Lately I have been reading books containing time travel as part of their theme. One of my favorites was Replay by Ken Grimwood. I also enjoyed Door into Summer by Robert Heinlein when I read it but don’t remember it now, making it a decent read but not outstanding. There was a time when I couldn’t get enough of Heinlein and in fact got my fist ‘A’ from Mr. Allen, a devil of an high school English teacher who sent our papers out to professional graders. (Until he showed up, I could write ‘A’ papers during the five minutes before the bell rang!) I used a line out of Revolt 2100, something to do with censorship being the keystone to tyranny, which seemed to appeal to my 16-year-old mind and libertarian streak. But I have digressed. As I was saying, I seem to be on a time travel streak and while this new book has some time travel in it, it is not central.
By J. M. Dattilo
Imagine being a Commander in the Galactic Armed Forces and on a mission so secret that you can’t be told what it is. Imagine being thrown into another time and place with no explanation. Imagine being stuck with a smart-mouthed computer, an ultra-correct android, and a seven-foot tall monster who knows both Santa Claus and Shakespeare. Imagine being lost in time with a woman who may either be falling in love with you or trying to kill you. Imagine being in a place that sits between worlds, dimensions, and times. Imagine Time’s Edge. Time's Edge is the first place winner of the Tassy Walden Award, a literary prize given by the Shoreline Arts Alliance of Connecticut. A fast-paced, lighter tale, the story blends adventure, humor, and romance in a fun-to-read mix of sci-fi and fantasy.
About the book:
First, I believe the Amazon description is does not come close to capturing the story. It may be inviting but doesn’t do justice to the actual story. In fact, it is misleading. So, imagine being a Commander in the Galactic Armed Forces on a mission so secret you aren’t even told the truth about it. All you know is you are to bring a probe home from Old Earth sidetime. When you get there you meet a girl who immediately saves your life from a laser beam (you don’t know how she knew) and then there is a blast sending both of you to an unknown place where a huge monster with sharp teeth greets you as if he knows you. After entering a strange cavern and going through a series of tests, you and the girl are released to walk to another building some 4 kilometers away. There you find people are expecting the woman. Still you don’t know who these people are, why you are here, and whether or not you can trust the woman you are with. The fun doesn’t end there because someone is trying to kill you, the woman, or both and you have no idea why. Those that do know won’t tell you.
This is a light romantic science fiction with some paranormal overtones. (Remember that one man’s magic is another man’s science!). I believe it works on all those levels. The romance isn’t overpowering and made logical sense in a way. The science fiction part was easy to digest and the paranormal parts, though pretty extensive were quite acceptable since we are dealing with aliens and not present day humans.
The plot is rather simple but done quite well. I do wish there had not been a prolog, though, as it took much of the suspense away. Instead of wondering who Kate and Michael were, the readers wonder when someone will tell them the truth.
I was drawn to Michael and then to Kate from the start: I empathized with them; I understood them; I wanted them to be my friends. I also rather liked Edgar and was completely taken by Darya. There were other characters intended for audience appeal, I suppose, but none of them spoke to me. In fact, I only liked Alrick in his role as professor and once the affinity was lost, I never regained it.
I do have one pet peeve, with this story, TV dramas, movies, and other books. Rant begins: Why, oh, why when the hero has a chance to kill or totally disable his opponent doesn’t he do it and be done with it? If the author needs to have the evil doer escape, be creative. Don’t make you hero a pansy! This book is full of places where I couldn’t understand the withholding of deadly force and one place where Michael KILLS two people but lets the evil one live. Oh come on! Okay rant is over.
I truly liked the book and found it fun to read. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun to read, light romantic science fiction. One more thing, the Amazon description seems to make this book out to be similar to Allen Dean Foster's Myth Adventures series. It is not. It is much more serious.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Now we turn to Non-fiction Friday but I am going to take a little leeway here with our next choice. This will be a book of humor, written by a comedian about his life in the United States. I do believe the author takes a little literary license in what he has written, so non-fiction might not be as accurate as we normally have on Fridays.
By Yakov Smirnoff
About the book:
There are twenty six chapters in this book, each with its own lesson, or message, told by Smirnoff with examples from his own life, with dry humor and wit. From page 64 – “I’m Yakov from Russia,” I said. “So where do all the Russians hang out in Texas?” He said, “On a tree, boy.”
This book does have some interesting takes on life’s adventures. Some of the lessons are a little hard to follow, as it is left up to the reader to find their way to how Smirnoff came to his conclusions. The book does have some dry humor in it, humor is not a big part of this book
I did like this book and recommend it. Amazon lists some used books from their resellers or you can go to www.yakov.com and pay full price for the book.