Sunset of the Gods
by Steve White
Cover Artist: Kurt Miller
Review by Mel Jacob
Baen Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781476736167
Date: 31 December 2013 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
A pastiche of early Greek history, historic battles, aliens, and transhumans, Sunset of the Gods follows Jason Thanou, a time traveler and soldier, with a team to investigate the battle of Marathon against the Persians. Unfortunately, the trip goes awry when the team encounters Transhuman time travelers and a team member dies.
At one time, the Transhumans ruled the Earth, but normal humans revolted. The latter developed a means to travel back in time to investigate puzzling aspects of history and to retrieve a few selected artifacts. Jason Tharou led previous expeditions, but on his last trip, one team member was captured by the Teloi who removed the capsule needed to return her to present. He vows never to let it happen again.
On this expedition to witness the battle of Marathon, two scientists accompany Jason. One is an archaeologist versed in Greek history and the other is a xenobiologist interested in aliens and hopes to study any remaining Teloi. Thanou is mixed about them both, but especially Chantal. The fourth member is another military man about whom Thanou also has some questions.
For those familiar with Greek history, much of the narrative could have been eliminated. At present, it is a massive information dump told by the characters to each other. The settings provide a lot of detail of how Athens evolved over and conditions in Greece in 480 B.C.
The novel ending provides plenty of possibilities for Jasonís next adventure into the past to stop the dangerous activities of the Transhumans bent on taking over the Earth. Other later titles in the series are Pirates of the Timestream and Ghosts of Time.