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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Alexandria: The Sword of Agrippa, Book 2 is a time-travel science fiction novella written by Gregory Ness. Alexandria is set in the near future; Roy, a physicist and his partner, Renee, are at home and settling in to watch a video of Jakub's dream. They are living in Prague now after Roy’s research into dark energy was considered too much of a threat to the American way of life and the Big Oil cabals. Things are getting frightening in the United States as people become increasingly wary of high tech and the supposed threat it poses to their jobs and lives. As they watch the vivid scenes, Jakub's dream seems more of a past memory to the biologist and her physicist boyfriend. While the Vienna Accords strictly forbid sharing the records of dream viewing with the sleepers, both of them wonder at the implications this form of sleep viewing could have for Roy and his dreams. While Jakub's video was just a test to see if the helmet was working and fine-tune its responses to the energy pulses in the water, there was a controlled beta test already set up with six volunteers chosen out of the hundreds of volunteers. What the first subject would "dream" was entirely unexpected.
Gregory Ness's thought-provoking time-travel science fiction novella, Alexandria: The Sword of Agrippa, Book 2, tells two stories: that of Roy the scientist studying dark energy and its applications, and the account of Caesar's friend Agrippa’s activities in Egypt as he and his beloved take part in an ancient ceremony while enclosed within an ancient Egyptian temple. While this is the second book in Ness's series, I was quickly involved in first Agrippa and then Roy's stories. I loved sharing in the excitement of exploring the newly reopened temple and enjoyed seeing Cleopatra, Samia, Agrippa and Caesar interact as they examine the ruins. The application of dark energy with respect to dream monitoring was an even more exciting storyline, especially when Roy encounters unexpected confirmation of the dreams he's long lived with. Alexandria is marvelous. It's beautifully written and immerses the reader in a succession of realities, each more real than the next. Alexandria: The Sword of Agrippa, Book 2 is most highly recommended.