Travels in Elysium leaves readers pondering its mysteries

Travels in Elysium mixes legend with mystery

Travels in Elysium mixes legend with mystery

Travels in Elysium
William Azuski
Iridescent Publishing

Atlantis. The name resonates with images of ancient splendor and mystery. The legendary lost island was first mentioned in Plato’s dialogues and, since that time, scholars and skeptics have debated whether the utopian civilization was real or imaginary. Author William Azuski uses Atlantis’ possible location of Santorini as the setting for his novel, Travels in Elysium.

About the book:

It was the chance of a lifetime. A dream job in the southern Aegean. Apprentice to the great archaeologist Marcus Huxley, lifting a golden civilization from the dead. Yet trading rural England for the scarred volcanic island of Santorini, 22‐year old Nicholas Pedrosa is about to blunder into an ancient mystery that will threaten his liberty, his life, even his most fundamental concepts of reality.

An island that blew apart with the force of 100,000 atomic bombs… A civilization prized out of the ash, its exquisite frescoes bearing a haunting resemblance to Plato’s lost island paradise, Atlantis… An archaeologist on a collision course with a brutal police state… A death that may have been murder… And a string of inexplicable events entwining past and present with bewildering intensity… Can this ancient conundrum be understood before it engulfs them all?

William Azuski weaves his story with tapestries of colorful description. The author’s sojourn of several months on Santorini provided fodder for the setting of the novel, giving details of the island with a wild and beautiful realism. His characters are fully-fleshed and complex. Nicholas Pedrosa, wide-eyed and eager. Marcus Huxley, imperious and impatient, with a temper as volatile as the volcano that ripped apart the island. The other characters, Anna, Sam, Hardian, each have their own quirks and passions, their own tragedies.

The book begins with a mystery and not just from the devastation of Atlantis. As the story goes along, the novel hints at being a supernatural thriller, then a murder mystery, then a metaphysical treatise, then a history lesson, then back to the supernatural thriller. The middle of the story gets bogged down with several lengthy philosophical discussions, but it picks up the pace as it races towards  a conclusion which some readers may find satisfying, while others may label it Deus ex machina. Either way, it will leave readers pondering its mysteries long after they finish the book.

Travels in Elysium contains some language and adult themes, but are not gratuitous and are handled discreetly.