I’m a big fan of opening sentences, and the one that opens Frank Allan Rogers Twice Upon a Time is right up there:
August Miles never imagined a dead man could feel so alive.
Bet that one got you wanting to read on. It did me. What happened to August is a murder. His own. He hasn’t lived a sinful (though not criminal) life, so he’s headed for hell, but through an unprecedented set of supernatural circumstances, he returns to earth with the promise that if he fulfills a particular mission, he’ll avoid eternal damnation.
August started out in the 21st Century, but Rogers sets him down on a wagon train in 1847 Independence, MO. Without giving away the assigned mission, I will say that that the journey involves the usual wagon train locations–Grand Island, Independence Rock, Forts Hall and Laramie–that you read about in such tales. And it meets many of the same obstacles–Indians, storms, internal quarrels and romance that are common to stories of that journey. But if you can show me another story of the genre that involves the likes of Socrates, Solomon, Satan, and Daniel Webster, I’ll eat my Kindle. Thus does Rogers give us a fantasy story that’s somehow firmly rooted in reality. Quite a trick, and told in limpid prose that would almost be fit for the young adult were it not for some of the “R” rated sex scenes.
Twice Upon a Time is a moving story that moves like a runaway buffalo all the way from Missouri to Oregon with a few detours to the supernatural along the way. Pick it up. You won’t be sorry.