Book review: ‘Bow Tie: The First Manuscript of the Richards’ Trust,’ by W.J. Cherf
Special to the Daily
A book succeeds most often when an author writes about something he or she knows well, whether from experience or from study. In the case of “Bow Tie: The First Manuscript of the Richards’ Trust,” the success comes from the author’s own passion for ancient history, in particular the long-gone Egypt of pharaohs, scarabs and papyrus scrolls.
W.J. Cherf, a scholar of ancient cultures, manages to delve into the complicated world of Ancient Egypt with a very modern touch, incorporating elements of science fiction, intrigue, romance, high adventure and biological warfare. This first of four novels has one thinking of “Indiana Jones,” “Dr. Who” and even a little of “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” with the alien race sporting the catchy name of “Quimbly.”
Clearly comfortable with complex world-building, Cherf revels in the chance to feed his own academic passions with this narrative. Very complex science is introduced, but the author renders the subject palatable for the layperson, and he soon has the reader riding the wave of time travel along with the well-developed characters, who flit between the past and present in a creative dance to rid the human race of a potentially destructive genetic mutation introduced by an alien mastermind.
Fans of the History Channel show “Ancient Aliens” will eat this book up; it is a conspiracy theorist’s dream. But skeptics will enjoy it, too, for, in spite of its otherworldly nature, Cherf’s evident love of the subject weaves a rich story that, once one suspends disbelief, explores complicated plot lines and convoluted historical events.
Murder and betrayal, compromised state secrets and the innate perils and moral implications of time travel all converge in this book of labyrinthine twists and knots. It is a mingling of a young boy’s fascination with magical and fanciful worlds and the deeply analytical leanings of a scholar.
The “Bow Tie” referenced in the title is a simple name for a complex concept of science, and Cherf doesn’t shy away from delving into the intricacies of such an erudite leaping off point for his narrative. Lovers of the tangled puzzles of physics will enjoy the futuristic notion of time travel, as this cinematic tale slingshots the protagonists to and fro across the temporal plane, where they battle with a race gifted in the arts of telepathy and telekinesis. History buffs will enjoy the references to Nefertiti, Amun-Re, Amenhotep, and the Temples at Luxor and Karnak. Be ready to be transported.
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