of the 22nd century, there are those who pass through the time-doors of the Pliocene Epoch into the battleground of two warring races from a planet far away.
Ok, so this does not tell you much, but let me try to expand on it.
The story is set in 22nd century; Earth is part of a Galactic Milieu along with many different alien races. The aliens all have higher mind powers such as telepathy; ESP, healing etc and humans now are developing these so-called special powers as well. The aliens as well as the humans are part as the elite as they have the high-powered roles within the Milieu, although for the ‘greater good’ everyone has to fulfil the role that the milieu picks out for them.
As can be guessed not everyone is suitable for this ideal world. These people are seen as misfits and not quite belonging. A one way time portal is then discovered between 22nd Century France and Pliocene Earth, and it is not long before people who no longer want the modern age, travel back to this very much simpler era. However, they soon discover that they have left the frying pan and jumped into the fire. The story centres around one group of travellers who go back to the Pliocene and the world they discover there and the changes that occur not only to themselves but also to the world as a whole.
I found the story was a little slow to start. As is typical in the first of a series, the writer has to introduce all the different characters and try to give the reader an insight in the world that the writer is aiming for.
It is not long though before the story takes off. Julian May’s writing skills are excellent and the story is gripping and although set in a modern age is completely believable. The characters are described in a way that they soon become separate individuals to the reader. There are villains and good guys, though you may change your mind as you read the series, who is who. There is action and a good story line.
I know the thought of mind powers, aliens and time travel will put some people off reading this book and series, as it sounds too implausible. However, trust me it is completely worth it. You may struggle to find a copy but if you find one read it, or actually any Julian May novel to be honest. My set of this series I am happy to say is sitting on a shelf at home.
9 out of 10