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Key Out Of Time (Time Traders / Ross Murdock #4)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  842 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Key Out of Time is a book in the Time Trader Series. Ross Murdock and Arthur Ashe continue their grand adventure across Time and Space. Ross and Arthur are helped by Karara and two trained dolphins on the World of Hawaika, settled by Hawaiian and Polynesian settlers.
Paperback, 170 pages
Published February 1st 1981 by Ace (first published 1963)
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Fantasy Literature
Key Out of Time is the fourth book in Andre Norton’s TIME TRADERS series. Ross Murdock is once again the hero (he was not present in the previous book). This time he’s on the planet Hawaika which is being settled by the United States. Ross is accompanied by Gordon Ashe and, because this planet has a lot of ocean, Karara, a Polynesian girl who has telepathic dolphin companions.

When Hawaika turns out to be different from what they expected, Ross, Ashe and Karara begin to investigate. What happened
Kat  Hooper
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature:

Key Out of Time is the fourth book in Andre Norton’s TIME TRADERS series. Ross Murdock is once again the hero (he was not present in the previous book). This time he’s on the planet Hawaika which is being settled by the United States. Ross is accompanied by Gordon Ashe and, because this planet has a lot of ocean, Karara, a Polynesian girl who has telepathic dolphin companions.

When Hawaika turns out to be different f
Rollie Reid
This is another of the Time Agent novels, that includes Ashe Gordon and Ross Murdock. In this one, they are on a distant planet and use the time machine to try to learn some of the history of the planet. When things go wrong, they get involved in that history.

I won't go into greater detail for fear of giving away the plot. This is a good book in an older style of Science Fiction, and it is much like the Science Fiction I cut my teeth on, 40 years ago. You must understand that this was not the mo
Andre Norton (born Mary Alice Norton, but legally changed her to increase her publication chances) was probably the first SF writer I ever read. Her novel Star Born fired my imagination, and I read not only her book but any other book that appeared on the library shelf near her indiscriminately. I cannot say Key Out of Time is her best work, but I must acknowledge that she is one of the authors who made a reader out of me.

Key Out of Time is one of those SF novels that don't get written anymore--
Julie Davis
The third of the Time Traders series (although I have seen references to Galactic Derelict which I haven't been able to locate ... and that actually may be the second in the series).

This one I remember as being a continual favorite in my high school years and it is a pleasure to find that I am enjoying it again, having forgotten just enough to make the story seem fairly new.

Investigating the mysteriously abandoned Hawaika, Ross Murdoch and his team are inadvertently swept through the underwater
To summarize what we know about the 'Baldies':

(1) They seem to've been few in number, even at the height of their civilization. Either that, or not many of them came to our sector. Not more than 100 are ever seen.

(2) They're presented as inscrutably hostile. No credible motive is ever imputed to them.

(3) All of them seem to be male, and they may be clones.

(4) They seem to have no conception of other intelligent life, although in the Time Traders there's evidence of at least one other species com
Dean Sault
Key Out of Time is the fourth book in the Time Traders series. It follows Ross Murdock as he and Gordon Ashe go into the past to discover what happened to an ancient civilization that vanished abruptly. They become swept up into a vast galactic war among aliens that ultimately destroyed the planet.

This is my favorite of Andre Norton's time travel series. The main characters are forced to survive against threats far more potent than their meager Earth technology could defeat. But, a Polynesian gi
Jeff R Hawkins

Once again, I have been unable to put this book down when I should be sleeping!
Norton's sense for story telling is superb.
Bruce Baker
Norton is always imaginative and fun.

This one ends abruptly. Is there a sequel? I did not know.
Samantha Glasser
Aug 11, 2014 Samantha Glasser marked it as to-read
Read this book for free through Project Gutenberg:
Manuel Alfonseca
A curious novel in the time-travel sub-genre, quite original and with an unexpected ending.
Linda Jacobs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
1978 grade B
1997 grade B-
2011 grade B+

Series book TT4

(Electronic copy too.)
Great book, Great series. Each book takes place in a completely different time and planet. She also introduces new cultures and characters while keeping a few for continuity.
Key Out of Time, book #4 of the Time Traders series, follows maverick Time Agent Ross Murdock to Hawaika, an aquatic world. Exploring Hawaika in the present day, Ross, Ashe, and Karara and her dolphins are sucked through the time gate during a storm and find themselves in an ancient culture that is a mix of Viking-like sea raiders, Dark Age land-based Wreckers, and the mystic Foanna, witches. Ross and company must united these three clashing cultures and repel the Baldies or all will perish, as ...more
Story out of nothing.
Ann aka Iftcan
This is the 4th book in the Time Traders series. In it Ross and Gordon, along with a pair of dolphins and a girl of Polynesian descent travel to another world to see if they can find out what happened to the civilization that had existed on it in the past, but that mysteriously disappeared.

While preparing their Time Gate, an accident happens and the 5 are thrown back into the past.

There they run into old enemies and new friends.

A good yarn and very enjoyable story.
slow. not enough of anything. i did like the ending. norton expended a lot of writerly energy in her 'scenery and costume design', all of which were quite richly described.

this is the first of norton's books that i've read, despite having seen them on my local library's shelf for years and years and years when i was growing up. i even checked out one or two, but never got around to reading them. i'll read a few more, to be sure, 'just to see'.
Ross was extremely obstinate and pig-headed in this story. No real reason was given why he disliked Karara. He was thinking things and making assumptions that did not have any corroboration from external events. Still, it was a good, interesting and quick read.
Oh my god this was boring. It was like a kid playing with action figures. "ok this guy and this guy are on the palm tree planet! And Aqua Girl is here! Splash! With her dolphin friends! And they go back in time! Zoom! And the bad guys take them prisoner! But then he fights the one bad guy and they like him! And then BWOMM the aliens come! And they fight the aliens and the aliens all die!!"
A readable entertaining novel I read in the 1960's. American agents (Ross & Gordon) venture to a ruined planet. It is mainly covered by an ocean. Polynesian colonists are already there. Karara, a leader, can communicate with dolphins.
Time viewing, a lost civilization, a storm and its aftermath and interfering aliens (Baldies) make for a good science fiction tale.
Wilson E. Stevens Sr.
The basic plot description is good enough with out me adding any thing to it. Read it when it first came out as I am a big fan of Andre Norton, and purchased and read everything that she wrote when it came out. Now that they are in eBook format, I am reading them again. Purchased from Amazon as part of twelve books for $1.99. Well worth the money.
B. Zedan
Sep 09, 2008 B. Zedan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Folks who'd like another entry in Norton's time-tripping line
I'm pretty meh about dolphins, but they do a nice job of being the telepath-link animals used in this entry of Norton's galaxy-colonising, timetravelly, trying not to be noticed by angry aliens we stole tech from sorta series.

Also, there are witches and whoopsie-doo we done went back in time, shit about the history just tryin' to survive.
Baron Greystone
Nostalgic fun by an old master of the genre. I didn't remember this one at all, so it was even more enjoyable. Ending was kind of abrupt, without resolution, so there may be another novel that picks up right where this one left off.
Interesting female characters. No romance in the story at all, which would be highly unlikely today.
Our recurring hero, Ross Murdock, meets a beautiful neo-Hawaiian girl in the past, who swims with telepathic dolphins to defeat the bad guys. The end.
Jon Nichols
Definitely one of the most confusing books of the series. The magic and strange ancient worlds are a little harder to imagine than the more futuristic weapons and tech. Made for a much slower read than the rest of the series so far.
Shannon McDermott
Probably my favorite Andre Norton novel yet; now I want to read all the Time Traders books. Although pure science fiction, Key Out of Time has also a sense of fantasy - a novel of vision and tremendous imagination.
(Audio book free through Librivox Version 2) this was a listening of a book I read when Ace books first published it in paperback.

The audio version is very good with no distracting sound effects.

I downloaded a few free Kindle books by Andre Norton, and while I enjoyed the first Time Traders book as a quick read, I found this one tedious. Maybe I'm just not in the mood for man-of-action SF right now.
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Alice Mary Norton always had an affinity to the humanities. She started writing in her teens, inspired by a charismatic high school teacher. First contacts with the publishing world led her, as many other contemporary female writers targeting a male-dominated market, to choose a literary pseudonym. In 1934 she legally changed her name to Andre Alice. The androgynous Andre doesn't really say "male" ...more
More about Andre Norton...

Other Books in the Series

Time Traders / Ross Murdock (8 books)
  • The Time Traders (Time Traders/ Ross Murdock, #1)
  • Galactic Derelict (Time Traders/Ross Murdock, #2)
  • The Defiant Agents (Time Traders/Ross Murdock, #3)
  • Firehand (Time Traders / Ross Murdock, #5)
  • Echoes in Time (Time Traders / Ross Murdock, #6)
  • Atlantis Endgame: A New Time Traders Adventure (Time Traders / Ross Murdock, #7)
  • Time Traders III: Echoes In Time / Atlantis Endgame
The Elvenbane (Halfblood Chronicles, #1) Elvenblood (Halfblood Chronicles, #2) Elvenborn (Halfblood Chronicles, #3) Witch World (Witch World Series 1: Estcarp Cycle, #1) The Time Traders (Time Traders/ Ross Murdock, #1)

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