I’ve always been fascinated with history and how society shaped itself over time. Getting a feel for the society of the time tells me much more than names or dates. In Isle of Woman, Piers Anthony gives me what I wish I had been given in my history classes for a textbook, or at least a companion textbook.
The reader goes from prehistoric times to a hypothetical future in this first book of the Geodyssey series, following one family as they evolve with society over time. Even with starting out in prehistoric times, the characters are still fully formed with room to grow as the story progresses. Including the other supporting cast of characters that join in along the way. Combined with settings that make you feel fully immersed in each chapter’s society.
You’re led into each chapter with a page to show how it fits in with the book’s message, along mankind’s path of evolution. As well as a map, so you can see where the chapter takes place. Combined with the story, it leaves the reader with a better understanding of humanity by the end of the novel.
Though, like most Geodyssey novels that followed it, Isle of Woman has the same issue as all the books in the series of having a novella-length chapter around the halfway point. But that chapter also has spots seemingly marked out on purpose for the reader to be able to take a break along the journey.
While Piers Anthony is more well known for his fantasy and science fiction works, this beginning journey into historical fiction is equally as rich. Anthony never fails to deliver rich characters that are flawed but intriguing. And despite setting this story throughout the known world, he makes you want to explore it just as much as if it were one of his sci-fi or fantasy worlds.
If you grew up with Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego or Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego, then I have no doubt you will enjoy this book. This series is what made it so that I can find historical fiction I enjoy. With that in mind, I give Isle of Woman by Piers Anthony 4.5 out of 5 stars. It would be 5 except for that novella in the middle, which I had to deduct at least a half point for.
Now, as much as I enjoy reading, my stomach is starting to growl and my caffeine levels are getting low, so I’m off to the diner.
Tips his hat walking out the door, debating what to order at the diner.
Leave a Reply