Thursday, 13 December 2012

Review: Take Back Tomorrow

Take Back Tomorrow
Take Back Tomorrow by Richard Levesque

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's a pleasure to read an indie-published book that is not only well-edited, but also well and intricately plotted.

Time-travel books inevitably get complex, and I enjoyed the author's skill in bringing the whole story together and tucking up all the loose ends. No Chekhov's gun remained unfired.

I liked the protagonists, too. Eddie is a decent guy, and we could do with more of them. Roxanne is a genuinely strong woman, who doesn't feel the need to shout about it or to reject Eddie's help because of it. The supporting characters were well-drawn and distinctive.

I did feel that Eddie and Roxanne's relationship progressed implausibly fast, but the plot more or less required that. I also found the initial setup - that Eddie didn't want his editor to find out that he was plagiarizing Shakespeare - a little weak. I was never convinced that the editor would care that much as long as the stories were selling, it was hardly illegal, and (as Eddie himself pointed out) it's not as if Shakespeare didn't take other people's stories himself. Perhaps the author, as a teaching academic, has stronger-than-average feelings about plagiarism.

The other disappointment to me was the final chapter. I felt that there was a lot of telling rather than showing so that the book could be wrapped up in a bit of a rush. Even in the second-to-last chapter I still felt like there were too many remaining plot threads for the book to be complete without a sequel. Surely, I thought, he can't wrap all that up in one chapter. Well, he could, but only by fast-forwarding.

It's a pity the end wasn't more satisfying (which it could easily have been if it had been stretched out just a little - even another chapter might have done it, and two certainly would have). The rest of the book I thoroughly enjoyed.

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