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Friday, October 4, 2013

Review - Travels in Elysium

About Travels in  Elysium
It was the chance of a lifetime.  A dream job in the southern Aegean.  Apprentice to the great archaeologist Marcus Huxley, lifting a golden civilisation 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.

‘Then chalk it up to experience, Mr. Perdrosa.  Trust no one.  Believe no one.  Question everything.  Remember, there is nothing here you can take at face value... No – not even yourself.’ 

An Island that blew apart with the force of 100,000 atomic bombs... A civilisation prised 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... A string of inexplicable events entwining past and present with bewildering intensity... Can this ancient conundrum be understood before it engulfs them all?

Literary fiction blends with Plato’s tale of Atlantis is this metaphysical mystery that takes  place on  an archaeological dig on the island of Santorini.  Travels in Elysium is written in an allegory style.  If you would like to read an online excerpt – we have one posted here  For more information or to get your own copy, visit

 Review by Book Readers

'Travels in Elysium' a journey into ancient and mystical times.  Intriguing and imaginative.    A read that will elicit all the senses. The story begins with Nicholas Pedrosa applying for a job on an archaeological dig on the Greek island of Santorini.  Nicholas has just finished college and is stuck in a real estate job in England that is going nowhere. The dig is headed by the legendary archaeologist Marcus James Huxley.  Pedrosa does not believe he has been hired for the position even when he receives the boat tickets and travel details in the mail. Only when he begins his travels to Greece, is he convinced he is now to be the apprentice to Huxley.  Nicholas (Nico) arrives at Santorini only to find Huxley and his associates attending a funeral of Huxleys previous young assistant. Questions arise, what really happened to his predecessor?  What happened on the site of Huxleys dig thousands of years ago?  Where are the ancient inhabitants of the city buried in a volcanic eruption all those years ago.  Everything is perfectly preserved yet there is no evidence of people or animals.  Nico is intrigued to learn along the way that Huxleys expedition has uncovered mysterious 5,000-year-old hieroglyphics at the site.  Is this Plato's mythical Atlantis?

Be prepared to sit down and be transported on to an island and into a world of people, images, feelings, and thoughts that are almost beyond words.  But author William Azuski does not fail in words. Azuski's ability to use vocabulary that evokes the most subtle meanings and senses is surpassed.  I freely admit, on occasions, I referred to my dictionary to reference new words. Although not entirely necessary to understand Azuski's content or meaning but for my own benefit.  Archaeology is a subject I am not familiar with or archaeological digs.  Having travelled to several of the Greek islands, the novel had a personal interest for me as did the Atlantis Myth.  According to William Azuski, Plato presented Atlantis as the myth of an incredible civilization and land that mysteriously sank into the sea.  The author has cleverly used the myth or mystery gain the attention of readers with inquiring minds.  Some may find the story rather long and involved if they are looking for a quick, entertaining read. 
Instead the reader is taken on a journey that is thought provoking on the personal and global level.  The plot and characters are complex yet one soon becomes drawn into the world of Nicolas, Huxley and their associates.  You may start to question what is the true nature of reality and the human condition.

About William Azuski
William Azuski was born in the United Kingdom, and is of British and Yugoslav descent. Traveling widely through the Mediterranean since childhood, his frequent sojourns in Greece included several months on Santorini in the 1970s, an experience that provided firsthand experience for this exceptional novel’s local setting. Writing as William Miles Johnson, Azuski is also author of the critically-acclaimed The Rose-Tinted Menagerie, an Observer Book of the Year (nonfiction), and Making a Killing, an end of the world satire, both titles recently republished by Iridescent.