There’s always excitement in Eureka, the charming little town populated by geniuses and Jack Carter.
With a statue of Archimedes in the town square and Department of Defense research and development facility Global Dynamics (GD) at the heart of the town, Eureka would seem to be a place capable of sustaining itself quite nicely. One would think. Despite the super-high IQs, though, it almost always requires the commonsense tactics devised by Sheriff Jack Carter, a man of strong ethics and average intelligence, to bail out the rocket scientists.
In Cris Ramsay’s third book in the series, Road Less Traveled, Eureka once again spirals off into a bizarre and potentially world-ending adventure when a Global Dynamics scientist attempts to hatch thunderbird eggs. Thunderbirds, best known from Native American mythology, are essentially energy and have many practical uses; unfortunately, someone has stolen a soon-to-hatch thunderbird egg from under the nose of Global Dynamics security, and there’s no telling what devious plan is in the works.
While Deputy Jo Lupo and GD brain-of-all-trades Douglas Fargo partner to track down the thief and recover the stolen egg before it can release its enormous energy, Jack Carter and GD Director Allison Blake have another doomsday problem to deal with.
An attempt to connect to another dimensional plane connects Eureka to its alternate self, complete with audio and visual communication. In Other Eureka, Jack Carter never came to town and Allison’s fiancé, Nathan Stark, never died. Just like the rest of us, all of Eureka’s citizens are intrigued by those other selves and by ‘what might have been’ had a single event happened just a wee bit differently. Being able to see firsthand how one such reality evolved is intriguing and a little disturbing, but certainly a scientific breakthrough of massive proportion.
As always, though, the experiment has unexpected consequences. Pretty soon the residents of Other Eureka start seeping through the membrane and turning up in Eureka Classic. It doesn’t take a genius to know that cross-over like that can only mean trouble.
Ramsay has done a masterful job of capturing the spirit of the television series. All the characters ring true, and the plots are woven together seamlessly. It’s rare to find a novelization of a screen original that is both entertaining and puzzling, but Ramsay writes it with a suave confidence that will keep readers guessing all the way through.
Those who aren’t already addicted to this creative and endearing program won’t have any trouble following along with Road Less Traveled, because Ramsay subtly slides in bits of background to bring everyone up to speed. Fans of the television series will find this a satisfying snack (equal to anything served at Café Diem) to tide them over until the new season begins.