This took me a while to get into, but once I had I was hooked. This novel comprises three narratives, two set in the 1910s and one in the 1970s, and deals with the protagonists' travels to and experiences on Te Pito O Te Henua/Easter Island. I was most drawn by Dr Greer Farraday, her research, and her backstory, which was the exciting sort of science - groundbreaking discoveries, academic fraud, extinction, all that sort of thing. As the three stories came together, however, I started paying more attention to the other two. I like the way that Vanderbes leaves some conclusions for the reader to draw; it's nice to be treated as if one were half-way intelligent. I was relieved, too, that the early hints of a tedious faith vs science battle were averted.
One thing I would say is that I was never convinced by the setting - the setting in time, that is; the landscape is very vividly portrayed - the writing around Elsa, Alice and Beazley's expedition always felt a little off, in a way that I can't quite put my finger on. It may be the use of the continuous present; whatever it is, it doesn't feel like 1912. Similarly, Greer et al feel as if they're wandering around in the mid nineties, not the mid seventies, and it's only the challenges faced by Greer's female classmates (who seem to have been shoved in to indicate precisely this) that reminds us that it was a tough life for a woman in academia way back when, oh, and by the way, we are dealing with way back when. The faux military history sections are by far the most convincing stylistically.
Overall, though, I'd recommend this.http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/6378748/