Pax Britannica tells the story of a troop of present-day soldiers who are thrown back through the centuries to Roman Britain, with two additional timelines adding to the adventure: the present and the future. The author draws the reader’s attention to correlations between ancient and modern human behaviour, especially in situations of armed conflict.
This is a good premise – a time-slip novel with an element of futuristic gaming adding a philosophical edge to the narrative. The idea is original and intriguing, and there’s much to admire. The text is well-written and has obviously been proofread (although there are still numerous small errors). A good editor might also have advised the author to avoid head-hopping and overuse of adverbs within dialogue tags. However the plot gallops along at such a pace that the average reader is likely to overlook these issues.
From a design and production perspective, the interior is laid out in a tidy manner with a good choice of font (Garamond). The page numbering needs attention as the prelims incorrectly still have numbers on them, and there are a number of widows and orphans throughout (pages with just one word or sentence). The one thing that really lets this book down is the cover. The composited picture and amateur typography means this book would not sit well on a bookshelf next to a professionally designed book, which is such a shame because the content deserves better, and could appeal to fans of Michael Crichton’s Timeline.
A slight re-format and a skilful re-edit could transform this book from a good read into an outstanding read.