The Company of the Dead by David Kowalski (2007)


Bibliographic information:

  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books; First Edition edition
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857686666
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857686664


Author: David Kowalski

A man time travels to 1912 destined to prevent the sinking of the Titanic and in result, causes a world where the United States never endured World War I.


A man is sent back in time to March 1912 to prevent the Titanic from sinking. He wasn’t necessarily successful but he changed the course of American history. The grandnephew of John F. Kennedy is one of six people to attempt to restore America’s history back to the way we know it. Instead of a United States of America, America is occupied by Germany and Japan, the Confederates and the Unions still exist, and there was never a World War.


The Company of the Dead is very fast-paced. The author does not waste any time moving from one thing to the next. So fast-paced that if you’re not paying your full attention, you may miss something and become confused. Either way, The Company of the Dead is a very interesting story about time travel along with the historical underlines of the Titanic and the whole tragedy behind it.

VOYA’s Review Codes (scale here):

Quality: 4Q

Popularity: 3P

Genre and Subgenres:

Alternative histories, Australian fiction, science fiction

Book Discussion Questions:

If you were to go back in time to save the Titanic, how would you do it?

What did you think of the ending when everyone realized they’ve been on this mission before, many times?

In what ways did Lightholler and Kennedy’s relationship change from the beginning of the book to the end?

Do you think Morgan was jealous of Lightholler and Kennedy’s relationship?

Why I chose it:

I honestly stumbled across this book because I was looking for Time and Again by Jack Finney. Time and Again inspired Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63, which I recommended to my dad and he loved it. He was interested in Time and Again so I was going to buy it for his birthday and stumbled upon The Company of the Dead along the way. I chose it for my Reader’s Advisory project because I don’t read a lot of science fiction books.

Author Interview

Book Reviews:

Publishers Weekly

Geeks of Doom

Readalike Titles:

1636 by Eric Flint

Designated Targets by John Birmingham

On the Oceans of Eternity by S. M. Stirling

Awards Won:

Aurealis Awards (Australia): Best Science Fiction Novel

Author: thefinalchapterssite

Frantically reading 35 books in 4 months! Really intimidating and definitely a challenge. The VOYA Review Scale: Quality: 5Q - Couldn't be better written 4Q - Writing is not perfect, but very good 3Q - No major writing issues 2Q - Probably needs additional work 1Q - Major writing issues, so bad that the reader can't fully enjoy the book Popularity: 5P: Wildly popular, probably wait until the craze dies down to read it 4P: People will read to see what the fuss is about 3P: May convince some people with pushing 2P: Not for everyone 1P: Only for people interested in the subject matter

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