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Timecaster (Timecaster #1)

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  563 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
Chicago, 2064: Talon Avalon is a timecaster-one of a select few peace officers who can operate a TEV, the Tachyon Emission Visualizer, which records events (most specifically, crimes) that have already happened. With crime at an all-time low, Talon has little to do except give lectures to school kids and obsess on his wife's profession as a licensed sex partner. Until one ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Ace Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This whole book is very much wish fulfillment fiction. And that's fine; I believe there's a place for wish fulfillment fiction, but all wishes are not created equal. Which in this case is basically to say that I'm not a man. See, Talon is good at everything. He's not just a cop, he's a rare Timecaster. And he's not just a Timecaster, he's one of the best Timecasters. He's a martial arts expert (despite not giving it much of his time) and is married to an unfathomably beautiful sex worker (called ...more
May 27, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very frustrating. At first I liked it. It had an interesting plot and characters, even the main character's wife fascinated me. But somewhere around the middle I lost interest rapidly. For one thing there's pretty much two rape scenes where in each a woman or women try to/succeed in having sex with the main character. This scene was portrayed in a manner that made it seem 'good' and 'appealing'. This was where I wanted to strangle something. The scene was disgusting and in very bad ...more
I'm really surprised that I haven't heard any buzz about this book! Timecaster is the first science fiction novel written by Joe Kimball, a pseudonym for JA Konrath who has previously written thriller and horror novels. Timecaster is full of interesting world-building: a virtual Utopian society with no violent crime, legalized drugs, institutionalized prostitution and life after oil. Technology is a big feature in Timecaster, both in creating the setting and driving the plot. The technology that ...more
The writing itself was much better than most things I rate this badly. And the concept was decent. But the execution? Let's just say that if you thought Crank was an awesome movie in a completely nonfarcical way, you'd love this book.

It first lost me in the Penthouse Forum-style girls-on-boy gangbang scene about halfway through. And Evil Genius Madman? Really?

Even the "ecopunk" infrastructure had problems. He envisions a new "intranet" which has all the great information but none of th
May 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adrian McCarthy
Timecaster is more of an action/adventure story set in the future than a hard science fiction novel. Nevertheless, J.A. Konrath (writing as Joe Kimball) puts some interesting what-if ideas out there, and they help the story to good effect. It's a fast read--one cliffhanger after another. Overall, it was a nice mindless escape with the usual Konrath humor, lots of imaginative action sequences, and downright over-the-top violence and sex.

I have a few minor quibbles with the plot, which I'll leave
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults who like to laugh
Recommended to Darlene by: Kindle Unlimited
Oh. My. Goodness! Whew! That was a ride! Any of you old enough to remember E-tickets? Yeah, that kind of ride. So much fun, yet keeping you on the edge of your seat the whole time.

Was it the fantastic narration of Patrick Lawlor or did the author, Jack Kilborn just have that many funny bones in him? Whichever, or the combination, I had so many laugh out loud moments while reading that I am glad I was at home. I can imagine others in a library, looking at me like I was crazy. As it was I had to
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A well-conceived, well-told fun story. Cute pop culture references and intriguing science and technology. Then why the low rating? (Ignoring the hero's shrugging off injuries that would kill or at least hospitalize a normal human. Hey, it's that kind of story.)

Assuming it started at four stars, deduct one for the pornography--or as he called it "pr0n." Totally unnecessary and off-putting. (For some that'll be no problem, but many don't care to have it sprung on them like this.)

Loses another star
3.5 out of 5.

Wow, talk about an intriguing concept! The geek in me is still giddy over the use of tachyons, parallel universes, micro black holes, other dimensions and more in this novel. Timecaster was a quantum physics fangirl’s dream come true and I devoured it. The premise of Timecaster does sound a little like Van Damme’s Timecop—and there’s even a shout-out to it in the book—but this book is so much better than Van Damme’s film.

The author invented a term to categorize his book: ecopunk. Ec
Feb 28, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Think of it like a lesser, cruder version of The Minority Report crossed with one of the later, formulaic James Patterson books to add an evil genius ("The Mastermind"? Really?). Not that great. Other reviewers have talked about the excessive sex scenes (which weren't interesting or even relevant, so I just flipped straight past after the first one). The world concept was interesting (the need for biofuels, Web 4.0) but barely touched upon and not explained. In fact, the biofuel problem just see ...more
Janet Windeguth
Joe Kimball is the pseudonym of J.A. Konrath, who penned the Jack Daniels series I used to devour. Talon turns out to be Jack’s grandson, which was the only reason I decided to read this book. A patron’s assurance that the book eventually got better was the only reason I kept reading it. The high dosage of technology, coupled with my need to frequently consult the glossary in the back of the book gave me a headache. Goodbye, Talon Avalon. Wish I could say it’s been fun.
Danny Sullivan
Aug 24, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The opening page where the author gave various definitions of "Ecopunk" ending with a reference to himself was a bad sign. The first chapter just got worse. I didn't go on. I just wished I could get my $7 back.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I listened to this on audiobook (special at audible). The reader is fine. Good voice. Fine pace. But, this book does not lend itself to audio. The shortcut codes used on the Internet are inappropriate for a book, much less an audiobook.

As for the book, I didn't care enough to want to listen to the end, but i did. It's not a bad book, but not a keeper for me. The only thing going for it was action. The characters were difficult to care about. The main character was intended to be a jerk, but the
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joe Kimball (aka J.A. Konrath) writes some crazy stuff. Some I've enjoyed, some I haven't.

This one was definitely enjoyable. It starts of nuts and stays nuts. I mean there's something REALLY bizarre in it that just made me laugh (WARNING ~ quite sexually bizarre) (view spoiler) Some crazy stuff, but really fun and enjoyable! Can't wait to read the next one.
Jesus Ibarra
Timecaster is sci-fi mystery set in the future, Chicago 2067, where Talon Avalon is a timecaster who operates a machine that can see the past. With the widespread use of these machines, crimes have become non-existent.

Talon, a guy who lives to be a cop, is kind of bored with nothing to do until one of his wife’s clients (she is a State licensed prostitute) asks him to look into a possible murder. He jumps at the chance. That is until he uses his time viewing machine and sees the killer is him,
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

Talon Avalon is a timecaster and a homicide detective. in 2064 Chicago. Murder is almost unheard of in this new utopia, and he spends a lot of his time lecturing to grade school kids. His wife is a social worker (aka a government licensed prostitute). When Talon’s neighbor shows up claiming that his aunt has been murdered and asks for his help, Talon is intrigued. When he goes to the sweet auntie’s apartment to investigate
Cyn Armistead
Jun 21, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, if I had realized from the start that the author was the same guy who writes the Jack Daniels crime series, I wouldn't have bothered, despite the fact that the book was free. I read one of those books years ago and found it profoundly annoying. By the time I did put those facts together, I was well into the book.

As other reviewers have pointed out, this is male wish-fulfillment fantasy disguised as science fiction. The protagonist is handsome, he excels at everything he tries to do, an
I'm embarrassed to say that I read "Timecaster". The writing is fine for what it is. My sense is that the author realizes that he is going to get some push back on this novel, and yes. I feel like pushing back. I bought the book (Kindle ebook and audio on sale) before I realized where it was going. That's my fault. I also bought the sequel before reading the 1st book. (Actually I listened to it since I have the audiobook.)

The writing is better than most authors but it's a lot of cursing, gratuit
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ok it seems that most people who dislike the book do so because they have problems with the society Kimball tries to portray in his book. He takes the libertine utopia(max-personal freedom, min state involvement) and tries to fit it into a semi-realistic future and it works surprisingly well. This can create problems if you dislike that sort of morale and ethics this implies.

I however had no problem with that, instead I really like the idea behind the setting and the action scenes were really e
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I was all set to rate this baby 5 stars and put it on my wishlist because it has a well-constructed world, which is the main thing I want in a book right now. It was mostly funny and easy to read, with interesting scientifically plausible-sounding tidbits. However, things quickly went downhill.

List of grievances (no real spoilers): not only was there a mention of a dead dog, it was a poodle and had died in a majorly vulgar way. I have a pet-peeve about dead dogs anyway, but I have three pood
eden Hudson
Timecaster is like the Lt. Jack Daniels series on amphetamines and acid. I bought it after reading a 1-star review that claimed it was full of gratuitous sex set in a ridiculous future with a lot of pointless technology thrown in. That sounded like something I would really enjoy.

First of all, the sex, while not as gratuitous as that 1-star review advertised, was still a whole lot of fun. The future was actually really cool (I'd never read any ecopunk before) and all of the technology Konrath int
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book. I won't reprint the book blurb, as so many reviewers on here do. I liked the world, I liked the characters, I even laughed at the sex scenes & I hate sex scenes in books. I read this in one sitting. It is that good. It came in a boxed set. The first review I wrote I deleted, as when I looked up the author listed as the author on here is Joe Kimball, while my book says the author is Konrath. Went back to the page for the book & both authors are listed. Pen name maybe? I do noti ...more
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book because I wanted a sample of Konrath's writing. He writes as Joe Kimball in this book. Loved the theoretical science in it (once you get past the sex scenes): i.e., time travel, parallel universes, what quantum mechanics can produce with enough ingenuity and planning, a greener environment. Even the corny humor was okay. Unfortunately, along with all the possible theoretical scientific advances mankind could have by the time of the hero's century in this book, comes the "legal" dr ...more
Roberto Mattos
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very entertaining book, with some excellent ideas in terms of futuristic technologies. The idea of being able to record past events is fantastic, and it is the basis of the plot. Our hero (Talon) is one of the few officers who knows how to operate a device that records the past. This device is mostly used to solve crimes. But leaving in a society with no crimes is also challenging and Talon soon finds out that it can disturb the minds of people. He investigates a crime that just happen ...more
David Schick
Aug 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Short description of Timecaster: Action, space elevators, swearing, kendo, drug use, miniaturized exotic animals as pets, sex, acronyms, nanotubes, violence, and parallel universes in a futuristic Libertarian utopia.

It has essentially everything going for it, even if I didn't agree with some of it. Nobody would agree with everything though. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of parallel universes, but in this story it somehow works. It was difficult to put down, especially as the book was running ou
Jacqueline King
The world is a very different place in Kimball's future.

Talon Avalon, grandson of famed crime fighter Jack Daniels, is thrown into a deadly game of cat and mouse with The Mastermind, a mysterious figure who plots to destroy Talon, and planet Earth. The storyline was ridiculous and hilarious, filled with Kimball's quick wit and no-nonsense attitude. Bizarre gadgets and acronyms kept the reader guessing, with surprises at every turn. And Harry McGlade made a welcome return. His unique brand of hum
Oct 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a mindless, wish-fulfilment fantasy sci-fi novel this doesn't do too bad a job. If you can forgive the ludicrous plot line it's quite a page turner. Some of the ideas are interesting and reasonably well explored but it's annoying that the novel is not remotely finished and you have to read on to find out what happens in book two. Unfortunately the second book is not worthy of 3 stars and it barely resolves the plot lines. By the end of that book (Timecaster Supersymmetry) everything has becom ...more
Sep 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK, there are times while reading this that you ask yourself "Is this guy gonna make it to the end of the book?" Non stop action, with a lot of humor added. Imagine using a machine to look back in time to find out who committed a murder and finding out it was you. The rest of the book is spent on proving it wasn't. I did figure out who the mastermind was before it was revealed in the book, but then a new bad guy shows up in the end. The ending is definitely different and makes you want to get to ...more
Feb 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Chicago, 2064: Talon Avalon is a timecaster, -one of a select few peace officers who can operate a TEV, the Tachyon Emission Visualizer, which records events (most specifically, crimes) that have already happened. With crime at an all-time low, Talon has little to do except give lectures to school kids and obsess on his wife's profession as a licensed sex partner. Until one of her clients asks Talon to investigate a possible murder. When Talon uses the TEV to view the crime, the identity of the

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What's The Name o...: Sci Fi Futuristic Novel, first of a series [s] 10 40 Dec 24, 2012 10:50AM  
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Who is Joe Kimball?

Joe Kimball is yet another pen name of author J.A. Konrath. While Konrath writes thrillers and Jack Kilborn writes horror, Kimball writes science fiction.

Two Joe Kimball novels, Timecaster and Timecaster Supersymmetry, will be released in 2011 by Ace/Berkley. The first, Timecaster, is scheduled for May 31. You can preorder the paperback on Amazon here.

The books take place in Chi
More about Joe Kimball...

Other Books in the Series

Timecaster (2 books)
  • Timecaster Supersymmetry (Timecaster, #2)

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