Thanks to the time travel lab at St. Sunniva University, history is no longer a mystery. But when the beloved co-inventor of the university’s time machine is inexplicably smeared across time, academic exploration and the future of St. Sunniva is thrown into doubt.
As assistant to the dean of science, Julia Olsen is tasked with helping Campus Security Chief Nate Kirkland quietly examine this rare mishap…then, just as quietly, make it go away. But when the investigation indicates that the professor’s disappearance may have been a murder, those inspecting the incident unwittingly find themselves caught in a deadly coverup - one in which history itself is the weapon.
From the snow-blanketed walkways of St. Sunniva’s campus to the sun-bleached cobblestone of ancient Pompeii’s roads, The Far Time Incident is a lively romp through history, science, and the academic world in the wake of a crime.
©2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.; ©2013 Neve Maslakovic
This was my first audiobook, so I wasn't sure if I would like it. I'm not sure if it was Mary Robinette Kowal's performance, the Minnesota setting of the story, or the time travel - but I really enjoyed the whole thing.
I thought the structure was very similar to other time travel stories (Connie Willis' Dooms Day Book, Pastwatch by Orson Scott Card) - but even so, a fun story.
I would recommend to anyone who enjoys time travel science fiction.
This book is a genre-bender, albeit in a very conservative way. The basic plot is that of an academic murder mystery ("The Professor did it!" No, "The secretary did it!" No, "The Dean did it!," etc.). The twist is that the University in question operates the world's first time travel lab. Otherwise, it's set in the eigenpresent, at a fictitious Minnesota university, even if much of the action takes place about two millennia ago.
I read Maslakovic's first book, "Regarding Ducks and Universes," and enjoyed it. This book offers similarly well-mannered prose, with equally well-mannered characters. For the most part, it all works. As a career academic (20+ years on the tenure track), I am doubtless more sensitive to lapses in verisimilitude (there aren't that many) than most readers or listeners.
Ms. Kowal's narrative range is limited, and this book unfortunately does not especially suit her limitations. There are probably more female narrators who can manage male voices credibly than there are males who can manage female voices; unfortunately, based on this one sample, Ms. Kowal does not appear to be one of them.
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