When malcontents from a utopian 21st century use their time gate to transform Hitler into an invincible conqueror, a band of freedom-fighting Americans launches the Proteus project and builds a second time gate.
©1985 James P. Hogan (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
This review will be brief and to the point, Audible listener.
Time travel novels are tricky, to say the very least.
As an author, you'll be tempted to over-create a plausible detailed science behind the concept of your story, and that can kill any hope of a great novel. Often, you'll dive far too deeply into HOW time paradoxes work, and the twisted aftershocks that change the future, causing your readers to quickly use your novel for kindling. Sometimes, you'll want to spit out a gargantuan litany of historical facts and figures, subsequently drown your audience in minutia, which makes for an utter snoozefest, and your book winds up in the 70% off bargain bin.
None of that happens here.
Buckle in. This is what time travel should be. Plots, Fixing the time paradox back to right. Action. Good, old fashioned Indiana Jones style storytelling! And this isn't dramatic imagineering of a future world, as much as a detailed reflection of the PAST, which is always refreshing, when done with expertise and solid period creation.
And it works. The storyline is deep and thought-provoking. The characters, both good and evil, and enjoyable. And the narrator did a good job as well.
This all comes together for an excellent listen in the time travel genre. To think that I almost didn't get this one, just because of the horrific artwork on the cover of this Audible offering. It really could and should, be much better.
Don't pass on this one. It's a keeper.
I like the idea, and I like elements of the story, but it is so poorly written that I had trouble with it. Especially after having just come from To Say Nothing of the Dog, which is so well written.
And the narrator doesn't do well, mispronouncing words, altering his pronunciation of the same word later; not doing voices well at all, not even trying to give Churchill a distinct voice and yet oddly enough trying to do it for Einstein.
Aside from that, I didn't believe in the world at all. & here's why. If you compare To Say Nothing wherein the research into the period is so well done but also the characters are living in that world...But in this one, there are times when the description feels like, "oh, yeah, I need to describe that time period, so let me list elements in this picture I'm looking at". The characters don't really interact with the environment in a way that makes you believe in it.
I really was hoping it would be good with the SF & Time Travel & WWII. Though I did like the multiple worlds/quantum physics aspect very much, but just can't recommend it; not when there is a superior Time Travel with the Willis To Say Nothing....
I do think it would make an interesting film or mini series with good recreations of the time period etc. And there are a couple of ideas near the end which almost redeem it. With revision and a better narrator it could be good.
I'm being a little hard on it, and I admit that it suffered mightily due to listening right after To Say Nothing which had pitch perfect narration also. Basically Willis does everything right, and Hogan misses on so many points.
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