Category Archives: Time Travel

Review: A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong

Title: A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong
A Rip Through Time Book One
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Historical, Time-Travel, Mystery
Length: 346 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

In this series debut from New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong, a modern-day homicide detective finds herself in Victorian Scotland—in an unfamiliar body—with a killer on the loose.

MAY 20, 2019: Homicide detective Mallory Atkinson is in Edinburgh to be with her dying grandmother. While out on a jog one evening, Mallory hears a woman in distress. She’s drawn to an alley, where she is attacked and loses consciousness.

MAY 20, 1869: Housemaid Catriona Mitchell had been enjoying a half day off, only to be discovered that night strangled and left for dead . . . exactly one hundred and fifty years before Mallory is strangled in the same spot.

When Mallory wakes up in Catriona’s body in 1869, she must put aside her shock and adjust quickly to her new reality: life as a housemaid to an undertaker in Victorian Scotland. She soon discovers that her boss, Dr. Gray, also moonlights as a medical examiner and has just taken on an intriguing case, the strangulation of a young man, similar to the attack on herself. Her only hope is that catching the murderer can lead her back to her modern life . . . before it’s too late.

In A Rip Through Time, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong introduces a brand-new series mixing mystery, romance, and fantasy with thrilling results.

Review:

A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong is an outstanding time-travel mystery.

In 2019, Vancouver Homicide Detective Mallory Atkinson is in Scotland to be with her beloved nan who is dying. While taking a much-needed break, Mallory is strangled in an alley and inexplicably travels back in time to 1869 Victorian Scotland. She awakens in the body of housemaid Catriona Mitchell who was murdered in the same place as Mallory’s attack. Unable to figure out how to return to her own life, Mallory uses the excuse of her head injury to explain her “memory loss” about herself and her day-to-day activities. She also uses her modern-day policing knowledge to assist her boss, undertaker Dr. Duncan Gray and his friend Detective Hugh McCreadie, as they work together to solve the murder of a crime beat reporter. Mallory also makes a shocking discovery that will pit her skills against a diabolical killer.

Mallory is an intelligent woman who utilizes numerous skills as she attempts to convince those around her that she is Catriona. But as she has little information about the young woman whose body she inhabits, Mallory  missteps and mistakes t are quite noticeable. She also cannot contain her curiosity about the murders that Gray and McCreadie are trying to solve. Mallory finds an unanticipated ally in Gray’s half-sister Isla Ballantyne who is very much ahead of her time.

A Rip Through Time is an intriguing historical mystery with an ingenious storyline. Mallory is a vibrantly developed protagonist who makes the best of her very unusual circumstances. Duncan, Isla and Hugh are wonderfully drawn secondary characters who are quite appealing. The investigations evenly paced and very interesting. The time period and place are vividly life-like and realistically depicted.  Old and new fans of Kelley Armstrong are sure to enjoy this first installment in the A Rip Through Times series.

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Filed under A Rip Through Time, A Rip Through Time Series, Historical, Kelley Armstrong, Minotaur Books, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Time Travel

Review: She Wouldn’t Change a Thing by Sarah Adlakha

Title: She Wouldn’t Change a Thing by Sarah Adlakha
Publisher: Forge Books
Genre: Contemporary, Time Travel
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

Sliding Doors meets Life After Life in Sarah Adlakha’s story about a wife and mother who is given the chance to start over at the risk of losing everything she loves.

A second chance is the last thing she wants.

When thirty-nine year old Maria Forssmann wakes up in her seventeen-year-old body, she doesn’t know how she got there. All she does know is she has to get back: to her home in Bienville, Mississippi, to her job as a successful psychiatrist and, most importantly, to her husband, daughters, and unborn son.

But she also knows that, in only a few weeks, a devastating tragedy will strike her husband, a tragedy that will lead to their meeting each other.

Can she change time and still keep what it’s given her?

Exploring the responsibilities love lays on us, the complicated burdens of motherhood, and the rippling impact of our choices, She Wouldn’t Change a Thing is a dazzling debut from a bright new voice.

Review:

She Wouldn’t Change a Thing by Sarah Adlakha is a well-written debut with a very intriguing premise.

Thirty-nine-year-old Maria Forrsman has a thriving psychiatry practice, a loving husband, and two young children. She is also pregnant with their third child that is due very soon. Her husband Will has a demanding career as a doctor so much of the household and childcare responsibilities fall on Maria’s shoulders. With so much going on in her personal life, she is a little distracted when new patient Sylvia Woolf’s first session is filled with dire warnings and unbelievable claims. But one of the things that Sylvia tells her piques Maria’s curiosity. With the opportunity to verify the information, she cannot resist checking it out.  This decision proves to be life altering for Maria and other people as well. When faced with an impossible choice, what will Maria ultimately decide to do?

Maria is stretched too thin as she juggles work and home. She loves Will but she is very resentful that he does not help more around the house. Maria is very concerned about how she will manage after their third baby arrives. After she makes the fateful decision to find out more about Sylvia’s claims, Maria wakes up as her seventeen-year-old self, but she retains her memories of her life with Will. Determined to make it back to her family, Maria is faced with a moral dilemma when she has the power to prevent a tragedy. But in doing so, she will alter the course of many lives, including her own.

She Wouldn’t Change a Thing is a fascinating novel with a multi-layered storyline. The characters are vibrantly developed with relatable strengths and weaknesses. The beginning and end of the story are fast-paced and engaging.  However, the middle of the story gets a little confusing as Maria goes back to her seventeen-year-old self and the puzzling introduction of new characters. But it is well-worth wading through the confusion as Maria weighs which choice she will eventually make. Sarah Adlakha brings this thought-provoking to an incredibly gratifying conclusion.

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Filed under Contemporary, Contest, Forge Books, Review, Sarah Adlakha, She Wouldn't Change a Thing, Time Travel

Review: Once Again by Catherine Wallace Hope

Title: Once Again by Catherine Wallace Hope
Publisher: Alcove Press
Genre: Contemporary, Time Travel, Women’s Fiction
Length: 242 pages
Book Rating: B+/b>

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

An imaginative, emotional debut novel for fans of Ann Patchett about one woman’s fight to save her daughter from repeating a deadly fate.

What if you had one chance to save someone you lost?

Isolated in the aftermath of tragedy, Erin Fullarton has felt barely alive since the loss of her young daughter, Korrie. She tries to mark the milestones her therapist suggests–like today, the 500th day without Korrie–but moving through grief is like swimming against a dark current.

Her estranged husband, Zac, a brilliant astrophysicist, seems to be coping better. Lost in his work, he’s perfecting his model of a stunning cosmological phenomenon, one he predicts will occur today–an event so rare, it keeps him from being able to acknowledge Erin’s coinciding milestone.

But when Erin receives a phone call from her daughter’s school, the same call she received five hundred days earlier when Korrie was still alive, Erin realizes something is happening. Or happening again. Struggling to understand the sudden shifts in time, she pieces together that the phenomenon Zac is tracking may have presented her with the gift of a lifetime: the chance to save her daughter.

Unable to reach Zac or convince the authorities of what is happening, Erin is forced to find the answer on her own, Erin must battle to keep the past from repeating–or risk losing her daughter for good.

Review:

Once Again by Catherine Wallace Hope is a poignant time travel novel.

Erin Fullarton is still grieving the loss of her six year old daughter Korrie.  Athough they still love each other, she asked her husband Zac to move out but they communicate daily. At her therapist suggestion, Erin is trying to stop looking back so she is marking a sad milestone.  She would like Zac to be with her  but he is an astrophysicist working on a project that cannot be delayed. When she receives a shocking phone call from her daughter’s school, Erin believes a cruel prank is being played on her. But when she notices the date and time on her phone, she is stunned to realize she has gone back in time to the date of Korrie’s death.  Will this inexplicable trip back in time provide Erin the opportunity to save her daughter?

Erin is shaken by the realization that she might be able to have a second chance with Korrie. Unbeknownst to her, the time slips only last for a certain period of time. After she realizes this important detail, Erin tries to predict when the next time slip with occur so she can know where she needs to be at that exact time.  Much to her frustration, she is unable to arrive in time to stop the pivotal event from occurring. As the day wears on, Erin begins to despair she will be able to save her daughter, but she refuses to give up trying.

Zac and his co-workers are amazed at how well their project is going. But they soon notice little blips they cannot account for. Zac works on his formula in attempt to understand why they are happening. What impact will it have in the real world if they make alterations to their project’s coding?

Once Again is a captivating novel with an clever storyline. The plot is quite unique and the time travel aspect is well executed. Erin’s race to save her daughter is quite riveting. With plenty of tension, Catherine Wallace Hope brings this suspenseful novel to an edge of the seat conclusion.  I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this incredible debut.

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Filed under Alcove Press, Catherine Wallace Hope, Contemporary, Once and Again, Rated B+, Review, Time Travel

Review: Brothers Across Time by Brad Boney

Title: Brothers Across Time by Brad Boney
Publisher: Brad Boney
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Time Travel, Gay
Length: 393 pages (approx)
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by the Author

Summary:

Two bridges o’er water, one bound to the other, from present to future, from brother to brother.

Tony Bass longs for an adventure, and on a sleepless night in 1997, fate is about to deliver. His random encounter with twin brothers at first seems unremarkable, since it takes more than period costumes to stand out in Austin, Texas. When pressed for an explanation, the twins make an astonishing confession. They have traveled across time from sixteenth-century Venice.

Once Tony learns their enchanted gondola goes both ways, he convinces his brother Frank to take a vacation to 1590. There, Tony meets the beautiful and enigmatic Isabella, the daughter of a Venetian senator. But what begins as an innocent flirtation ends in crisis when Isabella gives birth to twin sons. The boys must be separated and raised in different centuries.

Eighteen years later, an American teenager boards the gondola and returns to the past to find his brother. While a struggling young man in old-world Padua embraces an unexpected future, which might just include romance with a handsome stranger.

This sweeping saga of family and friendship spans four centuries, three love stories, two generations—with one unassuming but kick-ass gondola…

Review:

Brothers Across Time by Brad Boney is a riveting time travel novel with a fantastic cast of characters and an engaging storyline.

In sixteenth-century Venice, unforeseen circumstances forever alter the lives of twin brothers  Bartolomeo “Bart” and Salvatore “Sal” Bonaguro.  In order to save Bartolomeo, Salvatore turns to their sister Sophia, who knows exactly what they must do.  Using an magical gondola, the brothers travel through time to  Austin, TX where they are rescued by Tony Bass and his twin brother Frank.  Tony and Frank teach the brothers about life in modern America while Bart and Sal provide language and history lessons for the time period they once lived. Tony convinces Frank to use the gondola to go back in time where he meets Isabella Loredan. Circumstances beyond Tony’s control force a premature end to their adventure. When the brothers return months later, their lives and many others are forever changed.

In the present, the four men enjoy their impromptu education on the various time periods. Frank and Tony assist Bart and Sal in becoming Americanized and they quickly procure new identities for the time travelers. Both Bart and Sal know they can never return to their former lives and they settle into their new lives.

Knowing the gondola will also work for Tony and Frank  is too tempting for the more adventuresome Tony to resist. However, Frank also must travel with him since the gondola only works if two people use it.  The two men are greatly enjoying their escapade but it comes to an abrupt end and they are forced to return home. However Tony has unfinished business in Venice and he convinces Frank to make another trip. Unexpected news awaits him and Tony is forced to make decision that alters not just his own live, but those of people he deeply cares for.

After this latest journey, life is never quite the same and it takes time to settle into a new life.  After a somewhat troubled beginning, the next several years pass without much difficulty.  When the time comes to reveal the truth about the gondola and time travel, another journey is planned. This trip culminates with heartfelt reunions and a plan that once again leads to unanticipated changes.

Brothers Across Time is an enchanting tale that will delight fans of time travel novels.  The novel is rich with historical details that bring this captivating story vividly to life. This latest release by Brad Boney has an imaginative and clever storyline, marvelous settings and interesting characters.  An absolutely delightful novel that I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend to readers of the genre.

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Filed under Brad Boney, Brothers Across Time, Contemporary, Gay, Historical, Rated B, Review, Time Travel

Review: The Shimmer by Carsten Stroud

Title: The Shimmer by Carsten Stroud
Publisher: MIRA
Genre: Contemporary, Historical (50s), Mystery, Suspense, Sci-Fi/Time Travel
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

How do you hunt a killer who can go back in time and make sure you’re never born?

A police pursuit kicks Sergeant Jack Redding of the Florida Highway Patrol and his trainee, Julie Karras, into a shoot-out that ends with one girl dead and another in cuffs, and the driver of the SUV fleeing into the Intracoastal Waterway. Redding stays on the hunt, driven by the trace memory that he knows that running woman—and he does, because his grandfather, a cop in Jacksonville, was hunting the same woman in 1957.

Redding and his partner, Pandora Jansson, chase a seductive serial killer who can ride The Shimmer across decades. The pursuit cuts from modern-day Jacksonville to Mafia-ruled St. Augustine in 1957, then to the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1914. The stakes turn brutal when Jack, whose wife and child died in a crash the previous Christmas Eve, faces a terrible choice: help his grandfather catch the killer, or change time itself and try to save his wife and child.

The Shimmer is a unique time-shifting thriller that will stay with you long after its utterly unforeseen and yet perfectly diabolical ending

Review:

The Shimmer by Carsten Stroud is a very clever time travel mystery that is fast-paced and engaging.

In the present, Florida Highway Patrol Sergeant Jack Redding and trainee Julia Karras are involved in a high speed chase of an SUV. After the vehicle pulls over, the driver runs off into the woods with the police hot on her heels. Inside the SUV, Jack and Julia find teenage sisters Rebecca and Karen Walker bound in the backseat. While Jack tries to locate the driver, Julia is tasked with setting the sisters free.  When the situation quickly goes south, Julia is forced to protect herself from the girls and after Jack returns to assist her, the mystery woman in the woods vanishes. Later that same evening, Jack and fellow officer Pandora Jansson uncover a stunning link between the driver of the SUV and a case his grandfather, Clete Redding, worked on back in 1957. What, if any, connection could there possibly be between these two cases that take place decades apart?

Jack is unexpectedly presented with the opportunity to find out how the cases intersect when he travels back in time to 1957.  He arrives at a pivotal moment in Clete’s  investigation into the mysterious woman he knows as Selena and her ties with the Vizzini crime family. Working together, Jack and Clete try to uncover the truth surrounding Selena and their investigation then takes them to New Orleans, where NOPD officer Annabelle Fontaine bears a stunning resemblance to someone from Jack’s life in the present.

The coincidences keep coming at Jack when his path crosses with yet another person who plays an instrumental role in his life in the future. Jack’s knowledge about events from the past also torment him as he and grandfather attempt to find out the truth about Selena, whom Jack is certain is murdering her way through time.  What will happen if Jack and Clete try to intervene with history?  More importantly, what if Selena attempts to manipulate events to her advantage? Is it possible to change the past without affecting the future? And will Jack and Clete figure out who Selena is and what exactly she is attempting to locating as she travels through time?

The Shimmer  is an innovative and riveting mystery that incorporates Florida’s history with the Mafia into the storyline.  The time travel element is quite fascinating and this aspect of the plot raises some very intriguing questions about the unintended consequences of altering events from the past. Carsten Stroud completely wraps up the story arc about why Selena is traveling through time and Jack exacts his revenge for her role in a tragic loss. The  novel ends with a stunning plot twist that is completely unforeseen, somewhat ambiguous and a little frustrating. Fans of the genre(s) do not want to miss this enjoyable time travel mystery.

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Filed under Carsten Stroud, Contemporary, Historical, Historical (50s), Mira, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Sci Fi, Suspense, The Shimmer, Time Travel

Review: Cold Summer by Gwen Cole

Title: Cold Summer by Gwen Cole
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Young Adult, Time Travel
Length: 334 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss

Summary:

Today, he’s a high school dropout with no future.

Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.

But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Is Kale’s death inevitable? Does this mean that, one of these days, when Kale travels to the past, he may not come back?

Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him.

Review:

In Cold Summer by Gwen Cole, a teen’s time-traveling ability endangers his life and puts him at odds with his family.

Kale Jackson began time-traveling at seven years of age and recently his “trips” have begun to occur with alarming frequency. His recent travels take him back in time to World War II where his skills as a marksman put him in harm’s way. Kale’s brother Bryce and sister Libby have always been  his staunch supporters, but with Bryce ignoring him as he prepares to leave for college and Libby spending the summer with their mother, Kale has little reason to remain in the present. Adding to his stress is his increasingly fractured relationship with his father, who makes no effort to hide skepticism for his son’s inexplicable disappearances.

Until six years ago, Harper Croft spent her summers with her Uncle Jasper. She, Kale and Libby were inseparable during her visits but in recent years, she is only in touch with Libby. Now moving in with her Uncle Jasper permanently due to her mother’s recent move, Harper is looking forward to renewing these friendships.  Although she is aware of Kale’s disappearances, she has no idea why he periodically vanishes. Despite her alarm over his unhealthy appearance and his apparent unhappiness, Harper keeps her promise she made to him long ago. But when she discovers shocking information about his visits back to World War II, will Harper convince to Kale to try to figure out how to control his unusual ability?

In theory, time travel sounds like an exciting adventure, but as Kale knows all too well, not everyone is willing to believe he travels into the past. Although his siblings and best friend Miles never doubt his stories about his adventures, he has given up trying to convince his father he is telling the truth.  Kale is quickly sinking into despondency when he thinks about his future since his unexplainable absences caused problems with school and extracurricular activities. With everything in the present turning into a unhappy mess,  Kale is only slightly troubled by his frequent trips back to World War II.  At the same, the situation with his dad is spiraling out of control but Kale stubbornly refuses to provide him with irrefutable proof he is telling the truth.  Will he make the same mistake when his relationship with Harper turns romantic?

Harper knows she made the right decision to move in with her Uncle Jasper but she cannot help but wish things were different between her and her emotionally (and now physically) absent mother.  Making the best of her new circumstances, she tries to be understanding about Kale’s frequent absences but she is fairly assertive as she tries to persuade him to try fix his relationship with his father. With her concern over his health growing with each of his trips back to World War II, she eventually forces him to tell her the truth about what is going on with him. Once their friendship deepens into romance, will Harper convince Kale to figure out why his travels have become more frequent? And when she learns the truth about what happens to him during World War II, will Kale try to change the outcome?

Cold Summer is a very clever and enjoyable young adult novel with an interesting premise. Gwen Cole does a fantastic job with the time travel element of the story while at the same time gently delivering an important message to her readers. Although flawed, the characters are appealing and sympathetic. The storyline is engaging and quite interesting. The glimpses of Kale’s wartime experiences  provide insight into  both his need to go back in time to help comrades in arms and his struggles with PTSD in the present. All in all, a riveting young adult novel that I absolutely loved and highly recommend to readers of all ages.

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Filed under Cold Summer, Contemporary, Gwen Cole, Historical, Historical (40s), Rated B, Review, Sky Pony Press, Time Travel, Young Adult