four-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
25-Nov-Dec-2006
By: 
Tim Powers
user_rating: 
0

A-Three Days to NeverFrank and Daphne Marrity, father and daughter, are part of a magical family—a realization that Frank fully comprehends only after his grandmother has died. Through letters he reads after her death, Frank discovers that his grandmother was born Lieserel Maric, Albert Einstein’s illegitimate daughter. A videotape that daughter Daphne spirits from her great-grandmother’s home reveals a startling secret involving Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, and a time-traveling device. Both Israel’s Mossad and German secret society agents will kill to obtain it—and to change the course of history.
Morrow. 420 pages. $25.95. ISBN: 0380976536

Denver Post 4.5 of 5 Stars
"If heavenly muses were to put Dean Koontz, John Le Carré and Robert Parker into a creative blender, then molded the mix into a brand new writer, the result would be something akin to Tim Powers. With Three Days to Never, Powers has once again seen fit to cobble up another mind-boggling, heart-stopping, smile-inducing fantasy-thriller." Dorman T. Shindler

Emerald City 4 of 5 Stars
"Tim Powers is his own genre. … Recognizably influenced by Phil Dick, John Le Carré and C. S. Lewis he may be, but Powers has created his own, personal, interior logic, his own pop cultural color-wheel, his own implied mythos—all of it somehow given more form, more definition, by what he believes philosophically, and rarely, if ever, directly says." John Shirley

Washington Post 4 of 5 Stars
"Although I’ve never visited Powers’s house, I wouldn’t be surprised to find a strange vehicle in his basement, equine in appearance and festooned with brass knobs and crystalline levers, that allows him to travel among all known modalities of fiction. Three Days to Never is a beguiling genre omelet, a mélange of forms ranging from alternate history to science fiction, urban fantasy to occult cliffhanger, espionage adventure to Ross Macdonald-style Southern California hardboiled detective thriller." James Morrow

Oregonian 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Before The Da Vinci Code, before Snowcrash, California author Tim Powers was writing fantastic stories and ambitiously plotted novels of the real and supernatural. … Now Powers has written Three Days to Never, which recedes somewhat from the high standard of his last book but still compares favorably to more popular works by Dan Brown, Neal Stephenson and other writers who dabble in secret or alternate histories." Mike Francis

San Francisco Chronicle 3 of 5 Stars
"For those who have never read Powers before, this might be a more welcoming entry point to his singular fictional universe than Declare or the trilogy about the Fisher King begun with Last Call." Michael Berry

Critical Summary

Tim Powers’s fiction has consistently defied description for three decades. Three Days to Never is no exception, with its "off-the-wall-yet-vaguely-plausible scenario" (San Francisco Chronicle). Powers, whose previous novels include Declare (2000), The Anubis Gates (1983), and a trilogy exploring the Fisher King myth, combines fantasy, thriller, and historical fiction in a novel that will win new fans for the author, even if Powers disciples will recognize some of the material and tricks from earlier books. Still, most critics agree with the sentiment of The Denver Post, which deems Powers’s latest effort "the summer sleeper hit of 2006."