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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Time Agency by Aaron Frale

I have always been a fan of time travel stories.  I have stopped listening to experts when they say time travel cannot be done.  After all, how can there be time travel experts if there can be no time travel (some kind of conspiracy maybe?). I also like stories that weave a web of mystery.  So, when I saw this book it seemed to fit some of my favorite categories.

We start off the story with a deep mystery.  It is the main character only we do not know who, where or even when he is.  It is an interesting variation on teaching a new world through a new inhabitant or student.  Here we have somebody well versed in its intricacies only, he can't remember what they are.  The problem comes in the narration.  I'm not averse to the more experimental but, I believe the experiment failed somewhat here.  The book used not only two different POVs, it used two different perspectives.  Perspective shifts from third to first person every time the POV shifts back to the main character.  The reader has to be especially watchful for changes in voice to pick up on this change.  It does highlight the unreliability of the main character as narrator but, I still believe it could have been done a bit more elegantly by sticking to one perspective.  It would have made for a longer story but, if it is a good one, who would mind.

Character development is another tricky aspect with this one.  In this case, it isn't a bad thing.  The main character is in constant flux because he is constantly reevaluating himself and his own motivations as much as everybody else around him if not more so.  It can be one part maddening to two parts exciting depending which part of the book you are in.

I am a big Doctor Who fan (Whovian if you please) and can withstand the mental stresses, strains and leaps required to really get into any time travel story.  With that said, this book wore me out with its whiplash changes in time, scenery and perspective.  Oddly, it took a bit too much time to straighten some of it out in my head for me to really enjoy it.  The language and violence land this one firmly in the PG13 rating.

 

 

Robert

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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