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The Kronos Interference

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NAMED TO KIRKUS REVIEWS BEST OF 2012 (Starred Review)

How far would you go to save the world?

When physicist Jacob Newman is pulled from his family, his job, and his whole life to investigate a strange vessel discovered at the bottom of the South Pacific, he finds evidence of time travel, along with implications that a judgment day against mankind is imminent. But it isn’t until he cracks the time travel technology and uncovers a startling link to his own family history that he undertakes a dangerous mission back to 1924 to kill Adolf Hitler and undo a horrific episode of Earth’s violent past. The results are catastrophic, and soon he discovers much darker forces working against him—forces he must overcome if he hopes to save humanity and see his family again.

Written in the vein of the late Michael Crichton, James Rollins, and similar authors who inject high concept plots with little-known historical facts and a touch of cutting-edge science, The Kronos Interference offers international intrigue, fast-paced action, and plenty of twists and turns. The book received the coveted starred review from Kirkus Reviews, who called it "impressively original" and a "tour de force."

346 pages, Paperback

First published June 24, 2012

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Edward Miller

3 books11 followers

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 31 reviews
Profile Image for Amy.
642 reviews128 followers
July 24, 2014
If you could travel back in time and change one single, horrible event in history that could redeem the tarnished name of humankind by preventing tens of millions of deaths, what would it be? Jake thinks he knows because the universe seems to be pushing him toward it. First, he receives his grandfather's journal in the mail, and then he receives a call from the CIA that they've found a technologically advanced vessel underwater that might possibly be a time travel machine. And, when he arrives to investigate the strange underwater curiosity, everything seems to point toward a plan for him to help his grandfather ... you guessed it ... kill Hitler. And, in the process, he'd hopefully also save family members and better his own life and humanity as a result.

Yes, it's been done before. Everybody wants to travel back in time to kill Hitler. But, honestly, what other action could you take in the past that would positively affect so many people ... other than perhaps eradicating mosquitoes which I read are responsible for about half of all deaths in human history? And, let's face it, a fumigation time travel novel just wouldn't be as interesting. Hitler (not mosquitoes after all) stands for what is still the worst part of humanity: the ability of people to look the other way or to even act like monsters in the name of fear. This is a problem that is still alive and well today (the current Sandusky scandal as case in point). So if there's anything that would prove to an advanced civilization spying on humanity that we're not a fellow advanced civilization and that there is still the potential for humanity to commit great atrocities, it would be the horrors of World War II that would make the case against us.

I have to admit that I wasn't sure what I'd find when I began to read since there were no reviews yet written on amazon.com or GoodReads and one of the authors had asked me to read it. However, once I started the book, I knew in the first page that I'd have a hard time putting it down. In fact, I read it in a couple of sittings. It is well plotted, interesting, the main characters are well-developed, and it reads like an action/suspense novel. I had just finished Stephen King's time travel novel, and it was easily able to compete with it on the level of how compulsive a read it was.

I have to admit that I got bogged down a bit in the ending, and it's the ending that knocked it from 5 to 4 stars for me. Some characters that I didn't notice in the main part of the book turned out to be very important characters ... and I had no idea what Jake's past dealings with them had been. I needed a brief recap that just wasn't there. However, I have to admit that I'm a lazy reader and depend on such things sometimes, so it's probably my fault that I got bogged down in the end. Also, the ending is a little more supernatural than my tastes normally run. I'm sure others will enjoy it just fine. And I do like the nods to a Prometheus-esque plot. Also, everything is tied up nicely and happily at the end.

I do find myself wanting to recommend this book to lovers of time travel novels. It's definitely worth a read and is nicely written. The Kindle version is available for a mere $2.99.
Profile Image for kenzimone.
173 reviews18 followers
February 2, 2013


According to the About the Authors section in the back of this book neither Miller nor Manas have ever written a full-length fiction novel before. It shows.

I have a bag full of complaints. I could go on for days. I could rant about the plot, which was borderline interesting but very poorly presented, with far too much tell and not enough show; I could bring up the ending, which contained a plot twist that was utterly ludicrous and felt sorely out of place; I could pick apart the stilted dialog, and every cringe worthy paragraph of mind numbing exposition contained therein; or, I could rage about the scene where the main character kills his past self but then mysteriously doesn't actually immediately cease to exist. But I won't. Because I haven't even gotten around to mentioning the real offender in this book yet: the characters.

They're flat; they're uninspiring; they're forgettable: they're the cast of The Kronos Interference! I would like to rip the lack of character development to shreds, but at the same time I don't want to be too mean, because it feels like Miller and Manas, bless them, really have tried to infuse some life into their cast of characters. It just... doesn't work. At all.

The main character is... he's one of a kind. For a world renowned physicist, Jacob Newman is not a bright man. In fact, he is quite a stupid man. An idiot, even. He's the kind of man who, after stumbling upon the means to travel through time and deciding to seize the opportunity to go back to 1924 and kill Hitler, returns to the future where he is shocked (shocked!) to find that due to the 60+ million lives that WWII never claimed, the future is different from how he left it.

I don't even know if the characterization was intentional or not. On one hand, I kind of suspect it was, because the message of the book is that time travel is not to be trifled with and all of Jacob's actions point towards the last few chapters where he finally comes to realize this, and that would have made sense. Except, it's taken too far. Jacob isn't some kind of everyday man who makes a simple mistake, resulting in unforeseen consequences, and then learns his lesson; he's a respected scientist who, through a COLOSSAL error of judgement that anyone with half a brain could have seen coming, makes a ENORMOUS mistake, resulting in INCREDIBLY FORESEEABLE consequences.

Know how you're never supposed to go full retard? Jacob Newman goes full retard.

"So, he's stupid," you say. "There's nothing wrong with a character being stupid."

No, there isn't. But when said stupidity is coupled with an incredibly bland personality, it makes for a pretty boring read.

And it's not that Miller and Manas don't know how to write an engaging character: Jacob's sit-down with Hitler was probably the best scene in the book, because suddenly, out of the bland beigeness of the cast of this book, there rose a character who had motives and desires and a history and a future and personal morals and a very strong drive.

As a character, Hitler was engaging and sympathetic (and that's something you'll never see me write again), and forget everything I said about Miller and Manas actually trying to write characters, because this last paragraph just proves the point that when it comes to characterization, Miller and Manas are lazy. When they can breathe life into a character with predefined character traits but can't flesh out one of their own creations, it simply reeks of apathy and/or poor planning.

I've spent more than three hundred pages getting to know Jacob Newman, and I still have no clue what makes him tick. Sure, he isn't too fond of Hitler, but who is? We're given a rather thorough explanation of his childhood, but it feels insubstantial, and contributes nothing to my understanding of the character. He's married, with kids, but they don't seem to be a very large part of him and don't influence his motives. His grandmother's death at the hands of the Nazis is supposed to make for a personal connection to the victims of WWII, but he's never even met her, and whatever feelings there are seem disingenuous.

It feels like the authors came to focus more on the plot than the characters when writing this book. And I can understand that, because it's a monster of a plot, and with a bit of polishing it could have been quite nice. The thing is, however, that it doesn't matter how brilliant of a plot you have unless you have the characters to go with it. And even with an at the most okay plot, The Kronos Interference doesn't have the characters to match.

But that's enough complaining. There were some things that I actually liked about the book. The theme, for one, because I am a fan of situations where time travel doesn't solve everything. I also liked the fact that Jacob got stuck in the past without any possibility of returning to his own time, and the way he lived out the remainder of his life (but again, why spend so little focus on this time in his life? Holy lost potential for character development, Batman!). Also, I enjoyed the opportunity to rant, because there's little I like more than a good, long, book rant. Which is why I gave this mess of a novel two stars instead of one.

tl;dr - Hitler's murder paradox. Due to the unbelievable stupidity of the main character, I root for the Nazis.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Tej.
37 reviews11 followers
July 29, 2012
As I start to write this review, I took a look at the synopsis. The first part gives the main plot, the second paragraph is the hard sell promotion as is expected with all books, using words such as "written in the vein of the late Michael Crichton", "fast paced action", "plenty of twists and turns", "impressively original", and "tour de force". So um, may I use that second paragraph as my full review? No? ok..but damn if it isnt far from the truth as this is a superb high octane time travel mystery thriller and yes, it does indeed remind me of the great Michael Crichton but it also has an ambitious science fiction spin that I am sure Arthur C Clark would have approved. There is plenty of science based facts and theories littered in the narrative of course but easily digestible and fascinating enough to find out more about in one's own time.

We mainly follow the journey of a scientist who is roped in by the CIA to investigate a recent discovery of a top secret vessel that exhibits many properties of either alien or future technology. As this is a time travel novel, it comes as no surprise that we find our protagonist jumping back in time. And yes, as the synopsis implies, he tries to kill Hitler before the historical abonimation he causes. Although the synopsis appear somewhat basic and I dare say unoriginal, (how many stories have been written about someone going back in time to kill Hitler?), there is so much more here than just this apparently simple premise. There are several underlying mysteries that keeps you guessing right to the end and it is an intricately woven tapestry of bigger sci-fi elements. The story is so cleverly structured, delightfully intertwining the time travel cause and effects, and is very well thought out.

But its the sheer pace and tension that really makes this a page turner. The protagonist very often finds he has to make difficult moral decisions which adds gravity to the narrative. So good is the editing that at no point did I feel it drag apart from perhaps the ending which I will come to later, no spoilers, promise.

Our time travelling protagonist is one to care and root for, and though some of his actions appear annoyingly naive, his emotional drive compensated to assure my investment. There isnt a lot of fleshing out of characters in this novel, so its not going to win awards for character study and there isnt a great deal of detail on the sideline characters and villains either. However, there are moments of striking emotion when I least expected it plus some exceptional conversational scenes, one in particular involving a very well known historical character, a scene that oozes brilliance.

The book also gives a wonderfully balanced thought provocation of human nature, their worth and your common sci fi religious/political musings. You are never too sure where it stands but you may get a fair idea towards the end leading up to the deliciously complex ending revelations. The end may divide some readers in its ambitious concept but I sure as hell liked it even though it does drag somewhat. I can imagine the difficulty in tightening up the editing here without sacrificing clarity. Still, for me it was still a fascinating ending. It seems there may be scope here for a sequel too, an opportunity to take this story to a more epic scale. If a sequel is written, I would certainly welcome it.

4.5/5
Profile Image for Matt Mitrovich.
Author 3 books20 followers
January 27, 2013
Whether or not to use your time machine to kill Hitler is a question that plagues everyone, not just alternate historians. The Kronos Interference by Edward Miller and J.B. Manas provides adds its two cents to the discussion. It is another installment in the classic time travel genre where our hero travels back in time to prevent something horrible from happening.

Physicist Jacob Newman is pulled from his family and his job when he gets a call about a strange vessel discovered at the bottom of the South Pacific. Seemingly alien in design, Newman and the team of researchers quickly find evidence of time travel by some unknown force that has been studying violent episodes of human history. Some believe whoever created the vessel has been building a case against humanity and a judgment day is imminent. To forestall the end of the world and to save his own family, Newman travels back in time 1924 to kill Adolf Hitler when he is still locked in prison. There is a specific reason he chose this date: his grandfather was part of an abandoned plot to kill Hitler and now Jacob is going to convince him to go through with his original place. As can be expected from time travelers with good intentions (see 11/22/63 and The Company of the Dead) the resulting outcome does not go as expected and paradoxes abound.

The plot was solid, but my greatest issue with the story is with the characters. I found them to be unrealistic in their depictions. First, they took everything in stride, whether it was murder or being stuck on the bottom of the ocean inside an alien vessel. The character were limited in their abilities to express shock, fear or awe in situations when they should have been freaking out. There was also too much tell instead of show in the novel. I only knew that the character Beeze was the comic relief because I was told he was funny by Newman. Finally, and this is always a big annoyance of mine, there were just too many instances of dialogue with a character saying "as you know". People generally do not use that phrase when stating the obvious, and even if they do, they do not use that phrase exclusively.

I really wanted to like this novel, especially after seeing how many 5 star reviews it got on Amazon and Goodreads. I did find Newman's interview with Hitler to be one of the more intriguing moments of the books, so there are pros to the novel that prevented me from giving it a lower rating. I would check out some of those other reviews as well before you make your final decision, but in my opinion the The Kronos Interference is a story with potential, but poorly executed.
Profile Image for Bailey Olfert.
591 reviews21 followers
December 31, 2012
How disappointing. I read the kindle version, and definitely would not have finished if it were a hard copy. The story started out promising enough, but the writing quickly disintegrated to something I'd expect of a junior high student. The spark for the story is intriguing and I find it so disappointing when good ideas aren't capitalized on!
Profile Image for Cece.
37 reviews
January 13, 2013
This was a great read for about 1/2 the book...and then the story line just went to pieces for me and I lost interest. I skimmed the last half of the book just to get through it. So disappointed because it started out so well and the idea was very intriguing.
Profile Image for Donna Tapellini.
5 reviews1 follower
March 16, 2013
Some parts of this book were interesting and fun time-travel fiction. But it was inconsistent, almost a if written by two different authors. Oh wait, that's because it was.
Profile Image for Penumbra.
885 reviews7 followers
April 3, 2015

I was given this book through the Making Connections ARR: Science Fiction group for an honest review, thank you.

Profile Image for Brenda.
1,516 reviews65 followers
March 11, 2013
For the vast majority of The Kronos Interference, it was a solid three stars. Interesting enough to keep me reading, but nothing particularly new.

I did roll my eyes a few times at the silly things that happened, particularly when Lauren threw herself at Jacob with no preamble. It was extreme and came out of nowhere.

And I wasn't too fond of Jacob just suddenly deciding that he is wise enough to decide the fate of the entire world. It is extremely arrogant, and I agree with Finkel in that regard.

However, I understand why these things were included, and that they both come into play later on. I still don't really care for either of them, but I do understand it. It is how all of the events culminate together in the last tens of pages in the book that made it worthwhile, and what led me to give it 4 stars.

Ultimately, the fun of this book is one possible answer to the notorious question: What would you do if you could go back in time and kill Hitler? I think many people have contemplated this, I daresay I have. The Kronos Interference provides one possible outcome, one that is outlandish and fun. It's a serious novel, don't get me wrong. But the sci fi element is extremely entertaining and kept me going.

Again, it's the last bit of the novel that I enjoyed the most. The way the old man from the conference, Malcolm, Lauren and Beeze all relate to one another is clever. The Ring of Seven was formidable, once its presence was explained and shown. I enjoyed the entire "reveal" aspect of the story much more than everything else, and made it worthwhile.

There may be a second one to follow this. The ending provides enough opening for it, and after the revelations that we're shown it would provide for an interesting tale.
Profile Image for Cobwebby Eldritch Reading Reindeer .
5,030 reviews260 followers
July 21, 2012
An utterly delightful and super-stunning thriller, this novel had me page-racing with its excitement and intrigue. Science fiction, futuristic, historical, time-travel, extraterrestrial-this book has everything! I literally could not pause in the reading until I was finished, and I read with eyes wide and heart in throat. There are no dropped plot threads in this book; everything is seamless and well-accounted for, yet the authors have done so in a way that leaves a sequel possible (and as well as they write, very much desired). I highly recommend this to readers of thrillers, mysteries, metaphysics, history (especially World War II and pre-WWII Germany), and to all those who enjoy Dan Brown’s novels-just try this and you will be startled, amazed, and intrigued. If I could I would grant “The Kronos Interference” about 27 stars! Rest assured, this is a keeper and a rereader.
Profile Image for Krysta Halye.
161 reviews1 follower
June 1, 2019
Highly enjoyable though things ended remarkably well in the end for the protagonist even though he made some common time traveler mistakes that could cause his unrecoverable demise.

Who hasn't thought about how much better the world would be if someone could go back and kill Hitler, before he had a chance to carry out his attempts to wipe out entire races, for example? Apparently that action could cause a chain of events much, much worse than the Holocaust.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for J.D. Martin.
Author 4 books22 followers
October 21, 2016
I found this book to be a really fun read. All the research the authors did to make changes in history affect the current timeline, and lining it up with actual events to make it plausible was a lot of fun. However, it's the ending that is keeping me from rating the overall book any higher. Once Jacob has taken steps to correct the timeline, there are a few chapters that really just feel like filler to make the book longer.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***
There isn't a need to spend that much time seeing him grow old while stuck back in time as he attempts to avoid history. This could have been taken care of in a few pages. Then we find out that the other characters in the book are angels, aliens, or some fifth-dimension beings. Either way, 40 pages or so are spent trying to explain who they were and why they were watching history while some tried to bring an end to mankind. It should take that much to explain the book to the reader.

Overall, I did enjoy reading it, but the ending really took a lot away from the experience. I would welcome reading another book from the author-duo though.
419 reviews5 followers
October 5, 2013
If you had access to a time machine, you'd probably think long and hard about undoing the holocaust. Jacob Newman certainly does, partly because of his family history.

But it turns out that changing history isn't so simple, as Jacob learns. The Kronos Interference has a pretty wide scope and moves quickly through a lot of scenes as Jacob learns what he has really gotten into. The middle third of the book, spent in the past, is by far the best.

Author Edward Miller relies a little too heavily on scientists telling Jacob "it's too complicated, you'll never understand" as a way of glossing over the details of time travel in his universe. It's a little frustrating at times but I can understand that the alternatives might be worse.

The ending wraps things up a little too neatly but doesn't make the book less enjoyable. It was great in the middle and good enough the rest of the time. Maybe I could be talked into 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for John.
73 reviews
January 3, 2013
This book had me riveted for the first two parts of the book, but I started to fall away when the authors broke one of the classic time travel rules and create a paradox that seemed unresolvable. Fortunately, I hung in there and was able (in my own mind) to reconcile this paradox with some satisfaction by the end of the book. The ending was not quite what I expected, and there is a lot of information thrown at the reader in the last few chapters. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this book overall. The characters were well developed, and the story was well written and interesting enough to keep me from putting it down. I suspect that a sequel could be coming, and I hope it does as I would love to read more in this series.
Profile Image for James.
1 review2 followers
April 23, 2013

A Science Fiction/Time Travel/Alternate History book with a few too many good ideas. Without giving away too much, some characters adhere to some overplayed, well-known archetypes (e.g. the coldly-beautiful seductress, the beautiful damsel in distress, etc.). The book does well with its plot for much of the book, and even serves up what might be a fitting ending were it not packed so full of foreshadowed machinations. The final part of the book, however, serves up some very heavy exposition and villain monologue as well as wrapping the book up a little too neatly while leaving the possibility open for a followup.



Still, because the book is paced rather well, it's worth a read for fans of any of the aforementioned genres--I completed it in a few hours.


19 reviews1 follower
July 21, 2012
If you could change just one thing in the past

Kronos interference is an easy read with well developed characters, and a fast moving plot that kept me interested through the whole book.
For me the book flowed smoothly with no editing or spelling errors to interfere with a really well crafted story.
One that blends science fiction, history and the what if factor, in a way that even a non sci fi person will enjoy.
This is a great first book from the authors I cant wait to see where the next book in the trilogy goes.
Profile Image for Tony Schirtzinger.
70 reviews2 followers
February 19, 2013
I won this book from the Time Travel group here on Goodreads. Thanks to the authors and the group for the book!

As I started reading this book, I found it to be a quick and enjoyable book to read. This is true of most of the book. There were some parts near the end I wasn't so sure about but they were short and I was pleased enough with how it turned out. I normally wouldn't choose a book with Hitler on the cover or focusing on any war (but by chance I've read a number of books at least partially in WWII recently,) so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.
Profile Image for Rinku.
21 reviews127 followers
September 5, 2012
This book was okay, fast paced. It came up on my recs because I loved 11/22/63, but it was a far less good. Mainly, I missed real character development. Who was Jacob, never got a real sense other than that he was a good person. There was more of that in second half than first, and I don't mind having a character revealed slowly, but I never got a physical description that stuck, or other key markers that would have engaged me.
Profile Image for Gary.
42 reviews2 followers
September 9, 2012


Using an interesting time travel paradox has the primary plot device, this book delivers a well crafted, thoughtful exploration of how one small change can impact the course of history. I find it. Interesting that WWII and Nazism were the defining climax for the 20th Century. As overused as this riff is, the author shows how they served to define and drive the rest of the century with carry over into the 21st.
Profile Image for Jane.
576 reviews28 followers
February 22, 2013
There were some things about this book that were good, some that were just okay, and a few moments that made me shake my head and think, "Seriously? They're going THERE?"
The first half of the book was better than the second.
Some of the characters were rather flat and often difficult to keep straight because they were so undeveloped.
They seem to have set up for a sequel with the ending. I will probably read it because I am a sucker for sequels. But we'll have to see.
Profile Image for Tobin.
260 reviews4 followers
February 13, 2013
As an almost completely plot-driven book this was a different one for me but the last 50 pages made it all worth it. There weren't a lot of Red Herrings, which I really hate once their number grows, and the threads were all collected.

Although the characters were a little thin the plot was definitely enough to keep me reading at a pretty rapid rate.

Strongly recommended for anyone who likes time travel, and Crichton.

I gave it 8/10 on my personal scale.

-tpl
Profile Image for ❤Marie Gentilcore.
874 reviews40 followers
November 5, 2012
I won a copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads, but I would gladly pay for a copy. It was a very exciting, fast paced story and I enjoyed it very much. It is about time travel and is set in the year 2024. The book grabs you from the first chapter and keeps up the suspense throughout the book to the last chapter. My fiance is eager to read it next.
January 31, 2013
I've always been intrigued by time travel, and when I saw this book mentioned in the Time Travel group, I couldn't resist, especially with the number of accompanying rave reviews here on Goodreads, and elsewhere. I wasn't disappointed. It held my interest and actually had me page-racing to the very end. If you like time travel, I would recommend this one. You won't be able to put it down.
87 reviews
March 25, 2013
I won this through Goodreads Firstreads.

What can I say, this book is a great read. The last 10 chapters made it all worth while.

There's nothing I can really say without giving away the plot. Just read it and you'll understand.

5/5
Profile Image for Heather(Gibby).
1,177 reviews21 followers
December 26, 2012
A very fastpaced enjoyable read. It will especially appeal to people to love time travel stories.
Profile Image for Stephen .
329 reviews4 followers
September 2, 2012
I was pulled in by the reviews and the novel wasn't bad but just did not live up to the level of read I was expecting.
Profile Image for C.
1,194 reviews28 followers
Want to read
October 2, 2012
From Indie Book webinar
49 reviews
January 11, 2013
Great book! I liked the development of parallel universes. I also enjoyed the ethical dilemma of changing history but feel it should have been written to create more controversy.
Profile Image for Alex Mehos.
12 reviews
Read
August 3, 2013
This book was an interesting read, I was not sure what to think when I picked it up from phily comic-con. It was fun read with some interesting perspectives on what could be.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 31 reviews

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