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Product Details
$18.95  $17.62
Central Park South Publishing
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.76 inches | 1.09 pounds

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About the Author
Kat Elle is an American writer and educator based in Georgia. She has a master's degree in English Language and Literature from Georgia College & State University, and she teaches both domestic and international students in courses ranging from American Literature to English as a Second Language. She also spent time teaching in Tokyo, Japan, where she studied ancient Japanese writers like Murasaki Shikibu and Sei Shōnagon.

Kirkus Reviews:

Modern-day siblings travel back through time to war-torn, Nazi-occupied Poland in Elle's debut SF novel.

Twenty-two-year-old Blanca Hernandez and her younger brother, Mateo, tour the Texas college Mateo will soon be attending. An apparent earthquake suddenly hits, followed by an explosion. When the smoke clears, Blanca, Mateo, and other bystanders find themselves in another place altogether-1943 Poland, to be precise. Scientists at the college had been working on a project creating "time jumps" that went awry, and now the siblings are collateral damage, caught in the midst of an ongoing war. They're soon dodging Nazis, vicious wildlife, and explosives dropped from above. They manage to connect with stranded, English-speaking German pilot Otto Zimmler, who can help them navigate the unfamiliar landscape. All Blanca and Mateo want is to make it to the coast, where a boat can take them to safety. While they're under the threat of both German and Russian soldiers, they struggle to keep their fascinating origin a secret. The author wisely keeps the time-travel details simple and doesn't unnecessarily complicate the story of heroes under fire. The remarkable cast drives the narrative: Eye-opening flashbacks highlight Blanca's tumultuous past as a combat medic in Afghanistan and humanize Otto as the reader witnesses a loathsome ideology enshroud his youth ("...a soldier proudly brandished a red flag with a twisted black symbol in the middle. Otto was too young to know what it was, but it impressed him as much as anything had impressed him in his life"). Nazism is the indisputable villain here, but this is also a story of survival, and Elle fills her swiftly-paced tale with harrowing scenes that, sadly, not every character walks away from. Fortunately, lighter moments occasionally alleviate the grim tone; it's amusing to see the travelers frequently refer to Mateo's just-purchased college history book to get background on the era. The final act is a surprising, gleefully frenzied ride to the end.

Superlative characters enliven this richly detailed historical adventure.

Readers' Favorite:

Kat Elle displays an impressive ability to weave a gripping tale. Even though it is a work of science fiction, it manages to retain the aura of a nonfiction story with Elle's use of some particularly graphic storytelling to bring one of the most disturbing episodes in human history to life. Her characters are quite impressive with their origin stories thoroughly explored in a manner that made it easy for the reader to identify with their motives, no matter how twisted they appear. Otto's sense of duty to his homeland appears natural especially after he recounts what his family had to endure before the war while Blanca is a walking case study on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The best part about this enthralling novel is the way the story jumps between timelines for the principal characters, creating the kind of authenticity that is rarely found in modern science fiction. With its immersive storyline and intriguing subplots, Epoch stands out as a novel in a class of its own.

Blanca's back story as a soldier who served a tour of duty in Afghanistan lends credibility to the action scenes. Interestingly, Otto Zimmler, a German pilot who was captured by Blanca's group, is not portrayed as a stereotypical Nazi. Instead, Elle used him masterfully to show that not all Germans during the Nazi era shared the same outlook. The dialogue served to develop both the plot and the characters. Elle did a fantastic job at pacing the story. I recommend this book to all fans of historical fiction.