Book Review: The Road to Alexander, by Jennifer Macaire

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The scenario of this book reminded me of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series – a time traveller going back into history.

Jennifer Macaire’s protagonist is a female journalist, Ashley, who wins a demanding competition to go back to 333BC to interview her childhood hero, Alexander the Great. Because the process is so complex and energy draining, Ashley can only stay 20 hours in the past then she must go back to her arrival point to be returned to her own time.

Mistaking her for Persephone, who was taken to the underworld by Hades, the legendary Alexander intervenes and drags her back to his time. Now Ashley is stuck in the Ancient World and fears if she reveals the truth about who she is and where she has come from she will disappear from all times.

Being taken for a goddess helps Ashley to explain some of her, seemingly, odd behaviour to Alexander. As they become a couple we see them run the entire gamut of emotions from love, loss, sorrow, anger, revenge, courage and plenty of sex.

Macaire has researched the period well and details of everyday life, information on Alexander’s brilliant military tactics, and the belief systems of the time are well articulated. The author is as fond of Alexander as is her protagonist.

I am, by no stretch of the imagination, a prude; however, I found the increasingly frequent and often explicit sex scenes unnecessary. It seems like laziness on the part of the author, as if she thinks: I need a change of pace or a different direction here, let’s have a sex scene. Given the time period in which the story is set and the possibilities available to the character of a time traveller, it strikes me as just lazy.

The sexual abandon that Ashley displays also flies in the face of the general characterisation of her as cool and aloof. It is only towards the end of the novel, when Ashley throws caution to the winds and tells Alexander her true history, that she becomes a more rounded character and I began to care about what might happen to her. This is encouraging as the reader sees that Ashley is more than 2 dimensional, which might develop further given that this is the first in a 3-book series.

Reviewed by Jan Kershaw

Rating out of 10:  7

Released by: Accent Press, available through Amazon
Release Date: March 2017
RRP: $3.99 eBook

70%
70%
Overly-ambitious

The sexual abandon that Ashley displays flies in the face of her general characterisation, but Macaire has researched the period well and details of everyday life, information on Alexander’s brilliant military tactics, and the belief systems of the time are well articulated.

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