I gave _Timefall_ a generous three stars only because the first hundred pages are a wild, intriguing ride.
This hybrid, shaggy-dog Indiana Jones meets Rider Haggard meets H.G. Wells type-tale has everything for very light summer reading. It purports to be about a quest to save existence itself. That's a grabber!
Its characters and situations include a drug smuggler, a seven foot, loin-clothed, anarchist-mystic, South American treasures, baseball size emeralds, dangerous jungle treks, blow-darts and cannibals, a 70 million year-old human fossil, fabled lost cities, a mysterious, beautiful android and that's just the first half (and best part) of the book!
The central part cleverly "explains" reincarnation, deja vu, clairvoyance, ghosts, mythical creatures such as centaurs, unicorns, vampires, dragons, etc., UFO's, haunted houses, even slyly alluding to the whereabouts of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, the rats, and the missing children. So, we understand the author's deeper metaphysics.
The final third includes time travel, parallel worlds in time, and the Doppler effect of receding stars as a result of the "Big Bang" and the author's take on modern physics and existence.
_Timefall_ is not quite as mystical or scientific (for both, read Gary Zukav's _The Dancing Wu Li Masters_) as it pretends to be, and does not contain much social comment which is what one expects from fantasy or SF these days.
Among the main characters, Joshua Green strikes one as a fickle flake and Darwina Vine as a vindictive, psychotic fruitcake.
Unlike Joshua, I would not trust a newborn, much less a psychic genius with the power to alter existence itself, to her.
The storyline cannot make its mind up whether its fantasy or SF.
The hero's hokey solution for saving the universe is almost anticlimatic after the wild action-adventure setup. One wishes writers would follow Poe's advise and write their stories backward. (This story seems to be cobbled from the author's wildest speculations which he then ties together very loosely. Loosely is the operative word.) With a particular end in mind, all avenues and choices lead "inevitably" to the conclusion. Kahn's "solution" is so improvised his only hope for credibility is to let us decide if this is a "what if" story. Is it a "true" chronicle of events experienced by his vanished patient Joshua Green or is it just a stylized narrative gambit?
As a chronicle, it's not really a drama/story and the solution chosen is improvised and strikes this reader as quite undramatic. As a story, one that merits a dramatic solution, the author's choice is one out of touch with the adventurous spirit of the book.
Finally, although the relationship between the main character Joshua and his wife, Di, is supposedly deep, this reader did not get that impression. There seems to be a deeper, male-bonding relationship between Fernando and Karl and between Karl and Lon.
Even the epilogue leaves one with a sense of pathos due to the past-present relationship between the author, Dr. Kahn, and his vanished patient, Joshua.
If you like this type of historical/fantasy action-adventure, read Benoit's _La Atlantide_ or Rider Haggard's _She_ or even _My First Two Thousand Years_ which are cleverly written, have some literary merit, and comment on the human condition.
Read _Timefall_ only after you've exhausted your "must read" list. Another critic said that Kahn's other novels are better. Maybe they are. At least I hope so.