Tag Archives: Time Travel

Time’s Divide – Rysa Walker (Chronos Files#3)

‘The Chronos Files’ is Walker’s time travel series.  Historians from the future, trained by Chronos, to go back in time to observe.  One person, however, deviates from plan causing a handfull of them to get stuck in their last assignment.  The Revisionist changes key events, creates a religion, and starts a movement causing the entire timeline to shift.  No one can return to Chronos or their time.  Kate’s Grandmother, an eccentric woman she knows little about except her mother hates her, requested she live with her for the summer.  She’s not inclined to, but her college will be paid for if she agrees.  It has a classic leaning, except canon wouldn’t accept a grandmother who technically isn’t born yet.  Kate’s grandmother needs her to fix the past so she can be born.  What I’ve described is the basis of Walker’s trilogy.  The Young Adult time travel series is solid, and complex, enough most people should enjoy it.  There is a love triangle, more or less – it depends on what timeline your in – but it’s handled well.  Walker uses detailed/discriminating theory for her basis of time travel and sticks with it.  People who get frustrated at lengthy scientific explanations shouldn’t be overwhelmed.  Those who need the philosophy to hold up to basic scrutiny will be content.  Walker struck a delicate balance.  Book three, ‘Time’s Divide,’ has twists.  In it she ends her trilogy with Kate being forced to travel to the future despite fears and warnings.

The Cyrists, a religion, has infiltrated governments, law enforcement, and society.  It was created by Brother Saul with help from Sister Prudence.  Saul’s roots are several centuries in the future.  He claims to want to fix the mistakes of the past for a better future, but his motivations are questionable.  The only thing truly evident is he will use any method, or person, to achieve his ends.  He destroyed the future Kate’s grandmother knew.  Kate is trying to fix it with the limited tools, Chronos Keys and Diaries, her grandmother brought with her on assignment.  Keys combined with specific genetics allow a person to travel in time.  The combination is rare.  Kate is her grandmothers last hope at tracking down the remaining unaccounted for Keys.  She is tasked to keep them out of Cyrist hands, and fix the timeline.  Every step forward shifts reality.  Shifts cause confusion, physical pain, and losses.  The last two books dealt with specific events in history, the Chicago World’s Fair, when JFK was shot, etc. Ultimately, in ‘Time’s Divide’ Kate has to infiltrate the Cyrists and travel into the future.  The problem with this is it is an unknown.  Saul’s actions may have destroyed it leaving a void.  She has nothing to research and nothing she can rely on.

Kate Rudd narrated the audio version I listened to, and she does will with it.  She is consistent in her character interpretation and differentiation.  I prefer to listen to this series rather than read it, but you should like it either way.

I enjoyed The Chronos Files trilogy and Kate’s travels to the past.  Walker wrapped up the story well.  She did leave herself an opening to continue but this is supposed to be the last book.  We’ll see.  Since I have more fascination with history than the future this was not my favorite of the series, but it was good.  Walker delivered on her large cliffhanger from the second book.  I think she could have done more with it, but she had an awful lot to complete in this book.  If you are looking for a quick read, small history lessons, well executed concepts of time travel, and action I recommend the series for you.


Time Salvager – Wesley Chu

A couple of things up front.  I love Wesley Chu’s writing and adore his Tao Series.  I was more than a little excited to get this.  I preordered the audio version assuming Mikael Naramore was narrating it as he did the Tao Series.   I didn’t check in my bouncing anticipation.  – So, this is where I say the experience was not what I expected.  I did like it – once I got over the fact it was narrated by Kevin T. Collins.  He’s not bad, but he was not what I was anticipating.  That, combined with the fact I listened to the first two chapters at 1.25 speed by accident, didn’t help the situation.  The first two chapters did not impress me.  I had new characters.  I grew to love Grace, The Mother of Time, but I was disgusted with her decadent and crass introduction.  I need to reiterate, I did grow to like ‘Time Salvager’, but I stopped listening after the first three chapters.  I had already read one book recently where I had pushed on when I was not in the mood for it.  It did not help that situation and only led to me being unhappy and grumpy about it.  I wasn’t going to make the same mistake with this book.  I waited.

So, it was with much lower expectations, I started to listen to it a couple of weeks later – at the correct speed and no unfair expectations for Collins or Chu.  It was much better.  Time Salvager is basically a Space Opera about a time-traveling, drunk, bounty hunter named James Griffin Mars.  He’s not very old but he’s precocious in becoming a weathered old grouch.  He’s also not really a bounty hunter.  He’s a respectable chronman who travels to the past, with very specific and important rules, to steal power generators and technology moments before it’s to be destroyed.  – All in the pursuit to save humanity.  It’s a losing battle.  The future is not bright and the worst thing about his job is coming back to his present time.  Most Chronmen don’t last very long.  They either die during a job or fly off in a blazing suicide.  Very few can buy out of their contracts and many try to hide in the past.  That creates time ripples, however, so the Auditors must come back for you, kill you, and anything and everything you screwed up to fix the timeline.  It’s not a happy situation.

When James and his best friend (only friend) and handler gets news of a job that can shave years off their contracts they jump – as much as a man like James jumps at anything.  It’s shady, for the Valta Corporation, and his Handler has to keep him sober enough to get through the psychological review for this certain death job.  This job destroys everything in James life.  He will break the time laws he holds sacred, become a traitor to Chronocom, lose his mind, and maybe find a chance for redemption.

Space Opera is not my first love, but I adore time-travel and science fiction.  I say this to give you some context to my opinion.  Chu created a dystopia.  It is dark, but Chu is Chu, so he still laced in humor and characters I grew to love despite their flaws.  What isn’t obvious is the book is about relationships, trust, loyalty, and people allowing themselves to feel emotion – any emotion.  When the future is so dark you stay drunk on really bad whiskey so you can get to the past to drink amazing vintage bottom shelf whiskey this is a challenge.

Chu wrote a good story.  I enjoyed it but he indulged in creating his own futuristic lingo and curses.  I understand why people do it.  I agree that people in the future will say different things than we do and to use current slang will date it, but I hate it.  I hate when anybody does it.  It’s not just Chu.  The rest of his writing is fine.  He uses more profanity, both modern and made up, compared his other books but it was only noticeable in the first couple of chapters.  It is something to be aware of, however, if it bothers you.

I will definitely be reading the second book that is planned.  The story has good bones.   I will also listen to it.  I was not initially impressed with Collins narration but it grew on me.  He established a rhythm and distinguished Chu’s characters.  In the end he won me over.

Time’s Edge (Chronos Files#2) – Rysa Walker

Time's Edge (The CHRONOS Files, #2)


I recently finished the first book of this series, ‘Time Bound.’  I gobbled it up.  This book was no different.  I shoveled it in without swallowing.  I couldn’t put it down.  We get more time travel, new time lines, people who are different because the time line has changed.  It was intriguing and fun.  The first book took us to the 1893 Chicago Worlds Fair stocked with the serial killer H. H. Holmes.  This one we takes us to the assassination of JFK, and the campaign trail of Roosevelt.  Walker picks some fascinating times and places for her characters to travel.  This is the great second installment of the Chronos Files and I encourage you to acquire it.

Kate is back in her original timeline.  There are a few minor things that have changed but the important things, like her parents existing and having her, are back to the way they were.  She is working hard to restore the timeline with Catherine, her grandmother, Connor, and Kiernan’s help.  They are tracking down the keys of the other historians who were stranded when Saul destroyed Chronos.  It’s not always easy to convince them of what has happened, or that they need to give up the keys.  Add to those issues that some of the missions are downright dangerous putting Kate in the path of crocodiles, flying bullets, and lynchings.

This is enough to deal with but Kate is being run ragged by her grandmother whose cancer is progressing making her moody, forgetful, and impatient.  Kate loves her but when she is dealing with Kiernan, who wants her to be his Kate (a Kate that no longer exists due to the disruption of the timeline who loved Kiernan, it’s a bit stressful.  Kiernan tells her how the missions went during the alternate timeline and how frustrated she was with Catherine.  It helps but also fires some frustrations with her grandmother.  Add to the fact she followed through and  introduce herself to the new  timeline Tre, her old boyfriend, and they are trying to figure out exactly what they are to one another.  I previously said that there wasn’t really a love triangle but in book two it legitimately develops into one.  If these irritate you I encourage you to read the books anyway because the rest of the book make up for including the young adult trap.

The Cyrists didn’t go away and they are as dangerous as ever.  In ‘Time’s Edge,’ you learn more about the religion, how and why Saul created them, and about Prudence’s involvement.  Shifting timelines change the level of popularity of the Cyrists but not their fundamental beliefs or structure.  Those remain the same.

Sometimes the second book in a series fails miserably, but Walker did well by keeping our interest with a legitimate storyline that ends in a true cliffhanger.  I’m just as impatient for the third book as I was the second.  She gave us more character history, more information to flesh out motives, and historical information that does not stray to far from the truth.

It is young adult science fiction, but it is good enough to keep adults interested and entertained.  Parents have nothing to worry about in having their teenagers read this.  Swearing is minimal if not non-existant. Sexual relationships are discussed but I would say it is age appropriate.  You can always read it first, but I would say it’s probably an excuse to get your hands on the book before the teenager in the house to avoid having to wait.  Enjoy.

I received this from NetGalley and Amazon Children’s Publishing in return for an honest review.

Timebound – Rysa Walker

Timebound (The Chronos Files, #1)

Time Travel, strong female lead, 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, multiple time lines – what’s not to like.  ‘Timebound’ is the first in Rysa Walker’s Chronos Series.  At this point we know there will be at least three books in the series.  The second book is scheduled to drop on October 21, 2014.  I’m ready for it now.  This is light and fun young adult fiction adults can enjoy.  Walker would have delved much deeper into the science of time travel etc. had it been for an adult audience but  ‘Timeboound’ is still solid.  In some respects it has a flavor of Connie Willis’s take on time travel, but that detracted nothing for me.  Walker also travels to The White City of the 1893 Chicago Worlds Fair.  This is an intriguing time frame for the amount of inventions, scientific discovery, rampant crime, the onslaught of a huge population influx in Chicago for a short period of time, and the notorious serial killer H. H. Holmes.  Walker takes us into this world without overwhelming amounts of historical information or exploiting the dark gritty level of crime to the level of ‘Devil in the White City.’  I enjoyed this book quite a bit.

Prudence Kate Pierce-Keller is a sixteen year old girl who goes to the private school her father works at.  She splits her time between her mom and dad’s house.  The book opens with her grandmother, Katherine, coming into town and unexpectedly wanting to meet with Kate and her mother, Barbara.  Barbara is reluctant,  she has a terrible relationship with her mother.  She only agrees to meet with her because  of Katherine’s diagnosis of cancer.  During the awkward lunch Katherine states she is leaving the house and everything to Kate.  Completely unconditionally she wants Kate and her mother, or Kate and her father, to stay with her so she can get to know her grandchild.  Since Kate is curious and it will be a cold day in hell before Barbara lives with Katherine, Kate and her father move in.

This is where things get interesting.  Her grandmother is  a trapped time traveler from the future.  Who knew? She has a medallion that glows for those with the ability of time travel.  Kate sees blue light and that capability is about to change her life.  Kate is a genetic anomaly, but the integrity of the time line depends on her.  In the future, where Katherine met her husband Saul Rand, children are scientifically altered to increase their abilities and make them suited to specific professions.  Katherine and Saul are historians who, who work for Chronos, and travel through time.  It is very strict about rules.  They protect and ensure the time line is unaltered.  Saul has different ideas, however.  He builds the Cyrist Religion while he is on assignment to purposefully change history.  Aided by his knowledge of the future he amasses power and uses it and the church to control history.  On the day Katherine got stranded in 1969 along with the other historians Saul set off a bomb that made it impossible for them to return to their time.

Saul, however, has not been lazy.  He figured out that while he can not time travel descendants of time travelers can.  He used the Cyrist religion to adapt and alter the timeline.  Kate is the only weapon Katherine has to counteract the damage he is creating.  The story brings us to the center of the 1893 Chicago Worlds Fair.  Kate is on a mission to save her family and history.

This was a delightfully fun book.  It’s just complicated enough, and just accurate enough that I could suspend disbelief and enjoy Walker’s first installment of the Chronos Series.  I said that I believe both young adults and adults can enjoy this.  Does it fall into YA traps?  The romance could be considered a love triangle, but, maybe not.  Can you really have a love triangle when the two male pieces of this puzzle only exist in different time lines?  It’s a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no.  You don’t have two petulant boys pushing a girl to choose to love them and only them.  So, I would say no, and Walker succeeded with the minor romantic element.

What I read is dependent on my moods.  Sometimes I want something that will really challenge me.  That is when I turn to the epics and Umberto Eco.  Sometimes I want something dark and gritty.  That is when I go for mysteries and crime thrillers.  Sometimes I want something lighter that is pure entertainment.  This is when I usually reach for YA, maybe a Nora Roberts book, or light Urban fantasy.  This book falls in this category but I have to give Walker credit and say this is on the higher level of YA.  It’s not just filler or candy.  Now, we get to wait for book two…sigh…

Dragonfly in Amber: Outlander #2 – Diana Gabaldon

Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2)

The first time I “read” Outlander I listened to Davina Porter’s unabridged narration and loved it. I read Dragonfly in Amber the first time and was disappointed. It was good but it wasn’t as good as Outlander and parts were honestly irritating.  When Claire and Jaime reach France the court intrigue and sexual interactions started to grate.  There is a lot of drama between Jamie and Claire but also regarding their ability and decision to sway the capricious Bonnie Prince Charlie.  The sexual interaction felt excessive and while Gabaldon was just as detailed in various liaisons in Outlander it felt like it didn’t take anything from the story.  This is a romance absolutely, and I don’t snub romances, but the level of storytelling wasn’t as strong  as in her previous book.

I tried to reread it because I felt I had missed parts of the story but gave up –  because I wasn’t paying attention and just could not get through it. I thought if I listened to Davina Porter’s interpretation it would be better. It was, but not as much as I hoped. I was able to finish it and got the information I needed, but it’s just not as good as some of Gabaldon’s other books. This is what I will say. Some parts are fantastic, others you just have to get through. You do, however, have read this so you can enjoy her other books. Davina Porter improves the experience and I would say the audible version is the way to go.

*Just so you know, the third book Voyager, is totally worth it.

All Clear – Connie Willis

All Clear

I love historical fiction and science fiction so you could say this series is made for me but I would say Connie Willis did even better on this book than the first. It has more action and ties all the stories together neatly.  This is the sequel to Black Out which is set in World War II in London.  The series follows three time travelers and the entourage they accumulate during the Blitz.  It is a unique take on what an everyday Londoner rather than a War Hero or spy experienced.  This focused more on the shop girls, elderly men and women, and children experience.  All with an enjoyable bit of time travel.

I will say I’m disappointed there is not to be a third in this series. I wanted more. I wanted to hear more about Elaine and Polly. I won’t say more about that for fear of spoilers. Katherine Kellgren did a fabulous job narrating this on Audible. After I finished this I got the Doomsday Book (also by Connie Willis) and if you read it, in my opinion, Connie Willis did a much better job on this series but All Clear in particular. Don’t miss out on this. I made my mother, not a huge science fiction fan but a definite fan of historical WWII fiction and non-fiction, download this on her kindle. I don’t do that for anyone because I try not to force anyone to read anything but I made an exception this time. ….oh, and she loved it!

Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

Outlander (Outlander, #1)

With the TV series set to come out the summer of 2014. I decided I wanted to read/listen to this book again because it had been some time since I had read it. I have read and listened to this book previously. Yes, it’s that good, and now let me explain why this is a favorite and why I prefer to listen to Davina Porter narrate than for me to sit and read it.
Outlander is the story of an English war nurse who after World War II returns to Scotland where she and her husband first got married. They are there on vacation and while Frank, her husband she has not seen in 7 years, is a wonderful loving man he is also a history professor and much obsessed with researching his family tree. She stumbles across a stone circle in a new desire to study botany (a hobby to keep her busy now she does not have many wounded men to care for) This stone circle pulls her back in time before the Scottish rebellion with Prince Charlie. She is clearly an outsider and gets pulled into a political web between the Scottish and British. You see Claire, an amazingly strong female character, deal with the time she has been brought back to and how she deals with the small amount of knowledge of the time she has, and what the reality compared to the history is.

This is a wonderful book. It brings the rawness of the history to life. It is not sugar-coated. It is well researched. You can rely on the history drawn in this book, the details are accurate, and you can smell and taste Scotland from Diana Gabaldon’s descriptions.

A bit of a warning. This is definitely a romance. The sexual material is described in as much detail as the rest of the book. This is not simple period erotica because there is a well researched and well-formed story but it is explicit. It also does deal with sexual violence towards both men and women. It is not biased. Sex is both positive and negative in the book and is not a tool to degrade women but it is a reality of the time and handles situations that would have been dealt with in the historical time. Likewise, there is a lot of violence and some profanity. There is a reason the TV show is being produced by Starz and not another network like FOX or NBC.

It is a wonderful book and Davina Porter handles the varied accents and character differentiation with ease. I love listening to her read this book. I can not create the beautiful accents she does in my own head. She does a masterful job that heightens the overall experience. Enjoy this book.

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