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Flight of the Silvers
by Daniel Price
New American Library, $16.00 TPB, 594pp
Published: January 2015

This is a remarkable debut novel; ok, not his debut novel but it should have been.

The Silvers of the title are a disparate group of people who were, willy nilly, transported from their Earth to an alternate Earth, just ahead of an apocalypse that killed everyone they knew.  The group includes a pair of sisters who couldn’t be more unlike, a web-cartoonist, a teenage girl, a troubled ex-prodigy and a teenaged genius from Australia.  The one thing they all have in common is that just before the world was destroyed, a strange person attached a white bracelet to their arm.

Once in their new world, they are approached by a security team that reassures them they are expected and will have all their questions answered.  They are transported to a laboratory staffed by some very excited scientists eager to poke them and get their own questions answered.  The scientists are led by an elusive physicist who keeps promising answers but isn’t that forthcoming.  He, in turn, is being controlled by the mysterious Pelletier family, the same ones who attached the white bracelets.

The world is stranger than our heroes could have imagined; all due to a cataclysmic event decades earlier that changed science’s perception of time and introduced technologies that seem magical.  While the flying cars and such dazzle and confound them, that’s nothing to the increasing awareness that within each of them is a natural talent that doesn’t need the technology.  They are walking miracles.  Rumors abound, in this new world, of people such as themselves but the majority of the population discounts such crazy rumors. 

Their sanctuary, such as it is, is suddenly attacked by a group of people dead set on killing every one of the Silvers.  The group takes to the road in a stolen vehicle with the injured head physicist.  And from there on, things get really weird.  One of them is getting messages from her future self to go to New York City and contact someone who will help them.  But they have no reason to trust this person after they discover the assassins came from his group.  But if they don’t go, they aren’t likely to get any answers from anyone else.  Plus, this world’s equivalent of the FBI is dogging them and will, quite likely, lock them up forever.

This was a very exciting story that kept me interested to the end.  Which, by the way, is not the end; we have to wait for the sequel.  The characters were probably the author’s strongest suit; they are all wonderful.  The plot was very well-done and while the science isn’t much explained, I’m willing to suspend disbelief and just enjoy the ride.  This is worth your time if fish-out-of-water type stories are your thing.  I’ll be looking forward to the sequel.   ~~ Catherine Book

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