Thursday, February 21, 2013

Entering a Time Warp

Science fiction is usually fun reading. After all, almost anything can happen since one man's magic is another man's science. There are limitations if the fiction is set on earth with regular earthlings - no werewolves, vampires, witches, or magic out of thin air.  Yet even those might be found in a science story with the proper backstory. Some say time travel is one of these fantasy things, though for me, the jury is still out.  Today's selection by  Cotton E. Davis hinges on time travel and if you liked Connie Willis' "The Doomsday Book" rules for time travel, I believe you will like Cotton's set up as well. (check out his website - )

  • Time Warp, INC
  • By Cotton E. Davis
  • Length: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Champagne Books (November 21, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1927454875
  • ISBN-13: 978-1927454879

From Amazon:
      When historian Gwen Hoffman first meets time traveler Mike Garvin, an ex-Special Forces weapons sergeant back from ancient Gaul, where he was embedded as a centurion in Julius Caesar's elite 10th Legion, she is more than a little put off. Scarred and dangerous-looking, the man appears more thug than time traveler. Yet he is the person TimeWarp, Inc. is sending back in time to protect Jeshua bar Yosef (Christ) from twenty-first century assassins; the man Gwen was assigned to prepare for life in first-century Galilee. Gwen has no idea she will end up in Roman Palestine, where she will not only meet Jesus but face danger alongside Mike in the adventure of a lifetime.

About the Book:
     This story opens with  Mike Garvin, ex-Special Forces sergeant fighting inside Caesar's forces. Garvin has been embedded in the time of Julius Caesar for over nine years and fully expects to live out his life there when Len Harper, chief administrator, shows up. 
     As much as Garvin hates it, he must return to the twenty-first century. Someone has leaked valuable time travel technology and that information has found its way into Iranian hands. Now they have the capability to travel through time and they intend to use it to change the balance of power in the present. But the Iranian plot to kill Jesus ,before he can influence the world, has found its way back to the powers in the United States.  Garvin's new time travel assignment is to protect Jesus at all costs.
      Little did Garvin know he would fall for anyone before he left on assignment, especially for Gwen, a mousey girl (at first), or that his feelings would be his ultimate downfall.  But neither did Gwen realize, as she was ordered to train Garvin, she was about to meet her first true love nor that she would land in the time of Jesus! 
    There is romance, intrigue, spying, and of course religion discussion from all sides (believers, agnostics, and atheists) which all work to keep this book interesting and moving.

My Take:
   There are so many things to love about this book. Davis does a fine job of creating a cast of characters, each distinctive from the others; each with some pretty clear motivations. The main setting for each of the three major parts of the story are clearly described without weighing down the story. In fact, Davis knows how to give enough detail about persons and places for us to feel a part of the story without slowing the reader down - something that takes real talent. The romance, which starts with a chapter devoted to Gwen, is a little like a miniature romance novel with the shy Gwen taking a dislike to the guy she falls for. But the romance is only part of the story, a necessary part, and it never overshadows the science fiction. There is plenty of discussion about religion in this story, we are after all, going back in time to Jesus, but this book does no preaching.  Instead the discussions are what you might hear anywhere agnostics, believers, and atheists gather to have open talks about Jesus.  The internal politics are believable and the external politics seem to be a ready extension of what is happening in the world today. I especially like the Iranians reasoning behind their plans to kill Jesus before he starts his ministry because it is logical. I am surprised this is Davis' first novel - it is that good. 
    There is violence and some sexual activity - though it is behind the scenes - so anyone who watches mainstream TV should not be offended by this book.

My Recommendation:
I highly recommend this to anyone who likes a good time travel tale. If you like a good romantic tale, you won't be disappointed in this story, although the ending is not a typical romance ending.  

1 comment:

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