Raymond Wright Is Missing: From The Janus Project Files
Outskirts Press 2021
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (09/12)
For those familiar with Anderson’s brilliant books, among them being “The Janus Project” and “The Genesis of Janus,” this particular title will ring bells for you. Although this one is a different type of story than most of The Janus Files collection of books, I must say that I think I enjoyed it the best. Not only is the story well-crafted and exciting, which is what you already expect from this author, but it also took me on an odyssey I was not expecting. So my advice, right off the bat for readers, is make sure you have a lot of free time when you begin this book, because you will not want to put it down.
To catch everyone up, The Janus Project, itself, is a witness protection program that is kept secure and under wraps from the world. The special project utilizes a time travel device that is used to transport witnesses through what is called a ‘Master Portal’ that takes said witnesses back to a time and location in the past.
Raymond Wright just happens to live in the woods near a Department of Energy test site that serves as a cover for The Janus Project Campus. When he does something he shouldn’t – tries to steal equipment from a Janus construction site – Raymond is nearly electrocuted. Being that I don’t want to give anything away, let me just say that when he recovers and awakens in the Janus hospital, he steps through the Master Portal opening, heading straight to the woods…and literally disappears into an unknown, unspecified past. Raymond finds out early on that this woodsy area looks nothing like his normal home. In fact, he’s been sent into prehistoric times. Now, do the T-Rex’s start chasing him? Well…let us just say that survival IS his most important goal but, thankfully, Dr. Randy Vitek, the inventor of the time travel device, is back home and working diligently to find him; the doctor’s one and only goal is to bring Raymond Wright back home.
If you are a sci-fi fan or an adventure fan, this is the one for you. There were times I felt like I was back in the 80’s watching Indiana Jones, because I became mesmerized by the scenes, the action, the characters, and everything else about this tale.
The two separate locales added an extra level of ‘cool’ to this story. Raymond Wright’s wilderness and the dangers that exist there, from the two ‘Indian’ tribes to the mastodons, saber-toothed tigers, and the unforgivable winter, is something you’ll never forget. Add that to Dr. Randy Vitek’s off-the-charts mechanism that is most definitely futuristic, and you have two storylines that meld perfectly. In addition, the emotions and feelings Vitek has of guilt that Raymond is where he is, makes him all the more real and allows readers to truly feel his remorse.
If you wish to enjoy that edge-of-your-seat excitement and suspense, Brad Anderson has delivered. And then, when you’re thrilled by this, I suggest going back and reading his other books. You will not be disappointed.