This was a monthly group read in our Time Travel Group here on Goodreads. Not sure why to be honest as its not really a time travel book. But its SciThis was a monthly group read in our Time Travel Group here on Goodreads. Not sure why to be honest as its not really a time travel book. But its Sci Fi and its a moderately entertaining one in parts but equally tedious and cheaply written elsewhere.
My problem with it is that it's a lazy formulaic novel that channels the spirit of Michael Crichton and similar authors but without the originality and careful thought in maintaining a consistency in its high concept logic. Not that other successful authors maintain consistency in their logic but when they fail, it's often not without lack of trying and at least they push a compelling narrative to compensate. Here, in-story rules are blatantly broken in order to give a thrill or give a hero a fighting chance. Lazy and cheap.
In terms of being formulaic, that's not really a criticism in general, I do love a good formula, long may they reign and there is a sincerity to giving this one its own flavour. What I enjoyed most was that this turned out to be an unexpected detective story rather than a sci fi action thriller and a sometimes amusing romance that even had an hilarious revelation. This made up for the lack of action or excitement which was non existent in the first two thirds of the book and a by the numbers generated mix of characters which were cardboard cut out caricatures of stereotypical characters in other typicals works of science fiction.
This is 50s style B movie stuff and it reads like one. Again, that's no bad thing, I absolutely love watching B movies including the terrible acting n'all. The sad thing about this "B movie" novel is that the third final act was a tedious run of the mill series of predictable action which were unthrilling, unoriginal and worse, feels like this should have been placed in the middle act and continue a proper story from there. But no its ends...probably for sequels.
The dialogue is ladened with witty banter which is always welcome except here it feels so forced and while much of it is genuinely witty, it's mostly too smartass and often delivered in inappropriate situations. Another problem is that both dialogue and narrative descriptions is filled with pop culture references and to me that is lazy writing. Dont say, "he looks like Severus Snape" and assume the reader has read or seen a Harry Potter book/film. Lazy. Cheap. Lazy. Cheap. The book is filled with this sort of thing, even more than the number of times I used the words, lazy and cheap. Just like me really, I know all about being cheap and lazy. Look, referencing pop culture is great when its actually part of the environment. But here its mostly unrelated and doesnt serve the narrative. It is a deliberate ploy to just seek favour with the reader by mentioning classics everywhere. Not impressed. If you like that sort of thing, then enjoy. To me, it feels...yep, cheap.
I didnt know this but apparantly this is a sort sideways sequel to another book called 14 and I am wondering if its worth giving that a read as some of my group friends say that is a more entertaining novel.
Anyway, I want to give this a 2.5/5 for being half fun and half tedious but I cant officially rate it as such so I will be generous and round up my rating to 3 which it doesnt deserve but neither does it deserve a 2.
This was quite an emotional rollercoaster journey through the eyes of a reluctant time travelling father, thanks to a highly engaging narrative and aThis was quite an emotional rollercoaster journey through the eyes of a reluctant time travelling father, thanks to a highly engaging narrative and a tremendous insight into the issues that our current civilisation faces, the fragility of society, religions and governments, and projected repercussions of the choices society and individuals make in technological advances.
It has been done before for sure. But it's all about delivery and perspectives. And what we have here is a unique and epic journey (at least from my reading experience) into the future through the limiting perspective from a father. In all honesty, much of what happens in the grand scale of things is in the background. Focus is on family attachments. Nevertheless, those background events affects that human foreground narrative. Its very clever writing and the author never ever loses the main focus with a prose that is beautifully streamlined, devoid of unnecessary superfluous environmental details. This makes the book an even easier page turner.
The depiction of the future is plausible, fascinating as well as frightening and thrilling as the future unravels through the father's eyes.
I am not one to delve into story...otherwise what is the point of reading it, huh?
All I will say is that its riveting stuff, heart rendering, soulful and very thought provoking that can easily divide readers opinions of the characters and motives depicted but in a good way.
NON SPOILER review. The least adventurous instalment but narratively wise a superb conclusion to a brilliant thought provoking series
This final novelNON SPOILER review. The least adventurous instalment but narratively wise a superb conclusion to a brilliant thought provoking series
This final novel in the Timeriders series is a little disappointing in terms of maintaining an exhilarating narrative that the previous 8 books delivered. Having said that, the purpose of this final instalment was to drill a definitive message on the state of our world in ecology, religion and the nature of humanity. It does so with an aggressively preaching approach and very much directed at the the fresher minded youthful generation. In fact, at the end of the book after the end of the story, the author Alex Scarrow, writes a special message to readers inviting ...no, strike that...instructing us to offer our opinions...coaxing a certain train of thought. I noticed that Alex has been touring around schools and I thought nice tactical idea to market his books but having finished the book, I realise there is more to his touring the schools than that. I realise he is spreading the messages of the books to encourage young people to think of the world's future and what religions are about...its a commendable mission. Although I ahve to say he may be brainwashing his readers and schools that he has visited! But you know what, if I had to be brainwashed then I rather be brainwashed by Alex Scarrow! Well in all honesty I am too old to be brainwashed, I already have my own opinions which I admit are not so extreme as the authors.
So know this, the author is very aggressive with his opinion on world religion and ecology in this final novel. Its very blatant and hardly subtle so keep it in mind.
Sorry, let me get back to the book itself. Its always a joy to be alongside our familiar protagonists and the author maximises the poignancies of their epic experiences and developing maturity and relationship. Unlike many other YA series fiction, the author does not dwell on romantic slush and in fact makes realistic choices for each of our protagonist's directions. The author keeps it real with our protagonists journeys and destinies as well as emphasising love, friendship, trust and loyalty.
Its all very very subdued, though. There is a somewhat lack of dynamic to the journey's conclusion. Its one long journey of contemplation and reflection. Although there is a fair amount of tension in the air, there are is no sense of adventure here as in the previous books just a few dotted around but nothing on a significant scale. Perhaps its inevitable and deliberate but I cant help feeling it could have been injected with something more in the narrative. Nevertheless, there are several moments of brilliance, some especially taking advantage of one of the major settings...ie 2000 years in Jerusalim. Perhaps the most significant setting in the whole series to advance the authors ultimate delivery of the story's morals and message. It is quite ingenious in fact. Very very clever, I loved that...as well as a little worried where the author was taking this regards to a particular historical figure of the time.
What really satisfies me is that all the secrets are revealed, no stone was left unturned. However, it feels to me that the author was so impatient to deliver these revelations and moral messages that he did not bother to give this last instalment a more visceral finale and a dynamic reveal to all these secrets. Instead, all revelations are done in conversations. In fact the whole novel is mainly filled with conversations on basic philosophy, religion and thankfully some much needed humour. That's no bad thing by any means just be prepared for a lot of talk in this one. When I think of other popular series, I realise there is a similar pattern with how final books conclude. Ie a long desolate journey of contemplation.
The concept all through the narrative is powerful and in fact deliberately depressing. The revelations are suitably satisfying for the series. They dont quite knock me for six but it pleases me that the revelations serve a purpose in moral and a means to have younger readers thinking and perhaps encourage them to make a difference in the world's troublesome direction and for that I absolutely commend and recommend this series to be enjoyed by everyone.
As I have only just finished the book a few hours ago, time will tell how much this series will leave a mark on me but I have been a fan, owning all the collector's editions. This final instalment, despite all of my criticisms, justfies my collection. Its a satisfyingly thought provoking and moral conclusion to a wonderfully exciting and heart pounding scifi series. I highly enjoyed the journey.
For the whole series, this gets a 9.5/10 from me. For this book 9 final instalment, I'll give it 7.5/10...more