Here be spoilers from The World House... (read it and come back)
As the Prisoner made his escape, he damaged the House. This is not good as the House is connected to the very fabric of reality of our own world. Sophie is bound to the House and managed to stabilise it enough to save everything from immediate destruction. There is no time for the survivors to lick their wounds. The Prisoner needs to be stopped, no matter the cost.
Meanwhile, out in the sticks in Florida, Hughie is sitting on his porch and listening to the sounds of the swamp. A loud bang echoes through the night and Hughie is thrown from his chair. A fucking train has just appeared out thin air. A small man exits the train, a grey mouse of a man, much like an insurance salesmen. British looking. Without apparent effort he is carrying another man by his belt. He walks up to Hughie and raises his hat in greeting.
"Good evening," he said, the train's engine screeching into life again behind him as it prepared to leave, "What a splendid little world you appear to have here. Mind if I play with it a little?"
The survivors are faced with several problems. Not only does the Prisoner need to be stopped, someone must also stay and look after Sophie. She is close to being comatose, only mumbles the same phrase over and over again: 'build, not break'. It's decided that Alan and Penelope will stay to feed and keep Sophie safe. This turns out to be easier said then done. The House communicates through Sophie and they have to take her back to the library. The House is the sum of all nightmares and every room is a horror. They have to travel through it to reach their goal. The fate of the world is at stake.
Carruthers, Tom and Miles follow the Prisoner back into the real world to stop the Prisoner. They arrive in Florida, 1976. They are hot on the trail of the Prisoner. The atrocities committed by the Prisoner only strengthens their determination to stop him. Question is, how do you stop a god?
Ashe is the one that has to travel back into the past and deliver the box and ensure that their timeline happens. He has to locate and deliver the box to several of the survivors. The where and when is very different for each of the survivors. Carruthers was in Tibet in 1904 when the box was given to him by a friend, Walsingham, a botanist. Ashe needs to go there and make sure that Walsingham gives the box to Carruthers. This plot line answers a lot of the questions of the mysterious circumstances that the box was given to the survivors. Guy Adams does well with describing a complex and confusing matter as time travel. The plot moves smoothly forward in spite of different timelines and the occurrence of several versions of characters.
Restoration is a terrific book. I thought it all started very well with The World House, but Guy Adams has upped his game another level to deliver a flawless execution of Restoration. First of all, the book is very exciting, an electrifying read. Pretty much every chapter ends with a cliffhanger and you just have to keep reading to find out what happens next.
Second, the characters are simply amazingly well done. There is some serious witchcraft at work here. I have barely read the name of a character before I like them and want to take them for a pint. Guy Adams' characters just have a very genuine feel about them. Everything they do and say feels like something this person would really do. Restoration features quite a few character as well. We have the original survivors from The World House, but we also get to meet a few new faces. My favorite character, by far, is Carruthers. The British explorer ticks all the boxes. His sense of honor and constant politeness is just charming. He is a barrel of laughs when out in the modern world. Being a fearless explorer he is delighted with all the new experiences, but he also sets himself up for a few jokes on his expense. Miles and Carruthers camaraderie gives you hope and comfort, even with impending doom and constant threat from the Prisoner.
I cannot recommend Restoration and The World House enough. Guy Adams had me fascinated with the first book, but with the second one I was enthralled. It's a remarkable story, a fascinating setting. A book that you don't want to stop reading until you have reached the very end.
Restoration weighs in at 416 pages and is published by Angry Robot. It will be released in july 2011.
Recommendation: must read