The Dig by Michael Siemsen
DESCRIPTION: “A mysterious woven metal artifact is found at a paleontological dig in Africa. Mystified experts, confounded by the impossible timeline they get from traditional dating methods, call upon a stubborn young man with a unique talent. Matthew Turner’s gift is also his curse: Whenever he touches an object, his awareness is flooded with the thoughts and feelings of those who touched it before him. It is a talent that many covet, some fear, and almost no one understands. Despite being exploited as a child and tormented by the unpleasant experiences imprinted on him from the various items he has “read,” Matthew agrees to travel from New York to the forests of Kenya. There, threatened by unknown enemies and helped by a beautiful but prickly ally who begins to understand his strange ability, he journeys back in geological time to make a discovery so shocking that it forces us to rewrite all human history.”
Print Length: 324 pages
Publisher: Fantome (January 17, 2011)
Recommended Age: Young Adult
REVIEW: 3 STARS-IT WAS OKAY
In The Dig, Siemsen manages to keep the reader engaged in two completely distinct stories. There’s a modern, paranormal, story that he uses to weave in a second, more science fiction, story that’s easily as compelling. It’s a great feat. And I found myself happily transitioning between the two worlds.
Likewise, he’s developed some great characters. A few reviewers have complained that they didn’t find anyone truly “likable.” But, I think the “problem” is actually a more three-dimensional protagonist. Unfortunately, the villain is a bit caricature-ish, which may undermine the more well developed characters. Nevertheless, I was looking forward to turning each page.
The disappointment didn’t hit until the end… Siemsen wrote two great stories and wove them together almost seamlessly. So, over the course of each chapter the anticipation of a great pay-off builds. You want to know where it’s all going! But, the great climax never arrives… In fact, it felt incredibly anti-climactic when it was all said and done. The best that can be said is that all the loose ends were neatly tied up.
Hopefully Siemsen brings his great style to another book, and the storytelling is paired with a more dramatic purpose.
You may enjoy this book if you liked: Neanderthal
Recommended for guys, Sci-fi readers and YA book fans.