Fiction - New Adult
338 Pages
Reviewed on 04/21/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Kat Elle is an American writer and educator based in Atlanta, Georgia. Written at the height of the tumultuous Trump era, Elle's debut novel Epoch highlights social and cultural issues that are difficult to discuss and impossible to ignore.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Essien Asian for Readers' Favorite

Blanca Hernandez had always been the one taking care of her little brother after they lost their mother. She braved the grinding cycle that is the foster care system to stay with Mateo and keep him safe. The opportunity arose and she gladly took it, knowing that the bulk of their problems would be solved once she completed her tour of duty in Afghanistan. She returned a changed woman but remained focused on giving Mateo what she could not have herself. This brought them to a university's orientation program. They get caught up in an explosion during the tour and find themselves in occupied Poland at the height of the Second World War. Blanca knows that her military training is their only hope if they are to make it back to the twenty-first century intact. Can she trust herself to get them back, especially when her only link to this world is a downed Luftwaffe pilot, Otto Zimmler? Only time will tell in Epoch by Kat Elle.

Kat Elle displays an impressive ability to weave a gripping tale. Even though it is a work of science fiction, it manages to retain the aura of a nonfiction story with Elle's use of some particularly graphic storytelling to bring one of the most disturbing episodes in human history to life. Her characters are quite impressive with their origin stories thoroughly explored in a manner that made it easy for the reader to identify with their motives, no matter how twisted they appear. Otto's sense of duty to his homeland appears natural especially after he recounts what his family had to endure before the war while Blanca is a walking case study on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The best part about this enthralling novel is the way the story jumps between timelines for the principal characters, creating the kind of authenticity that is rarely found in modern science fiction. With its immersive storyline and intriguing subplots, Epoch stands out as a novel in a class of its own.

Juan Lynch

Epoch by Kat Elle is a captivating novel. The story opens in 2019 at a Texas college campus. Blanca Hernandez who is 23 years old is accompanying her younger brother Mateo on a campus tour. After prodding him to visit the science labs, Blanca notices some men in lab coats rushing out of the building. Soon after that, the building begins to tremble. Disaster strikes and the Hernandez siblings and several others on the campus are knocked out and regain consciousness in a forest. They have traveled through space and time to war-torn Poland in 1943. Fortunately, Iain, a physicist who was working on the machine that caused the time warp, is present in Blanca’s group. Unfortunately, the Nazis are the only ones that have access to the technology that may help them get back home.

I enjoyed reading Epoch by Kat Elle. Although the premise is not original, Elle's take on it is intriguing. The main characters were all well-fleshed out. Blanca’s back story as a soldier who served a tour of duty in Afghanistan lends credibility to the action scenes. Interestingly, Otto Zimmler, a German pilot who was captured by Blanca's group, is not portrayed as a stereotypical Nazi. Instead, Elle used him masterfully to show that not all Germans during the Nazi era shared the same outlook. The dialogue served to develop both the plot and the characters. Elle did a fantastic job at pacing the story. I recommend this book to all fans of historical fiction.

Keith Mbuya

What had been a normal day for Blanca as she went about the admission process for her brother Mateo at a university in Texas suddenly turned surreal. Blanca and Mateo were in a crowded lab when suddenly the walls started shaking and the floor split open, releasing a huge burst of energy. The next thing they knew, they were in a war-torn Nazi-held territory in Poland and the year was 1943. They later learned from the physicist who had accidentally accompanied them that they had been taken back in time following a failed experiment at the university. Before they can figure out a way to escape, they stumble across a Nazi fighter pilot whom they take hostage. Stuck in World War II with a cunning German and a genius physicist, what will happen to Blanca, Mateo, and the other survivors? Get yourself Kat Elle’s Epoch to discover more.

It took me quite a while to get into Epoch, but as the plot unfolded I became drawn into the novel. Basing the plot on a dual timeline, Kat Elle impressively blends a tale of time travel, childhood trauma, military life, a battle of wits, and a sister’s love for her brother with World War II. I loved the way she breathed life into the events, bringing World War II action back to life vividly. She captured the action with thrilling intensity. Kat chose her words to convey a sharp edge of suspense and adventure. Just when I thought I had figured out where the story was headed, the plot would take a wild turn. She gives insight into the cast’s emotions and qualities brilliantly. Blanca’s trauma and agonizing experiences ignite a fierce passion in her to protect her brother. It also makes her face her challenges with unwavering toughness and grit.