The Company of the Dead by David Kowalski [Review]
What is there to say about David Kowalski’s The Company of the Dead? Let’s start with the premise of the (long) novel. What do you think would happen if the Titanic never hit the iceberg and consequently never sank? Time travel in pop culture tells us nothing good can ever come from trying to change the past (Hello, Back to the Future, anyone?) but that’s exactly what Kowalski tries to do in The Company of the Dead.
We’re transported back to the fateful night of April 15, 1912 when a mysterious man appears on the deck of the Titanic and stops it from hitting the iceberg. Because of this event that seems harmless (however, fans of the CW’s Supernatural will know that this never ends well, am I right?), the Unites States never enters World War One, and now Japan rules over the USA while Germany has control over Europe.
Kowalski uses the idea of actual historical figures in The Company of the Dead as characters. We meet the descendants of John F. Kennedy, the Astor family, as well as the Lighthollers. And it’s all up to Kennedy to make things right once again.
It’s like Back to the Future with the fate of the world resting on one man’s shoulders. I don’t even think Mary McFly could be awesome enough to handle that (although he totally could have). The Company of the Dead jumps between 1912, the 1940s, 1990s, and into what is now a completely unrecognizable 2012.
What did I think overall of The Company of the Dead? Well, it was long. It was really, really long. I love the story of the Titanic (as tragic as it is, the idea that so many people were blinded by their own genius is amazing to me), and I was really interested to see this spin on the famous story. What I wasn’t prepared for was 700 pages of “what ifs”.
As an avid lover of pop culture, I know that time travel is bad, even with the best intentions at heart, so I knew The Company of the Dead wasn’t going to end on a happy note. If you’re into time travel novels, take a look at The Company of the Dead. The writing is great, the characters are interesting, but it’s a story that has been told before.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars | Publisher: Titan Books | Pages: 752 | Source: Publisher
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