Monday, 7 July 2014

Review: Memoirs of a Time Traveler

Memoirs of a Time Traveler
Memoirs of a Time Traveler by Doug Molitor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An entertaining, well-plotted action piece that would film well, not surprising considering the author's background in movies and TV. To its credit, the female character is the brawn (though she's also shallow and ignorant). You have to suspend some disbelief and just go along for the ride, but it's a time travel story, so you were already suspending some disbelief going in.

The author gives a convincing impression of having done his research - not having done the same research, I can't say more than that. I didn't catch any obvious wrong notes in the historical scenes, apart from using the horns of a gold statue to cut bonds (gold doesn't take a good edge; it's too soft). The plot is mostly consistent, though I did pick up what seemed to be a contradiction over whether the Time Crystal would or would not respond to instructions from the hero, and it weaves together well.

There's plenty of action, with the genetic superwoman from the future flinging around Nazi goons, as per the cover, and various other antagonists, and the narrator, a former competitive fencer, getting to use his sword skills multiple times. I do question whether someone used to fencing with a light competition saber would be able to adapt so quickly to a shorter and heavier sword, though I accept that he would be better than someone with no training.

It was clear from early on that the two main characters would get together. Considering that the woman comes off initially as a vapid airhead, with her appearance being the main thing going for her, I wasn't enthused about that development, and although her heroic desire to do the right thing did come out in the course of the book, she doesn't really develop enough for me to applaud the hero's taste. I find it believable that he would end up with her, but don't predict it working out in the long term.

The book as a whole has more depth than the heroine, and a degree of originality, and I do enjoy a time-travel story. It's fun, action-packed and generally well written, though there are some odd mangled sentences with words missing or in the wrong order which haven't been caught, despite the author's acknowledgements to a long list of people for reading over the text. It needs someone to read it upside down, backwards or aloud to pick up these errors.


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