During the midst of a quantum computing experiment, a Neanderthal (Ponter) is accidentally transported through a new rift to Human Earth. His disappearance from his own version of Earth brings criminal charges to Adikor, his best friend for Ponter's disappearance and presumed murder.
Meanwhile Ponter is trapped in an alien world that exterminates species (Neanderthals, Mammoths, Whales, etc.) and has so many social values that are different from his own. He is befriended by a group of scientists working for a large Canadian energy company. He is able to communicate through a built in computer fused into Ponter's wrist. He longs to be back with his children and his friend but is resigned to the fact that he probably will not be able to see them again.
In Ponter's world, Adikor stands on trial for Ponter's world, which will bring a severe punishment to Adikor and all his relatives if he is not proved innocent (in Neanderthal world, one is guilty unless proven innocent). The only way he can prove his innocence is to either produce Ponter or prove that Ponter was transported to another dimension. Therefore, if Ponter can't get back, Adikor and his family will suffer.
The thing that is so great about this book is the contrast between the two worlds. Both have things that are very unique and wonderful to the other world as well as things that are dark and ugly to the other world (our hunting animals for sport, committing crimes and polluting the air are so repulsive to Ponter, whereas his world's way of dealing with crimes committed is so unthinkable to us. Also, everything one does in Ponter's world is recorded and could be later viewed so there is no privacy).
Sawyer also introduces a wealth of incredibly interesting characters such as Mary, a genetic specialist who certifies Ponter's DNA for what it is and also undergoes a very terrifying sexual attack by a human male predator. There is also humor in newspaper flashes that appear at the beginning of each chapter including a take-off on David Letterman's top 10 lists.
I highly look forward to reading the two sequel books in this trilogy.
What did you think of this review?