Tag Archives: time travel

So Bad It’s TERRIFIC

I am ashamed by the amount of enjoyment I received from this book.

I mean, it’s really not my fault though.

First off, we have some time travelling children, which are my kryptonite.  And then there are dinosaurs, which turn every frown upside down. Some of the chapters are even narrated by one of the dinosaurs—which I’m slightly embarrassed to even admit.

It’s just a hodge-podge of ridiculousity and I refused to put it down.  Except when there was ice cream or something good on television.

So, we start off with Sal Vikram being saved from a collapsing skyscraper by a mysterious older gentleman named Foster.  She is the newest recruit for The Agency, a secret group that protects history from the ravages of time travel.  Blah blah blah they live underground in a time loop that circuits between Sept 10 and 11 of 2001.  That’s right, they just repeat 9/11 over and over.  I’m not sure why the author picked that time period, as it seems a little insensitive, but whatever, let’s get to the dinosaurs.  The other prepubescent members of this branch of the Agency are Maddy (a computer whiz—there has to be one, of course), and Liam (an Irish boy rescued from the Titanic whose role is apparently just to ask what things are so they can be explained to the reader).  Foster retires or something leaving Maddy in charge, and their master computer Bob (who is currently reading Harry Potter 6 fyi), tells them that their assigned mission is to go forward in time to save the inventor of time travel from assassination.   They have to grow another ‘meat robot’ (their repulsive term, not mine) to act as a bodyguard/servant to assist Liam in his mission.  One of them accidently picks a girl, and the team is all for scrapping that and growing another one, but once Liam sees her boobs he pretty much decides that she’ll work out fine.

The mission goes awry however, a bunch of sciencey things happen that I skimmed over, and Maddy accidently sends Liam, Becks (the sexy meat robot) and a whole class full of kids (including the one that grows up to invent time travel) back 65 million years into the Cretaceous period.  HAHAH DINOSAURS!!!

The rest of the book is switches between what is happening in the 9/11 time loop (boring), what is happening to the kids in Jurassic Park (more interesting) and what the dinosaur spying on them is thinking (AWESOME).

Unsurprisingly, Liam and Becks manage to mess up the past by accidentally teaching a heretofore undiscovered, highly intelligent species of dinosaurs how to use tools.  Mainly spears, which the dinosaurs use to kill lots of the school children (I told you this book was awesome).  I couldn’t help but love Broken Claw (our sentient dinosaur narrator) and kind of hope that he would triumph over the group of pre-teens (even if that meant the end of humankind).  Liam and Becks mistake causes a tear in the time/space continuum or whatnot, causing the future to be forever altered!  Or at least until Maddy and Sal fix it (looking out the door of their magically [or technologically] protected bunker, we see that the present has changed to a leafy jungle populated by a fierce, scary dinosaur race.   The author never explains why the loss of humankind changed New York’s natural environment from forests of deciduous trees to a humid rainforest, but maybe the dinosaurs were masters of climate control.  We’ll never know).

We’ll never know BECAUSE Becks and Liam (or really Becks, lets be honest) fix the problem—first by causing more problems—and then fixing them.  Who cares anymore, I’m just mourning Broken Claw’s untimely demise and our loss of dinosaur culture.

Final verdict?  I won’t be reading the rest of the series, but this book proves that the addition of dinosaurs can make any book a winner.


Will Robots and Humans Ever Peacefully Coexist?

I got The Map of Time as an ARC months and months ago, but it took me a while to get around to reading it, and then even longer to write something about it.   Three things that made me pick it up:  the lovely cover, Victorian London, and time travel (duh).

Surprisingly, I had some trouble getting into the novel in the beginning (I think the fact that I’ve gotten accustomed to reading books for children might be part of the problem).  Also, the book is told from several different perspectives, but that isn’t apparent at first.  I don’t know if it was a wise choice to start out with Andrew Harrington, because quite frankly, I find him very whiny and unlikeable. 

Andrew is one of those poor little rich boys, who is miserable until he falls in love with a prostitute who lives down by the docks in the scary part of London.  Unfortunately, said prostitute gets murdered by Jack the Ripper, and Andrew blames himself for her death (let’s be honest, it’s kind of his fault, since all her prostitute friends are getting dismembered, and he has the money to move her somewhere safer).  Anyway, Andrew’s friend and cousin, Charles, is tired of his moping around (not so much that he is worried about his mental health, but more so that he misses his gambling buddy/wingman), and convinces him that he could solve his problems by going back in time and preventing her death.

Luckily for them, Gilliam Murray has just opened up shop for Murray’s Time Travel, which will transport you back in time for an enjoyable romp through the year 2000, and back again in time for tea.  Gilliam tells the pair a fantastical story about how he discovered time travel, it’s intricacies and idiosyncrasies, and why, though he’d love to help them, he is currently only able to travel to the future, not the past.  However, he is sure H.G. Wells (yes, the author) would be glad to step in.

Wells agrees to loan out the use of his time machine, but when Andrew returns from his mission, he is surprised to find that nothing has changed in his own time.  Wells explains that his actions caused the creation of a parallel universe, where his lover and himself are probably happily married at the moment.  Oddly enough, this seems to be enough for Andrew, and he genially returns to his life of debauchery and throwing his money around.

Then we are introduced to Lucy, who has an overactive imagination and has read entirely too many romance novels.  She decides to buy a ticket to the future from Murray, and intentionally stay behind.  To her disappointment, her plan is thwarted by the vigilant tour guide, but not before she meets the leader of the human resistance (against the robots, natch) and falls in love with him.  This leads to all sorts of complicated maneuvers, letters, and H. G. Wells’ involvement again, to facilitate their romance.

I will have to stop my summary here, because if I continue, I’m afraid I’ll spoil the plot twists, and that is really the best part of the novel.  Without giving too much away, I’ll just say the author is very good at convincing you of one thing, then surprising you with another, before tricking you into believing something else.  Things kind of got mad crazy at the end, but the story is very imaginative, and I enjoyed seeing how the characters plotlines ended up overlapping and influencing one another.

Warning: things might not be what they seem.