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Atlantis Endgame: A New Time Traders Adventure    by Andre Norton & Sherwood Smith order for
Atlantis Endgame
by Andre Norton
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2004 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I have read Andre Norton's stories faithfully for decades and been thrilled when my son enjoyed them too. The Time Traders series has always been one of our favorites, as was Sherwood Smith's Crown Duel. So I was delighted to see a Time Traders adventure written by two authors whose work I like so much, and surprised that I had missed their previous Echoes in Time.

Ross Murdock, the young ex-street kid antihero of the original, is now married to karate expert Eveleen, and Ashe ('old Ice Veins' to his peers at Project Star) meets someone from his own past - archaeologist Linnea Edel, who seems to be a potential romantic interest for Murdock's mentor. A past puzzle drives this episode, when an ear-ring of Eveleen's is found sealed under volcanic ash, that dates to around 1600 B.C.. It's clear that Eveleen has to go back in time, but will she return or will she suffer the same fate as her gold loop ear-ring?

The time travelers believe that the legend of the destruction of Atlantis is based on the volcanic eruption (whose impact was significantly more damaging than that of Krakatoa) that destroyed 'an arc of small islands, the very top of an undersea volcano' north of Crete. They are concerned that the Baldies are trying to stop the explosion in order to continue the peaceful, stable civilization that it eliminated, and hence slow down the fast technological development of humanity that arose from its wars.

With the help of Russian expertise on Time-Gates, a team goes back to Atlantis. It includes Ross and Eveleen, Ashe and Linnea. A series of adventures (involving scuba diving, hang gliding and exploration inside the volcano) ensue, with the added pressure of being 'on top of a fifty-thousand-megaton bomb that stinks of burning rotten eggs'. They encounter alien 'Fur Faces' (the Kayu) and wonder at their motivations and also at the long-term intentions of the Baldies. The authors raise questions of galactic morality, shed some light on the puzzle of the aliens' purposes, and at the same time introduce a new mystery to the series.

The ending is predictable but still thrilling as the time travelers flee into the sunset, towards a broken Time-Gate, the volcano exploding behind them - read the book to find out how they get out of that one! While I missed the tension between characters in the original episodes, Atlantis Endgame made up for it with exciting adventure and a deeper rationale for the motivations of the various mysterious, meddling aliens - a recommended read for old and new fans of both authors.

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