This book was a bit like a time travel story for me. A man from the 1800’s wakes up in present-day Alaska, having been frozen for almost 200 years. I liked how the story takes the reader through the initial confusion of Wyatt, our frozen-in-time character. He is unsure of where he is and who he is. I thought that Lee Matthew Goldberg did an excellent job of bringing the reader into the story right from the beginning with this opening scene.
As the story progresses, we find Wyatt spiraling into this obsessive character. When I chose this book, I didn’t realize it would have this thriller aspect, so I was surprised when Wyatt finds who he believes is his great-great grandson, and becomes overly-attached to him, and his family. This obsessive behavior really turned this into an interesting read for me!
I thought that the story was well-written, and worth reading! It had this mix of historical fiction, science fiction, and thriller that kept me interested from start to finish! I loved the insight into the main character’s mind. His adaptation to the world he wakes up in was interesting, and I enjoyed watching him learn and change.
The connection between Wyatt, and his great-great-grandson Travis, was deep and emotionally written. I found their stories to both hold interest for me. At times, I found the narrative to be a bit lengthy, and I would have liked a most concise story, but overall, this was an exciting story.
To Read or Not To Read:
I would recommend The Ancestor for readers that enjoy a what-if story, and a mix of historical and science fiction!
Also by Lee Matthew Goldberg:
Where to Find This Book:
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A man wakes up in present-day Alaskan wilderness with no idea who he is, nothing on him save an empty journal with the date 1898 and a mirror. He sees another man hunting nearby, astounded that they look exactly alike. After following this other man home, he witnesses a wife and child that brings forth a rush of memories of his own wife and child, except he’s certain they do not exist in modern times-but from his life in the late 1800s.
After recalling his name is Wyatt, he worms his way into his doppelganger Travis Barlow’s life. Memories become unearthed the more time he spends, making him believe that he’d been frozen after coming to Alaska during the Gold Rush and that Travis is his great-great grandson. Wyatt is certain gold still exists in the area and finding it with Travis will ingratiate himself to the family, especially with Travis’s wife Callie, once Wyatt falls in love. This turns into a dangerous obsession affecting the Barlows and everyone in their small town, since Wyatt can’t be tamed until he also discovers the meaning of why he was able to be preserved on ice for over a century.
A meditation on love lost and unfulfilled dreams, The Ancestor is a thrilling page-turner in present day Alaska and a historical adventure about the perilous Gold Rush expeditions where prospectors left behind their lives for the promise of hope and a better future. The question remains whether it was all worth the sacrifice….
Just the Facts:
The Ancestor by Lee Matthew Goldberg
Genre: Science Fiction / Historical Fiction / Thriller
Page Count: 348 pages
Publisher: All Due Respect
Pub Date: Augst 21, 2020
Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE ANCESTOR, SLOW DOWN, THE MENTOR from St. Martin’s Press, and THE DESIRE CARD.
He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. His first Sci-fi novel ORANGE CITY will be published in 2021. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box.
After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others.
His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at LeeMatthewGoldberg.com
I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.