Sunday, January 29, 2012

Time Travelers Never Die (book)

I haven't written a review in quite some time (almost three years). Truth be told I forgot I had this blog. :)

Yesterday I finished the book, Time Travelers Never Die, by Jack McDevitt. If you know me, you know I love stories about Time Travel. This novel, by an author I'd never read before, was extremely fun and enjoyable.

I'm not going to pretend that it was a masterpiece of literary genius, but it was a story I couldn't put down once it began. As always, no spoilers, so read on.

The book read, at times, like a travelogue that didn't advance the plot. Even so, I found those sequences interesting due to the nature of where (or when?) they were traveling.

The time travel theory was pretty solid and stayed consistent throughout the book--something difficult to find in fiction. The author found a creative, if not trivial, way around paradoxes that I had never thought of before. Perhaps it was a plot device, but it worked.

If I had to point out one main flaw in the book, I would say that it was extraordinarily predictable. Throughout about 60 percent of the book, I already knew what would happen next, or down the road. Some things were plainly (and painfully) obvious. The main characters didn't seem to be able to figure out how to solve problems they were encountered with until chapters (or even half the book) after I had already figured it out.

Don't get me wrong. It may sound like I'm being nothing but negative about this novel. In spite of the predictability I found it extremely enjoyable to read. It was, as I said, a very fun story. It was not overly nail-biting or suspenseful but it was an adventure that I didn't want to end.

The final few pages were a bit confusing, and there's one major point that was so confusing that I actually went back to re-read the chapter. It didn't help. Still, it wasn't enough to ruin the book for me. It left me wondering a bit, but did not affect the overall story.

One thing that struck me about the book after I had finished it was how clean it was. Hardly any bad language (if any), and no sexual content. Just an overall fun adventure through time with a few small mysteries mixed in. I enjoyed this book, and the author, enough that as soon as I put it down, I went to the computer and bought another book by the same author.

As it turns out, the author is 81 years old and has written many novels (and won many awards). His newest book (which sounded very interesting) turned out to be book 6 in a series. So I went and ordered book 1 of the series: A Talent for War (Time Travelers Never Die is a stand-alone novel and not related to this 6 book series). I'm excited to find a new author to read and hope this next book of his will be just as good.

My Rating: 4.2/5

My Recommendation: Read this book if you enjoy time travel stories. It was well thought-out and well executed. I didn't give it a 5 only because, while I loved this book, I can't say it's on my top list of best books ever. I just can't bring myself to categorize it with other great books that I've given a 5 to. This is likely due to some sections that seemed a bit slow in travelogue style. But don't let that sway you. It is fun and WORTH READING! :) Enjoy.