You will never read Denny Younger's name in any history book, will never know what he's done. But even if you did, you'd never believe it. The world as you know it wouldn't be the same without him. Denny was born into one of the lowest rungs of society, but his bleak fortunes abruptly change when the mysterious Upjohn Institute recruits him to be a Rewinder, a verifier of personal histories. The job at first sounds like it involves researching old books and records, but Denny soon learns it's far from it. A Rewinder's job is to observe history. In person. Embracing his new life with enthusiasm, Denny witnesses things he could never even imagine before. But as exciting a life as this is, there are dangers, too. For even the smallest error can have consequences. Life-altering consequences. Time, after all, is merely a reference point.
©2014 Brett Battles (P)2014 Audible Inc.
"Rewinder has it all - plot, characters, settings, reversals, and a couple of scenes that could rank among the best in Orphan Black." - (Timothy Hallinan, author of the Poke Rafferty thrillers and the Junior Bender mysteries)
I am an audiobook enthusiast who reviews audiobooks for his blog, The Guilded Earlobe. You can find me on Twitter @guildedearlobe talking about zombies, robots, monkeys and audiobooks.
Brett Battles seems to enjoy writing Thrillers, no matter the subgenre. In his latest standalone thriller, Rewinder, Battles gives time travel a go with solid results. Rewinder reads like a cross between Poul Anderson's Time Patrol stories, and Steven Jay Gould's Jumper series. It's not a particularly groundbreaking entry into the fray of time travel adventure, in fact, if anything, Battles quickly infuses the story with the feel of a pair of comfortable jeans. Instead of trying to create some clever new way to spin the genre, he puts his own spin onto time honored tropes. Like Jumper, Rewinder can work equally well as a Young Adult or Adult novel. While Battles main character Denny Younger is, well, younger, he doesn't instantly fall into the character trapping of many young adult protagonist. Battles offers some interesting sociological insights, yet does it as a plot point, where his goal isn't social commentary but just telling a damn good story. Battles creates a fast paced, exciting tale, with plenty of twists, that fans of old school time travel adventure novels will find perfect for an afternoon reading.
Narrating is more than just having a pleasant voice, and the ability to do character voices. A good narrator finds the right feel for a novel, and pushes the narrative in the right direction. Vikas Adams gives a strong textured performance, with a crisp reading that gives homage to the pulp nature of the tale. I have always admired Adams ability to handle both adult and children characters smoothly, something that isn't really easy to do. I like that Adams gave Denny a youthful feel, yet still acknowledged that he was an adult doing an adult job. He captures the right blend of coming of age naivete, with a hardened edge of young man who grew up in the fringes of his society. Rewinder isn't going to blow your mind, or have you rethink everything you knew about time travel, instead it will give you 8 hours of solid entertainment.
This book was awesome!! I've never heard of any of the authors work but I have to say that is this is any indication, then I will have to check out more from him.
The world building was amazing! Denny lives in a world where class is measured by numbers, 1 being the best. Denny is an 8 which means he is among the lowest class. Everyone has to take a test when they come of age and that test will give them their jobs for life. Denny expects to do something mundane like his father but the day of the results dawn and Denny is informed that he must resit the test. From then on Dennys world changes forever!! He is offered a job on the spot, only catch is that he won't know what the job involves until he accepts it! He will also be promoted to a level 5. He accepts, of course, cause there has to be more to life than being a lowly 8!!
He finds out that he is a Rewinder and has the power to jump back to any date in time! His job is to take notes and keep hidden but when something accidentally happens to alter history and his world as he knows it, he struggles with whats the right thing to do, should he fix the past and bring back his world or leave it and keep the world as we know it?
Character wise, Denny is a worthy hero. He is studious, smart and kind. He is offered the job of a lifetime and immediately accepts. When he learns that he will be a Rewinder, a person that can travel into the past, he is so happy. History was always his favourite subject. Denny questions everything and has a strong sense of right and wrong. I loved his spirit!
Plot wise, it was so well thought out and executed! I was sucked in from the very first page and swept along in a breathtaking journey for the whole book. The Rewinders job is to go back in time and observe only!! Never to interfere and never to deviate. They mainly go back into a wealthy persons history and map it for them, but is that all they do?
The Rewinder aspect was fascinating. If you left yourself think to much about the intricacies of what they were doing then it would boggle the mind!! Denny first goes back into time with his instructor and while there there are about 5 or 6 other groups, with the same woman instructor. She says that she always brings the first timers here so each of them are her from a different time! I'm not making sense but when you read it it does!! Denny also sees himself in different times and can talk to himself. It's quite complex but the author nails it and at no stage was I confused!
In all, Rewinder was a fast paced and very exciting read. It's the type of book thats so hard to put down because you need to see what happens next. There are quite a few twists and you cant tell what is going to happen. It's a well written and thought out book and one you will devour. I loved everything about it and really hope we see more from Denny in the future.
I listened to the audio and once again Vikas Adam did an amazing job. He pulls you in and easily distinguishes each character. His tone and inflection are perfect. There are a few narrators that have made my favourite list and Vikas Adam is right up there at the top. He never fails to deliver!! Highly recommend the audio.
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If you want to read a great Time Travel Adventure story, you can’t go wrong with Rewinder, it’s awesome, unpredictable and fast paced from beginning to end.
I can't say, spoiler...
Everything! He is perfect for this series.
Here I am again, reviewing yet another book from one of my favorite authors. It seems that Brett Battles can do it all! Let’s see, we have the Jonathan Quinn Thrillers, The Eden Project post apocalyptic Drama / Thrillers, the Alexandra Poe Adventure / Thrillers, written with Robert Gregory Brown. And now, two new books that will take us in a (thrilling) time traveling adventure appealing to both young adults and adults at the same time. Impressive, right?
I’ve been writing reviews for about 4 years now, but for Video Games. For those it is imperative that I don’t spoil the story, but now I realize that for book reviews I have to outline the plot, just a little bit, for the sake of my readers. So, let’s get started.
Rewinder is a very interesting book. The main character is called Denny Younger and he comes from a very different world compared to the one we know and we live in. In Denny’s timeline the British rule almost the entire globe and the society is based on a cast level, divided by numbers, starting with 1, that being the most powerful and the richest. The story starts with our young Denny, which is an 8 on the scale, as he is graduating a form of high school. The end of education comes as a test after which everyone will get a job for life as per his or hers talent.
Here things start to get very interesting, but I really don’t want to rob you of the big surprises. Long story short, Denny is recruited by a secret organization and he becomes a Rewinder. What is a Rewinder, you ask? Well, someone who can travel back in time with the objective to verify different facts about different historical events, I leave it as that… So, our young Denny Younger will do just that and as we all know already, when you mess with time, time messes with history.
Denny is a great kid! He is polite, well spoken, smart, loves history and he has a good heart. I found myself very attached to him and to his friends. Mr. Battles gets the entire time traveling stuff right. A Rewinder can travel into the past using a device called a Chaser, that serves as some sort of a time machine. A Rewinder’s job is to Observe and Report, nothing else, but … this is all I’m willing to tell you about the plot.
As always, Mr. Brett Battles writes with passion and great talent. I was hooked from the first 5 minutes and after I finished Rewinder, I scrolled through my Audible Library and started Destroyer, which is the 2nd book in this series. A review will come for that one at a later date, I promise.
Now, let me tell you about the narrator.
First, I have to admit that this is the first book I listened to that is performed by Vikas Adam. I didn’t know anything about him, until a few days ago, but this oversight of mine has been rectified. Vikas is perfect for Rewinder! He gets all the voices right, boys, girls, kids, distinguished gentlemen and ladies. I really enjoyed his performance and from now on, Denny Younger has a permanent voice in my head. I understand that Mr. Vikas Adam has made a name for himself in Sci-Fi audiobooks and after spending three days in his company, I’m looking forward to the next Rewinder book, since I already finished the first two in the series. Besides the great writing by Brett Battles, Rewinder gripped me because Vikas gives life to our hero.
One of the many things I love about Brett Battles is that he cares who is performing the audio versions of his Thrillers. Some of the best narrators in the industry can be identified with one of his characters / series. Scott Brick for Jonathan Quinn Series, MacLeod Andrews for The Eden Project, Abby Craden for Alexandra Poe and now, Vikas Adam for Rewinder. Thank you, Brett for caring, it means a lot!
If you want to read a great Time Travel Adventure story, you can’t go wrong with Rewinder, it’s awesome, unpredictable and fast paced from beginning to end, and in case you skipped what I said before, I’ll say it again, the narrator is perfect for this series.
now, where did I put that Chaser of mine?
Denny Younger was born into one of the lowest classes of society of the English Empire. His hopes for job placement following the end of school tests were a short list of very boring, menial jobs. That is, until the mysterious Upjohn Institute takes an interest in him. There, he trains and tests to be a Rewinder, someone who verifies the personal history of patrons to the Institute….in person. He travels through time to verify some aspect about the heritage of the interested party is correct. At first, he is excited about this job – who wouldn’t be? But then small things start to tug at his conscience and lead him to ask questions. These questions make others uncomfortable. Pretty soon, Denny is faced with a terribly hard choice.
I read the description of this book and figured it would be interesting and an OK time travel story. I was wrong.
It was an amazingly fun ride!
Brett Battles created an alternate timeline complete with a history going back over 200 years. The English Empire didn’t cease to grow and expand in the late 1700s, but rather continued on to engulf much of our known world, including North America. The caste system that was in place in early colonial England continued to refine throughout the years. Denny and his family come from Class 8, just barely above the bottom rung. His other Rewinders in training are not pleased to have such a lowly peasant among them.
Denny had studied history for fun in his teens, and possibly as an escape from the drudgery of his life, the death of loved ones over the years, the strained relationship with his father. Therefore, this hopping back in time to physically observe history is a dream job. But things start to unravel as he notices small things that are awry. Pretty soon it becomes apparent that the Institute, or at least certain members of the Institute, are using time travel to benefit themselves and perpetuate the caste system and the British Empire.
And then something happens during one of Denny’s trips that sets history on a different course. In returning to his own time, he finds things very different. Once the panic has receded, he has time to figure out his mistake, and to get to know this new world that he inadvertently brought into being. Will he set things ‘right’? Or will he leave this new time line in place? Such a terribly tough choice!
I loved the way Battles built the tension in this book. You’re right there beside Denny the entire time, seeing his trapped despair at what he believes will be a life of drudgery until the Institute steps in, his elation at traveling through time, his dedication to job and Empire, how his mind doesn’t want to question the good of the Empire but can’t let these little questions go, and his anguish over having created an alternate time line. Being inside Denny’s head is an awesome ride!
The time travel aspect doesn’t get technical. Time travel is a tool, pure and simple, used by the Institute. There are a few discussions about possible paradoxes and other nuances of time travel. Basically, you never get bogged down in the science of time travel, which allows us to simply enjoy the story. I thought it was an interesting point that the travelers often were paired to a Companion who stayed in the home time and suffered the physical discomforts of time travel – head aches, vomiting, etc. This would leave the traveler free of these symptoms upon arrival at their destination so they could quickly get started on their job.
While this is definitely Denny’s story, there are plenty of women who play critical roles in the plot. Denny’s trainer, Marie, definitely gives him a nudge in the right direction. Then there is Lydia, an upper class brat who is assigned to the Institute at the same time as Denny. She is less than pleased to have the same job description as a lowly 8. Finally, there is Iffy, a woman Denny meets in the alternate time line. All these ladies have their own stories and motivations.
This is one of the better time travel stories I have read in recent years. I am thoroughly glad I gave it a chance.
Narration: Vikas Adam was the perfect voice for Denny. He brought the mysriad of emotions Denny experiences in this book. He also had believable and varied voices for all the ladies. I especially liked his upper class, snotty British accent used for some of the minor characters.
I get bored easily and this story held my attention the entire time. The narrator did an excellent job as well.
I would recommend this book if you want an easy read with unexpected twists.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
I'm going to break one of own rules by spoiling some of the plot because this book is so different.
Brett Battles has written a story very different from his Jonathan Quinn series and his Project Eden series. It is about an alternate contemporary society existing in the area that now includes the United states. It is a monarchy with a strong and inflexible cast system that occurred because George Washington was killed before he could win the American Revolution. The alternate society has developed time machines that can carry designated people called Rewinders back to any time and place in the past, but cannot go into the future. Denny Younger, a recently trained Rewinder, goes back to the time and place of Washington's murder and changes events so that Washington lives. This throws Denny into the modern United States which he finds he likes. He is then faced with a decision on whether to undo the change he made causing the modern US to no longer exist or leave the change in place which means the society where he grew up would no longer exist. Other Rewinders are trying to undo the change he made in history.
Destroyer, the second book in the Rewinder series will be released on Jan. 12, 2016.
Science fiction is not now my genre of choice, but it was in my younger years. I've read a lot of Asimov, Heinlein, Card, and others and I still occasionally read some of Sarah Hoyt and Orson Scott Card. Rewinder is different!
Almost all of Brett Battles' other books have been narrated by either Scott Brick or McLeod Andrews, but he chose to go with Vikas Adam for the Rewinder series. Vikas Adam is certainly an excellent and very experienced narrator of science fiction audiobooks, so his selection is easily understandable.
I'm not sure of Battles' intended audience for the Rewinder series, but it would likely appeal most strongly to young teens (the same audience that appreciates Orson Scott Card's Ender's series and Robert Heinlein's Juveniles series).
Battles has already shown his willingness to expand beyond his hugely successful thriller series with the children's book Here Comes Mr. Trouble (not available as an audiobook) and his standalone novels The Pull of Gravity (Kindle only) and No Return. Now he is also writing science fiction. I admire his expansion into different genres, but I do hope he will continue to release a new Jonathan Quinn book annually.
A few people have complained the book is a bit short, but for me it was just right. Most books I read are 12hr to 40hr books, but this one felt very well paced at 7hrs.
It is really hard to explain the plot without giving big parts of the book away, but there is a significant amount of time travel in the book, a time travel school/operation, a different take on what history might be like if certian events where even slightly changed.
The time travel rules the author sets are laid out well, but from the view of someone who is using the device for research purposes and not from a mad scientists or quantum physics professor point of view. I found this quite refreshing.
The characters are not very deep, but what development of them does happen felt natural. There is a very small amount of romance but it is not a big part of the book.
I had a great time with it and listening to it in one day and loved it. The narrator is excellent as per usual for Vikas Adam.
I am a 67 yo disabled Vet who lives in N. Texas. I was a medic in the Army during the Viet Nam war, got an MS in ecology and just retired.
This sort of book is not normally my cup of tea. However, it really hit something in me. I certainly identified with the father, being his age, a veteran and very similar in oh, so many ways. I can identify with his confusion oh how his son has gone off the deep end, so to speak. I also can identify with the radical woman, the farrier, who makes her living shoeing horses, which is very hard work. The son, being mentally ill, is harder to understand. He really is a diagnosed schizophrenic, and so often, his behavior is very bizarre. The mother is the mother, and is like all mothers everywhere.
The juxtaposition of these first three though brings some powerful lessons about how we as a society have changed. Now, do we really deal with mentally ill people by... well, I don't want to give anything away.
But watch as the woman is totally tied up in our legal system, where now, you are guilty until you can prove you are innocent. Are we really free people any more? She wants to work and make a living and support herself, and we, the people, make it impossible for her because she does not want to wear her seat belt? How does that harm anyone but herself. And please, don't start to tell me about how she might not be able to control her vehicle blah, blah, blah. I used to sell that stuff as a safety man, and it's just not true, or not true enough to justify the state pulling a citizen over and impounding their vehicle and subjecting her to a search and seizure without a warrant. But that's what happens all the time in this country for minor, and I mean minor infractions.
In this book, our woman protagonist was treated badly for driving without her seat belt. I had to admit, I understood when she said she had no contract with the officer. He, unfortunately, did not.
This book is full of ideas that can be categorized as... as... Well, I don't know. Conservative? No. Progressive? No they cannot be categorized as either; not even in between. Perhaps they are more "out of the box". I liked this book. I don't agree with all of the ideas presented, but I liked that they were there and I had to think about them.
It was kind of short but a good listen Good use of paradox and fairly original idea. I liked it
This is a great story, well presented although quite obviously written by an american author
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