Reviewed by Erin N.

“Our goal was the construction of a device to transport men instantaneously from one place to another.” – The Kingdom of Ohio

In the late 1890’s, inventor Nikola Tesla spent time in the Kingdom of Ohio where he worked on an idea for an invention. Much to his surprise, he ended up with an unlooked for assistant: the Princess (and heir to the throne), Cheri-Anne Toledo. The project was never finished and before the end of the century, the sovereign kingdom on the South-western edge of Lake Erie effectively came to an end when the royal family perished in a castle explosion during a battle with US Troops.

But, did the family really perish?

In 1900, a young man named Peter Force comes to New York City to join the mining crews hired to dig tunnels for a subway system. Shortly after his arrival, he meets a homeless woman with whom he feels a connection. This woman, Cheri-Anne Toledo, is on a mission to stop an invention battle between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison before their geniuses unravel the fabric of history. Force joins Cheri-Anne in her adventure only to find himself caught up in an intrigue created by JP Morgan, financier of the subway system.

But, do Peter and Cheri-Anne succeed in stopping Tesla and Edison?

In the late 16th century, the American colony of Roanoke goes missing.  The ship captain that brought the colonists to Roanoke instructed them to carve a Maltese Cross on a certain tree if they had met with danger and had been forced to abandon the settlement. When Captain White returned, the word Croatoan was carved on the tree, along with a Christian cross that bore a striking resemblance to the letter T in a family crest unheard of in this world. Fast forward several centuries, and an elderly man named Peter Force visits the Natural History Museum in New York and stumbles upon a strange looking door in the Roanoke Colony display.

The Kingdom of Ohio is a fast paced adventure that incorporates both science fiction and historical fiction (although there is more fiction than history). It is a story about high ideals, social responsibility, Hugh Everett’s theory of Relative State Formulation (think Quantum Leap), love, and the human condition. Flaming engages the reader with fascinating characters, creative scenarios, and footnotes that spark a flurry of research into US history.

Everett’s theory claims that every decision made creates a new universe.  With The Kingdom of Ohio, Flaming has opened a door between these universes.

Rating: 4/5

Erin fell in love with the written word as a small child and subsequently spent most of her life happily devouring literature. She works as a freelance news, marketing, and technical writer. Erin lives just outside of Cleveland, Ohio with her husband, children, and grandchildren.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Berkley Trade. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.