Time Travel: check
Royalty: check
History: check
Conspiracy theories: check

Yes, Million Eyes has all of the above, which is what made me fairly sure I would enjoy it. In fact, I loved it and found it hard to put down, reading it within the space of a day.

The concept of the story is that tragic royal events weren’t actually meant to happen and that they all came about because time travellers went back in time and made them happen, all in the pursuit of a rather oddly named textbook. What always completely flummoxes me about time travel is the question of whether people in the future are making the events happen to create an eventuality of their choosing or whether they were going to happen anyway and they’re not altering anything, just experiencing it, and oh my goodness… there’s my mind flummoxed all over again.

I absolutely love this kind of story, one that challenges me to get my head around it, to put pieces together to make a whole. I thought Million Eyes was incredibly well-plotted, everything made perfect sense even whilst my mind was trying to get itself around all that was going on. As a royalist and someone who enjoys historical fiction, I found the idea absolutely fascinating that Princess Diana’s crash might have been orchestrated for some reason other than the many conspiracy theories we already know about, and I found completely thrilling the possibility that the Princes in the Tower in 1483 might have disappeared in different circumstances to what history tells us might have happened.

This is also a story of technology and its sometimes dubious powers. The notion of a million eyes watching us isn’t exactly new but it’s stories like this one that really make me think of the consequences of our modern environment.

This book was right up my street and I’m so pleased to know it’s the first in a trilogy. I enjoyed the characterisations, with Jennifer and Ferro investigating in the current day, the villains of the piece, and then the historical figures, and I thought the author’s writing was engaging, smart and skilful. If you love a mind-boggling tale combining fact and fiction that really makes you think then Million Eyes comes recommended by me.

Nicola Smith, Short Book and Scribes, 5/5

Million Eyes by C.R. Berry
Elsewhen Press B082QNFPFN ebook Jan 2020