Adrian L. Hawkes
Publisher: iUniverse Publishing
List Price: $15.95
Icejacked is Rip Van Winkle sleeps for 2000 years. Gerhardt, graduate student and historian, believes he can further his education concerning prehistoric man when he learns of a man preserved in ice. He plans to join the study. But when he arrives at the morgue, he discovers that the man had a heartbeat and that morgue personnel transferred him to a hospital. Gerhardt thinks they have mistaken a recent tourist for a man from history.
Instead, he meets Leddicus, Roman citizen and member of the way—the earliest group to follow Christ—waking from a 2000 year sleep in a cake of ice. Gerhardt plans to become obscenely rich by presenting him to the world.
Everything astounds Leddicus at first but he quickly learns to enjoy modern life. They travel around the country and world to tell Leddicus’s story. In the background, a group of sinister people makes plans to exploit Leddicus.
The storyline would have benefited from more conflict. As demonstrated by UFOs and the moonwalk, people react in disbelief when something happens outside their experience. With one exception, no one questions that a man could live in ice for 2000 years. Newspaper stories all over the world would accuse Gerhardt and group of fraud. The British version of the FBI might visit (Adrian Hawkes lives in London) and investigate—especially considering all the money Leddicus makes for his sponsors. In addition, the bad guys should be woven in to the story instead of lurking in the background. I never know what connection the bad guys have to the protagonists.
I believe Leddicus would have been physically more fragile after 2000 years in a huge ice cube. His physical condition could add to the conflict. And, where is the grief at the loss of his family and life?
Leddicus and company are realistic and charming, and the daily life of their trips ring true. The story moves along smoothly, giving authentic hints of early Rome. Author, Adrian L. Hawkes did his homework.