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The Lord of the Sands of Time

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  251 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
L to R (Western Style). Sixty-two years after human life on Earth was annihilated by rampaging alien invaders, the enigmatic Messenger O is sent back in time with a mission to unite humanity of past eras—during the Second World War and ancient Japan, and even back to the dawn of the species itself—to defeat the invasion before it begins. However, in a future shredded by wa ...more
Paperback, 196 pages
Published July 21st 2009 by Haikasoru
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Sword and Laser Sci-Fi list
225th out of 555 books — 1,167 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 850)
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Mars Dorian
Dec 04, 2013 Mars Dorian rated it really liked it
Good sci-fi story about a human-like AI that travels to medieval Japan (and other time periods) to defend humans from a vicious alien species.

The concept sounded trite at first, but the implementation is awesome.
The main character aka O - the Messenger comes from the future, where humans retreated on different planets throughout the galaxy.

He's able of upstreaming, aka time traveling, and goes back to past centuries to earth where he almost singlehandedly fights the alien aggressors that can ti
Zachary Jernigan
Mar 15, 2015 Zachary Jernigan rated it liked it
Nothing here blew me away, and a great deal of the rationale behind the speculation seemed nonsensical, but some of the imagery and concepts will definitely stick with me. As usual with translated works, I can't help but wonder how it reads in the original language, among people raised in the cultural context of the author. Oh, well; I'll never know because I ain't going to the trouble to learn Japanese.
Timothy Stone
May 20, 2015 Timothy Stone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think that the Japanese have a penchant for open-ended stories and for scary villains that are either faceless or else inscrutable and abhorrent in their moralities. This book was no exception.

In The Lord of the Sands of Time, humanity in the future has been decimated by a faceless enemy alien menace. Whoever the adversary is, they have unleashed monstrous creations that are designed for one purpose: to kill humanity. Humanity has tried everything it can think of, from talking, to even surrend
I've heard it said that readers will accept one blatantly ludicrous or impossible thing in a story without much complaint, but add in another one and eyebrows start going up, to say nothing of every additional one past that. The problem with including time travel in a story is that it's almost always more than one blatantly ludicrous thing at the same time, and if not done well, it's really easy to get the reader lost in trying to figure out how the time travel works instead of engaging with the ...more
Sean O'Hara
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Baldowski
Jul 08, 2014 Paul Baldowski rated it really liked it
Interesting read. Humanity seeks to save itself by sending artificial soldiers, and a supporting AI called Cutty Sark, into the past to defeat the insidious ET. Split across two interweaving stories - one deals with Messenger O in ancient Japan, while the other looks back (and yet forward) at Messenger O's experiences prior to his arrival in Japan, starting in the 26th century.

Shocked some Hollywood studio hasn't done an Edge of Forever with this one already (the Tom Cruise film being based on a
Apr 30, 2015 Tiffany rated it really liked it
In my search for a hard scifi book, I somehow ended up on Haikasoru; one of the few companies who tries to bring Japanese sci-fi and fantasy novels to America and beyond!

I really like the concept of the story: time-traveling soldiers who have to change the future from getting invaded by extraterrestrials, while also trying to unite mankind. A lot of science fiction and a bit of romance here and there. I really like how Ogawa showed us the struggles and intense emotions of Messenger who tries so
I just finished reading The Lord of the Sands of Time, and though I enjoyed reading it, I can't at all decide how I feel about it. The story was involving, with some clever time travel plot structuring, and Lady Miyo was an excellent character, as was the fantastic Alexandre. Orville felt like more of an abstraction than a main character, though, making this book slightly difficult to connect with, and the ending felt like a cop out. As a good sci-fi adventure, I'd recommend this book, but as a ...more
Sachi S.
Jan 12, 2012 Sachi S. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-love
This was my first sci-fi book.
It made me cry, laugh and blush.
Words cannot describe this book except for...
I loved it.
Jul 18, 2014 Chris rated it liked it
You might imagine you were picking up a manga from the cover, and you wouldn't be too far off. The book plays fast and loose with time travel and logic and has its share of overwrought emotion. It does rear its head occasionally with a clever idea or interesting commentary, but then it's quickly back to a taught and improbable battle for survival in whatever time the author felt like exploring next. Through all of this, the book stays light on it's feet, never making a fatal misstep and moving t ...more
Artur Coelho
Aug 29, 2013 Artur Coelho rated it really liked it
Num futuro não muito distante a humanidade foi escorraçada para os limites do sistema solar pelos ataques insistentes de alienígenas desconhecidos que se manifestam como cyborgs destrutivos. O planeta Terra já foi aniquilado várias vezes pelos ataques da força alienígena mas a humanidade tem um plano para ripostar e reconquistar o seu berço: estender a luta pelo espaço-tempo, enviando forças a momentos chave do passado que permitam à humanidade lutar contra a invasão. Só que ao fazê-lo vão começ ...more
May 10, 2012 Maya rated it really liked it
I bought Lord of the Sands of Time because of its super pretty cover. Knowing nothing about the actual content or the author, I didn't have any high expectations, but this novel turned out to be a wonderful surprise. It is well written and the translator did an excellent job.

LotSoT is basically a “historical science-fiction”, slightly different from steampunk, since time travel is involved. Some parts are set in the future but the majority of the plot actually takes place in our past, going back
Rena McGee
Apr 25, 2013 Rena McGee rated it liked it
In most of the science fiction I read growing up, changing the time line is generally a Bad Thing. Killing Hitler in the cradle will simply result in a more horrible dictator arising. (Actually, I don’t think this was in an actual story, this was a Theory advocated by an acquaintance of mine who believed that this would be a logical consequence, though I’m not sure why or how). If you squish a butterfly while hunting a dinosaur, it can result in long lasting and unexpected repercussions and also ...more
D.M. Dutcher
Jul 21, 2012 D.M. Dutcher rated it it was ok
Japanese SF usually is hit or miss with me, but this was a okay tale.

In the 26th century, aliens called ETs invade the earth, forcing humanity back to the moons of Jupiter. Humanity builds Messenger AI's, overwatched by the computer Cutty Sark, and sends them back in time to try and stop the ETs from exterminating humanity when it is least able to fight back: in the past.

One such messenger, Orville, is sent back in time to pre-feudal Japan, where he meets and falls in love with the Shaman Queen
Aug 02, 2009 Joshua rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for light and entertaining sci-fi future action
When I first heard that Viz Media would be creating a new imprint called Haikasoru which would publish an array of contemporary Japanese science fiction and fantasy stories for English-speaking audiences, an imprint helmed and edited by famed sci-fi writer Nick Mamatas (great Lovecraftian work from him), I got really excited. I've always bemoaned the glut of international speculative fiction here in North America so it was nice to see an imprint dedicated to remedying that fact.

The Lord of the
Jan 31, 2016 Hayley rated it really liked it
A definite recommendation to anyone who likes time travel, especially the ones that present some form of interesting play on the conventions. It is quite grim in tone, if a little detached when it comes to details of battles. The ending is kind of weak, but it doesn't detract too much from a really solid piece of writing. I'd most certainly pick up more of this author's work.
Marc Weidenbaum
Time travel sci-fi, translated from the Japanese. Chapters alternate back and forth between 248AD Japan and various alternate universes along an ever-splitting time line, some far in the future, some deep in the past, some recent yet fundamentally changed. Ogawa manages to handle both the universe's quantum weirdness and the characters' emotional intensity, a combination of skills something not every sci-fi author can muster. The telling is blessedly taut, and the translation seems strong -- a f ...more
Jaka Kun
Mar 29, 2012 Jaka Kun rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012

La idea central del libro me gustó bastante, el viaje en el tiempo y las distintas ramas temporales creadas por los viajes de los mensajeros. En particular el giro que da hacia el final del libro cuando descubren la verdad de su propia línea del tiempo fue algo que no me esperaba.

Sin embargo, siento que le faltaron cosas, la explicación de los ET que atacan a la humanidad me pareció simple, en un par de páginas cierra el tema cuando creo que pudiera ser de mucho más provecho y peso en el libro.
Jun 12, 2015 Alicia rated it liked it
disappointed only because it wasn't as trashy as I hoped it would be...and it was actually pretty good lolol. very bleak throughout, and lots of fighting scenes that I didn't care too much for.
Was this book written specifically for me. Time travel, alien race, robotic super creatures, artificial intelligence with sentience, feudal Japan, and the far future. Yeah, this was my kind of book. It also had a pretty good story of love and sacrifice. The only negative marks I could give it are due to some translation issues. I would say 99% of it is translated perfectly but that makes that 1% that isn't stick out like a sore thumb.

It felt a lot like All You Need Is Kill. If you like one of t
Jorge Gallegos
Oct 19, 2013 Jorge Gallegos rated it liked it
I really, really liked this book. I specially liked the author not giving away any of the details from the end of the book, you get the feeling you have it figured out and sort of just want to get it over with but then realize you were wrong, and that's a nice feeling.

The story takes place across several eras and time streams, but nevertheless you never feel "lost" and that's something you don't see every day.

The only thing I didn't like was the ending, it could've gone a bit longer, feels a bit
Oct 24, 2011 Gabriel rated it liked it
I'm not usually a fan of SF (totally Team Fantasy) and I got the impression (from the blurb) that this would be pretty heavy on romance (and would potentially be unbearably saccharine) but I decided to read it anyway since it was short and the non-romance-related premise sounded interesting. Boy, was I glad I did. The (translated) writing was easy to follow, the action engaging (and this coming from someone with an almost non-existent attention span) and the romance kept to a bare minimum. While ...more
Jan 20, 2015 Eve rated it really liked it
Interesting story with a great ending. The writing felt a bit dry in parts but the overall story more than made up for it.
Aug 21, 2014 Vanekos rated it really liked it
Shelves: japanese
Really liked this - Japanese writing has a different style to Western. It makes a refreshing change.
Jul 19, 2014 Ewan rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I liked this. The plot could probably have sustained an epic series, but sometimes brevity is better.
J. Allen Nelson
Jan 06, 2013 J. Allen Nelson rated it really liked it
I was very impressed with this short work of time travel/messing-with-history saga translated from Japanese-- the type of story for which I am always a sucker. I think if it had been longer it would not have had the impact it had on me. Not so much the writing but the evocation of a culture vastly different from my own. I am new to Japanese SF and not into manga or Japanimation, so this is a great introduction to the literature of the fantastic that goes well beyond the fun monster flicks I love ...more
feux d'artifice
Aug 10, 2010 feux d'artifice rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poc-author, spec, romance
This is quite possibly the most romantic sci-fi novel I've ever come across in my entire life. An epic love story like no other: the love for a person, a country, an idea, humanity itself in the face of extinction by the hands of an alien invasion and across the whole of space and time. Gives the idea of love transcending time a whole new meaning. By the end of this novel, I too was struck by love.
Apr 26, 2010 Richard rated it liked it
Shelves: sf, fiction, japan, richard-s, books
Quite a fun little story.

Some interesting flitting about in alternate time streams, as well as loves found and lost. Thing is that it is all a little slight. Also, I'm not convinced by the style, though that could easily be that things have been lost in translation.

I may have a look at some of Ogawa's other stuff later (some of his other stuff is supposed to be better than this).
Mar 05, 2009 Eric rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction, 2009
I'm sure there are hundreds of sci-fi novels that include a heavy dose of romance. But, until now, I don't think I've ever read one. This crazy hybrid of a book delivers science fiction hardware along with a compelling love story. Recommended for anyone who would travel back to the dawn of time to save the person they love.
Ian Roditi
Jun 29, 2011 Ian Roditi rated it liked it
No es mal libro, pero a mi gusto está medio plano: Mucha descripción de datos que igual no te importan, poca descripción de los que sí te importan y, válgame la rebusnancia, la emoción no es muy emocionante.

Maybe I was not in the mood.
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Issui Ogawa is a Japanese writer of Science Fiction.
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