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    THE CHRONOLITHS by Robert Charles Wilson

    TOR, 2001

    Scott Warden's life is changed when a Chronolith, a huge monument commemorating the near-future victory of an unknown world leader, Kuin, appears near where he is staying in Thailand. The Chronolith proves to be the final blow to his already shaky mariage, and also drives him toward a U.S. government agency working to prevent the predictions of the Chronoliths from becoming reality.

    Working sometimes with, and sometimes against his ex-wife and a former college professor and brilliant mathematician, Warden tries to do what is right for his daughter, his new wife, and a sociopathic stepson. Yet, even in the U.S., society's disintegration leads millions to worship the coming of the Kuin. The initial monument in Thailand is followed by others celebrating additional Kuin victories in China, Viet Nam, Egypt, Israel, and finally the United States. Meanwhile, Asia descends into warfare with each side claiming to be Kuin.

    THE CHRONOLITHS is a strange, yet highly compelling book. Warden doesn't set out to accomplish great things and, for the most part, he doesn't. Yet he fights for his family and those he holds dear, and also allows himself to be drawn into the larger conflict by his former professor and boss. Although his boss, Sue, is more important than Warden in the greater historical sweep, this is truly Warden's story. How he survives in the dystopic world of the near future makes for compelling reading.

    I highly recommend this fine novel.

    Four Stars

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