In Times Like These

Narrated by: Neil Hellegers
Series: In Times Like These, Book 1
Length: 13 hrs and 47 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1,157 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

They have a dangerous past. They just haven't lived it yet.

"We broke something. How do you break time? Can something so bad happen that you fracture the world?"

Benjamin Travers has been electrocuted. What's worse, he and his friends have woken up in the past. As the friends search for a way home, they realize they're not alone. There are other time travelers, and some of them are turning up dead. When Ben meets an enigmatic scientist and his charming, time-traveling daughter, salvation seems at hand, but escaping the dangers of the past may lead to a deadly future. If he hopes to save his friends, Ben must learn to master space and time, and survive a journey where past and future violently collide.

Action heats up in this first book of the time travel adventure series.

©2013 Nathan Van Coops (P)2016 Nathan Van Coops

What listeners say about In Times Like These

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Time Travel Adventure

If you like time travel and books/films like Dark Matter, Lost, 12 Monkeys, the Time Traveler's Wife, National Treasure, the you will absolutely love this book!
The author introduced an innovative time travel concept/tool, and kept it very consistent throughout the entire book. The pace is fast and very engaging, it keeps the reader on edge at just the right spots. All the characters are very likeable and well-developed. I didn't want the book to end, but when it did, the ending was satisfying and closed off the plot well.

Definite give this book a try, and you will be hooked within the first 15 minutes!

36 people found this helpful

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Well-told Time Traveling Tale with some Twists

Would you listen to In Times Like These again? Why?

Yes, this was a great book to get lost in for hours at a time. A few parts were a bit predictable, but overall a great story and there were definitely some twists and interesting plot choices.

What does Neil Hellegers bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Absolutely loved the narration! Perfect pace and register. Used different voices for various characters without coming across too cartoony or theatrical at all.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

There was no added fluff in this book. I enjoyed that the storyline kept moving and had I had >13 hours of chores or something similar to do, I could have definitely listened through in one go. I actually appreciated while listening that the characters kept declining downtime and continued with the action.

Any additional comments?

Being a physicist, I enjoyed the few times some technical aspects were brought up in the story. They didn't bog down the plot or over-complicate at all. Made the entire book feel a bit more researched and knowledgeable, which I enjoyed.

16 people found this helpful

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My favorite book in 30 credits

Would you listen to In Times Like These again? Why?

Yes, I'd listen to this book again, if for no other reason just to enjoy the narration of Neil Hellegers. But there are probably things I missed in my eagerness to devour the story the first time around.

What other book might you compare In Times Like These to and why?

Not a book, but maybe Back To the Future for the modern age meets Friends. Boy, that's a crappy comparison,. It's not like anything else, forget I said that. It's unique. A guy and his friends embark oin an awesome adventure, and there isn't a bunch of lame history to drag through - the story just starts and never stops. It's a wild ride that never lets you catch your breath.

Have you listened to any of Neil Hellegers’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I had not, but I became such a fan that I got four more of his books after this!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

You can't go home again. Or can you?

Any additional comments?

This book made me want to have a longer commute, take my dogs for another walk around the block, and I didn't want to stop listening. I adore this author. I TRUST this author to take me on a journey, to surprise me, to entertain me. I highly recommend this book if you're looking for something fun and different, and you like sci-fi, twilight zone type stories where things just are not as they should be.

13 people found this helpful

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This was so very refreshing!

If you could sum up In Times Like These in three words, what would they be?

Engaging, interesting, fun

What other book might you compare In Times Like These to and why?

We Are Legion, We are Bob, because the there was a balance of humor and suspense.

What about Neil Hellegers’s performance did you like?

He is very easy to listen to. Character voices are consistent and not overdone. Appropriate and flowing narration.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not extreme...which is good. My favorite thing is that there were so many characters that were kind, and genuinely cared about each other...there was only one villain, he was just in the background. These days, it seems all books and movies are jam packed with narcissistic zeros...they justify their horrible behavior, and we are supposed to root for them. Every other person is a sociopath at best, subterfuge, lies, abuse, torture, zombies, disease, violence. I know that is how the real world is, but I can watch the news or just look around to experience those things, sometimes I want to imagine what it would be like, if there were real everyday heroes, people who can't imagine hurting others just because they can...people who actually inspire us, and fill us hope. I want to hear about people in difficult situations who work together, keep their cool, and refuse to slip into darkness. Great Book.

10 people found this helpful

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Fun, Exciting, Interesting

I really enjoyed this. Quite a romp through time, full of adventure and non stop action. The characters were a lot of fun to get to know and the time travel plot was complex but well written. I felt I was even understanding it. The narrator was great too. Altogether a great read!

8 people found this helpful

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  • GB
  • 01-09-17

Brain engaging and entertaining

This book was a lot of fun to listen to. Imaginative, well written, and well told.

Lots of action, danger, and possibilities. I love the loyalty and friendship between Ben, Carson, Robby, Francesca, and Blake. And I really loved Dr. Quickly and Mr. Cameron.

Time travel hasn't really ever been something I've been terribly interested in reading but, this book was just so unique and adventure packed that it was so enjoyable.

The narrator did a fantastic job bringing the story to life. Can't wait to read the next book.

7 people found this helpful

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A Fun, Unique Time Travel Tale

4.5★ Audiobook⎮In Times Like These was such a fun listen. I’ve heard a fair amount of time travel tales and this is one of the most fun. All authors approach time travel differently and Van Coops’ take is one of the more unique that I’ve encountered. I thought he did an excellent job of spacing explanations and revelations out in this story. Some time travel stories (and stories, in general) have a tendency to unload information in concentrated “dumps”. That can put a lot of pressure on the reader to process everything at once. Considering the amount of information that needed to be delivered here, In Times Like These was pretty “dump-free”.

My primary experience with In Times Like These is, oddly enough, one of relief. A few months ago I was in a “cart before horse” situation as I listened to The Chronothon (#2 in this series). I respect that some readers don’t mind taking on a series out of order, but I’m not one of them. Because I rate titles based on my enjoyment level, the cart/horse situation greatly impacted my review of The Chronothon (which I’ll now need to amend).

When In Times Like These became available on audio, I jumped at the chance to fill the gaps in my experience with the series. In my review of The Chronothon, I predicted that at least 75% of my complaints with that particular title “could be nullified by hearing In Times Like These“. That’s why I was so relieved by my positive experience with In Times Like These. I really wanted to enjoy The Chronothon, but I didn’t have everything I needed to do so at the time. Now I do and I’ve become pretty obsessed with the series. Needless to say, I’m on pins and needles waiting for the third installment!

In Times Like These instilled in me a love of the characters and a better understanding of them on a personal level. Most importantly, I now have a vital understanding of the way time works in the series universe. It was a bit difficult to catch onto at first, mostly because it’s pretty far off from the time travel theories in other science fiction books I’ve heard, but I think I’m getting there. In Times Like These greatly amplified my understanding of all that, as well as my appreciation.

My only standing complaint echoed from my review of The Chronothon is that there is a mildly obvious lack of world-building. The writing is still very plot-centric and requires more than a good deal of suspension of disbelief. The series’ scientific background is not as firmly grounded as in some other time travel tales and it leans more heavily on the fiction part of science fiction than the science part. That didn’t bother me too much, but you may want to be aware of it going in.

Overall, this was a really fast-moving story. I’ve come to expect that from Van Coops. It was much more tolerable in In Times Like These than The Chronothon. Imagine if the movie Hot Tub Time Machine was a book and wasn’t cheesy or terrible. In Times Like These took everything I loved about that movie (time traveling back to the 80s) and made even better. The imagery Van Coops used when describing the 80s was very entertaining. There were pop culture references scattered throughout the story (plenty of Back to the Future and Doctor Who) which always put a smile on my face.

I started this audiobook in an effort to proactively quell the impending book hangover from Empire of Storms, but after the first three hours of In Times Like These, I halted listening to Empire of Storms altogether. In Times Like These consumed my attention completely. If that’s not an overwhelming endorsement, I don’t know what is. Towards the end, I tried exerting some self-restraint to ration the rest of the audiobook, but I was too weak. 14 hours of listening is nothing when you’re that wrapped up in a story.

Narration review: Neil Hellegers was a huge part of what made this audiobook so fun. His voice conveyed an urgency and vibrancy that helped give the story its tempo. I can’t tell you how far that went towards holding my attention. He is an excellent action narrator. The narration was somewhat reminiscent of an Aaron Sorkin production. Sorkin’s work in television (and movies) is famous for really fast dialogue. Hellegers’ narration held the up-tempo even when the writing pace slowed. In case I’m not being clear: That was a really great thing. It took a lot of pressure off me as a listener because he held my attention so effortlessly. Hellegers’ narration style and Van Coops’ fast-paced writing made for quite the adventure! ♣︎

➜ This audiobook was graciously gifted to me by its narrator, Neil Hellegers, in exchange for a review containing my honest thoughts and opinions. Thanks, Neil!

15 people found this helpful

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A fun take on time travel!

Ben and his friends just wanted to play a bit of softball but that lightning strike zapped them back in time, going from 2009 to 1986. Ben, Fresca, Carson, Robbie, and Blake. They’re all in their mid-20s and quite baffled by the common fashion sense of the average 1980s Florida resident. The story has a bit of nostalgia to it but also plenty of action. Once they come to terms with their reality, sort of, they decide to address their immediate needs: shelter & food & perhaps clothes. Luckily, Robbie’s grandfather lives in the area in the 1980s and luckily he’s bored enough or lonely enough to give these young people a chance.

I love the pace of the story. The tale doesn’t linger over the how and the characters don’t get to wallow in self pity. Sure, some are more concerned than others (Blake – I’m looking at you pining away for Mallory) and some take longer to deal with the shock of it, but pretty soon our fab 5 are hunting for some scientists to help them figure things out. That’s there Dr. Harold Quickly comes into the picture, along with this well traveled daughter Mim.

There’s a challenging foe in the story as well. Strenger is an arsonist who doesn’t mind killing people along the way. Somehow he also got sucked back into 1986 and he is also hunting for answers. I liked this aspect of the story because it complicated matters for our heroes. As if accidental time travel wasn’t bad enough; here’s this murdering evil fire bug to stop.

There was so much I liked about this story. It’s all about the adventure and avoids the often drawn out drama of time travel that can bog a story down. Things keep going wrong and there were a few times that I wanted to give Ben a little shake for making such a simple mistake. There’s side characters that help our heroes and there’s those that do them wrong. I also loved that not all of the fab 5 decided to put everything on the line just to get back to their natural timeline. After all, there’s plenty of time travelers that live when they want to.

The one issue I have with this story is the dearth of female characters. Fresca holds potential but she’s pretty one dimensional in this book. There’s a handful of female side characters, and they do get names and a few lines. However, I had to get about 5 hours into the book before we got another main female character: Mim. And, of course, she’s immediately slotted into the role of main love interest. She contributes little else for the rest of the story. There’s no female scientists or individual time travelers and they make few plot related decisions.

The story leaves us with enough wrapped up to be satisfying but plenty open enough for the sequel to just stroll right in. I was especially happy with Robbie and his choices. I can see Ben becoming the great time traveler we all need him to be. 4.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Neil Hellegers is a shear delight to listen to. He gives Ben the barest goofiness to his voice which makes him sound like the relatively innocent young man he starts off as. I loved his rough, angry voice for the villain Strenger. His female voices are believable and I liked his very light accent for Fresca. His Montana cowboy voice was also well done. There were no technical issues with this recording. 5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Nathan Van Coops. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

#Quirky #Mindbending

#tagsgiving and #sweepstakes

5 people found this helpful

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Van Coop's Time-Travel Adventure is Fast and Fun


This time-travel adventure and sci-fi fantasy explodes from chapter one as a group of twenty-something adults accidentally and unknowingly time-travel back to the 80's.

There is enough scientific explanation for most readers to suspend belief without effort, but the technical writing is brief and not the focus of this novel. Instead, the author maintains forward momentum with quick-witted dialogue, engaging character development, and original writing. Throw a serial killer in the mix as the group goes on a quest to get back to present day, and you have one enjoyable read.

"In Times Like These" is the first in a series. Have fun.

8 people found this helpful

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Like Video Night, only not as cheesy!

First let me say that I liked Video Night. The style of writing in this book reminded me of Adam Cesare. It flows really well and sucks you in almost immediately. It's set in the '90's and has a lot of fun references, but it's also very realistic, for time travel. I was bummed when this book ended.

It's fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat wanting more. I didn't want to get out of the car and stop listening in some places. Most of the characters are in their 20's and I'm not. But they were mature and fun and didn't annoy me. That's big praise from me. I found the time travel aspects made a lot of sense. Or at least didn't leave me feeling like they were completely non plausible.

It's a fun, fast paced, thought provoking book about time travel. If you grew up in the age of "Friends" it's a must read.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Rob
  • 11-08-17

Excellent Concept, Great performance

The concept of this book is great and the performance matches. The only reason i knocked a star off was that it was sometimes hard to keep up with where in the story i was and who i was following.

4 people found this helpful

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  • David Johnson
  • 10-21-17

well paced and intriguing

really liked the book and the characters but found the childlike narration a bit jarring.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Vince
  • 09-17-17

Awesome

Couldn't stop listing never wanted it to end. Made me write My first ever review

2 people found this helpful

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  • P. Palmer
  • 07-30-19

Such a shame

The books are good, the stories are interesting - but even after 1 book I wanted to do away with the damn narrator! If you can put up with him, you'll love them :)

1 person found this helpful

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  • Stacey
  • 09-09-18

bloody brilliant!

i love a good time travelling book. some are quite serious...others are fun. this is the first ive wanted to do as a back to back marathon

1 person found this helpful

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  • ian
  • 02-23-18

Stick with it...

Took some time to get into the story, but worth persevering! Will now try the next installment

1 person found this helpful

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  • A. Listener
  • 06-27-20

Review for all four books...

I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. There might be more to come? I hope so.
It's a really good time travel series with all the familiar tropes. Each book gets deeper into the theory of it.
It deserves bonus points for being lengthy books especially #2 and #3. And they're not repetitive or dragged out. So good value for money.
If you like time travel sci-fi, with a good narrator, you can't go wrong by checking out this series.

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  • jack
  • 02-15-19

Awesome beginings!

Its a really good story, very enjoyable! This was really enjoyable for me and will be for anyone who likes time travel :)

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  • gucky
  • 11-08-18

It is hard to write...

...books on time travel. The author clearly wasn't up to the task. Furthermore, some characters poor decisions nearly made me stop reading on three occasions.

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  • David D.G.
  • 05-21-17

Fantastic Story matched with Brilliant Narration

As a time travel fan, I find my favorite stories contain close attention to detail. It appears that consistency is one of the most difficult aspects of a time travel storyline. Because of this, "In Times Like These" has elevated itself to one of my favorite Audible books thus far.
The narration matches the quality of the story. Highly recommend this purchase!
... now to download the next two books in the series. So excited.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Glenn
  • 09-28-18

Quite boring

The story wasn’t that interesting or unique and there was very little character development. Boring as bat****.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-24-18

Really enjoyed the story

Really liked how this story progresses and twisted around. Kept me wanting more. Interesting take on time travel without being too science-y