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Time Salvager

(Time Salvager #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  4,199 ratings  ·  656 reviews
Convicted criminal James Griffin-Mars is no one’s hero. In his time, Earth is a toxic, abandoned world and humans have fled into the outer solar system to survive, eking out a fragile, doomed existence among the other planets and their moons. Those responsible for delaying humanity’s demise believe time travel holds the key, and they have identified James, troubled though ...more
Hardcover, 380 pages
Published July 7th 2015 by Tor Books
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Wesley Chu Eating while time traveling leads to indigestion.

And as a bit of advice, if you're going to jump to July 2015, instead of reading TS (I appreciate th…more
Eating while time traveling leads to indigestion.

And as a bit of advice, if you're going to jump to July 2015, instead of reading TS (I appreciate that btw), why don't you figure out who wins the Superbowl and let me know.

Just saying. Priorities!(less)
Michael Looks like the series name is going to be the same as the first book, "Time Salvager".…moreLooks like the series name is going to be the same as the first book, "Time Salvager".(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.68  · 
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Dan Schwent
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: angry-robot, 2015
When chronman James Griffin-Mars breaks the first Time Law, he becomes the target of the very agency he's worked with for years. Can he flee across time to escape them and help the woman he loves save the Earth?

I got this from NetGalley.

I was reading an interview with Wesley Chu around the time his second Tao book came out and he mentioned Time Salvager. What's not to like about people from the far future plundering dead timelines for supplies in order to save the Earth?

Things get Timey-wimey pr
Neil Hepworth
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
The short review:
An excellent premise with loads of potential squandered in shallow characters, cringe-worthy dialogue, cliches galore, and clunky writing. This is a bad book. You, on the other hand, might like it. I see lots of glowing reviews on the interweb. So if you don’t want me to pick apart a book that you like, then stop reading. However, if you want my complete list of gripes, then here is...

The longer, more brutal review and other thoughts:
Get out the cliche checklist. Here we go…

Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Full disclosure, though I am writing this review for the ARC, I actually had the distinct pleasure of being a beta reader for an early draft of Time Salvager last year, and I just want to say now that being able to experience this story again felt even more amazing. Wesley Chu has already shown a flair for writing thrilling sci-fi adventures with his Tao trilogy, and there’s no doubt that his new novel is another strong en
May 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I really wanted to like this more. There's a lot of great things that can be said about clarity of style, fairly well-developed and interesting characters, and a promising concept, and this novel had it all, including an interesting hard-sf opening with a doomed space battle with highly advanced humanoids, but unfortunately, all the promise kinda fizzled.

This is a time travel book, isn't it? There was too little time travel. Even the rules against doing it too much turned out to be so much hokum
Wesley Chu’s Time Salvager presents a bleak vision of mankind hundreds of years in the future. While technology has advanced to the point of interplanetary travel and colony settlement, supplies are running low. Luckily for the human race, they’ve perfected time travel! Using this technology, a select few are tasked with going into the past and bringing back resources in an effort to further humanity’s survival.

Because time travel is tricky and even the slightest modification of the past can hav
Oct 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Executive Summary: Enjoyable, but not as much as the Tao books. I was also a bit disappointed to find out it's the start of a new series.

Full Review
Last year year I discovered Mr. Chu when he did an interview on the Sword & Laser podcast.

I picked up his first book, The Lives of Tao quickly consumed it, and immediately moved onto the sequel. I really loved that series and can't wait for the follow on series.

I was disappointed with Tor's decision to release this book around the same time as se
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Michael Bay is planning to direct the film of this book. Yes, Pearl Harbor, Transformers, explosions-as-narrative, scantily-clad-girls-and-big-robots Michael Bay. This is indicative of the level of subtlety displayed by Time Salvagers, a novel that isn’t solving humanity’s most pressing questions, or exploring the boundaries of narrative fiction.

Of course, subtlety isn’t everything, and if you’re looking for a straightforward and entertaining read Time Salvagers could be your ticket, providing
I received a copy of this book for free from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Also posted on my blog, Rinn Reads.

How do I review Time Salvager? Well I know there’s one thing I can say: this book swept me away, completely and utterly.

The basic premise is that, by the 26th century, the Earth is toxic, a wasteland. Thanks to humanity, it has been pretty much destroyed. Within this future is a company called ChronoCom, who employs ‘Chronmen’. These Chronmen travel back in time in order t
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
A quick read and - with its half-baked, videogame premise; reducibly simplistic plot; and multiple chases and fight scenes - ripe for screenplay adaptation. Unfortunately, despite some psychologically plausible and undeniably compelling character work, and an accessible style, Time Salvager doesn't work.

Not as a novel.

Not as a reading experience.

Not even as an exercise in IP development.

Its just another shitty dystopian YA book, disappointing, even by the standards of the category.

Its prose is e
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
A really creative, enjoyable, and well written book wime time travel. Great characters, no overuse of tech or plot devices, and great dialogue. Not normally my "thing" per say, but it sucked me in and I plowed through it in just a couple of days. ...more
Holly (The GrimDragon)
“Each year, humanity died a little more. ChronoCom’s charter was to fight that decline, yet things had never gotten better. Every year, there was a little less power to utilize. People went hungry a little longer. Lived lives a little harder. They were losing this war.”

Time Salvager is the first book in the Wesley Chu series by the same name. Having originally picked this up because of the Richard Anderson cover years ago, Time Salvager is a series I've been looking forward to ever since. Natura
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
Though there were moments I consider great I never quite felt settled into this one. It starts as Science Fiction with an obvious emphasis on time travel, and then becomes a discussion on Capitalism and corporate espionage leading to a layer of moralising about the treatment of the poor by the rich. I got the same feeling finishing as I do when a movie ends with the main character waking up from a dream, disgruntled and left wanting, with too many questions left unanswered and a suspicion the Au ...more
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Review from Tenacious Reader:

4.5/5 stars

Time Salvager has all the strengths of the Tao series (action, humor, etc. etc.), but with a completely fresh world and setting. I found the entire world and plot to be very original and captivating. In a future (and not so accommodating) earth, not only have humans mastered the art and science of time travel, but they are also running short on some critical resources. The solution is to send key teams of highly tra
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review, sci-fi
Don't you just love when some of your most anticipated books of the year turn out to be worth the wait? I was very happy with Time Salvager, ladies and gents.

You might have noticed that I've been on sci-fi binge for the last couple of weeks. I took a break from this genre a few months ago, and had a craving. Time Salvager fit the bill.

I would describe this book as time travel dystopia. Very little happens in space, mostly the action concentrates on Earth in a very bleak distant future. To my
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Really enjoyed this time travel novel from Wesley Chu. I've never read him before, but it was a delight to find he's the real deal as an author, constructing a realistic future world that feels both advanced and yet grounded. His prose is also rich with detail, but not overwrought. This is especially unique of any time travel story as most authors get mired in the vortex of time travel paradoxes and the reader is often inundated (read: confused) by questions of physics. Here, Chu gives us a few ...more
Stephanie Swint
Dec 07, 2014 rated it liked it
A couple of things up front. I love Wesley Chu’s writing and adore his Tao Series. I was more than a little excited to get this. I preordered the audio version assuming Mikael Naramore was narrating it as he did the Tao Series. I didn’t check in my bouncing anticipation. – So, this is where I say the experience was not what I expected. I did like it – once I got over the fact it was narrated by Kevin T. Collins. He’s not bad, but he was not what I was anticipating. That, combined with the fact I ...more
Yzabel Ginsberg
[I received a copy through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

There were quite a few good concepts in there. The psychological and physical side-effects of time travel, that basically placed a lot of people in ChronoCom not exactly on the right side of sanity. The use ChronoCom was put to, with the "salvages" quickly starting to look more like pillaging than anything else. The different phases humanity went through, from the exuberant utopian mindset of Nutris to the Technological Isol
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016, e-books
4 Stars

Time Salvager by Wesley Chu is a non stop action thrill ride. It is a time hopping science fiction filled with futuristic goodies as well as the scarier than Hell post apocalyptic landscape. This is not a perfect novel but it is a perfect summer read that fans of science fiction, time travel, and action filled adventure would also enjoy this one. I confess that this is a book tailored to my likes...

James Griffin Mars is a Chronoman, a trained time traveler who is pretty much a multi-perp
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
This had great potential. Concept was perfect but execution was poor. Time travel had been invented, main character travels back in time as part of a future organisation for a mission, however breaks the 1st rule, bringing a person back from the past. The actual gadgets, concepts belonging to the world are all really cool however thats all that works. The characters are one dimensional, the dialogue cheesy/cliched and the world budling/science non existent. Its as if the novel had this idea in m ...more
Timothy Ward
Time Salvager is the first book in the newest series by John W. Campbell Award winner, Wesley Chu, published by Tor. Whereas Chu made a name for himself with his Tao trilogy, an action-packed alien symbiosis war on Earth soil, Time Salvager matches the action on a future earth where chronmen go back in time to mine materials essential to prolonging the resource supplies of their dying world.

The first chapter does a great job of establishing this fascinating setting, where people can travel back
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book by Wesley Chu I've ever read. He's a relatively new author, with just one other published book series (The Lives of Tao).

I'm going to start by stating I don't get why Time Salvager doesn't have more ratings on goodreads. This is such a great science fiction novel. I absolutely loved everything about it, especially the ample word-building and the idea of the chronostream, with everything that happened in between the 21st century and the 26th century, the latter being the p
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A degenerate future mines the past for resources and treasures. An off-the-rails salvager breaks the Time Law possibly changing history to save a woman’s life, but unveils a high-level conspiracy that history had already been horrendously manipulated.

Did-Not-Finish (DNF).

My dead tree copy was a hefty 380 pages with a 2015 US copyright.

Wesley Chu is an author of American science fiction series novels and screenplays.

I got to Chapter 14 and stopped reading. This isn’t a bad book. It’s just that
Lynn Williams
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Just finished reading Time Salvager by Wesley Chu which kicks off what promises to be a very good series.

Set in a future where time travel has become possible you would imagine the world would be a bright and shiny place, high tech and advanced. You’d be mainly wrong of course. The planet earth has become little short of a wasteland, so toxic and covered with sludge that most people have abandoned it and sought out life elsewhere in the solar system.

Time t
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
An interesting take on the time travel genre. The set up? It's the distant future. Mankind has invented time travel but has very strict rules each traveler must follow. Everything is awful in the future and time traveler's are essentially, wait for it, Time Salvagers, looting the past. They are only allowed to take things from "closed" time lines. E.G. A Nazi castle about to blow up, an ancient boat about to sink, a government laboratory about to fall into the ocean.

The story starts out with a b
Fangs for the Fantasy
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
James is a Chronoman, one of the elite few who travel back through time to try and salvage what he can for a broken present without disrupting the timeline. It’s a thankless, desperate soul destroying job that only seems to postpone the inevitable – and James is sure he cannot endure much longer

Until, in the past, he meets Elise and does the unthinkable – he brings her to the present. He breaks the most fundamental time law and now he is a fugitive pursued by his own agency and worse, one of the
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
As a listener of Writing Excuses I have respect for Wesley Chu's take on the writing process and I think the premise of this book was so promising. However, I didn't feel like this book met its potential.

Mark Lindberg
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Time travel stories are hard to get right. Wesley Chu got it right.

Time Salvager is Wesley’s fourth novel, but the first one I’ve read. It makes me want to go back and read his other books—it really was amazing, right from the first page. It has one of those first chapters that really hooks you and draws you in. I dare you to read it and not want to immediately read the rest of the book.

Time Salvager uses the concept of time travel in a way I’ve not seen it used before. The people of the far fut
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
**Originally reviewed for**

Time Salvager is the first novel by Wesley Chu that I have listened to, let alone read. Having said that, I was blown away by the originality of the characters and environment, but definitely by the story line. The book takes place on a future Earth; a future Earth that is dying and devoid of critical resources needed for survival. Though there doesn't seem to be much hope, these humans have become masters of time travel. Groups of highly skilled
Oct 25, 2014 added it
James Griffin-Mars is a chronman, traveling back in time from the 26th century to salvage resources and treasure. He's also bitter, burnt out, and in some respects broken. The laws of time travel limit him to locations where his thefts won’t be noticed: ships and facilities doomed to destruction. Those same laws mean he’s constantly abandoning the people he meets, leaving them to die. Between that and the crumbling world of his home time, it’s no wonder Griffin-Mars is rather messed up.

As a resu
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

Read all my reviews on

In a time where resources are scarce, what better way to generate new ones by plundering the past. I mean, it is not as if anyone is still alive to complain about it, right?

Meet the Chronmen, they travel back in time to 'salvage' these valuable resources, accompanied by armor that almost super-human, it is hard to remain with both feet on the ground. However, there are some rules. One rule is the most important of them all: at
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Why So Negative? 1 9 Jul 24, 2017 07:02PM  
Paramount bought the rights to "Time Salvager." 2 29 May 27, 2016 06:51PM  
Ampersand Book Club: Book 21.5 | Time Salvager | Science Fiction 9 10 Oct 08, 2015 08:16AM  
The Not a Book Cl...: Time Salvager 14 40 Jul 21, 2015 02:46PM  

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Wesley Chu’s best friend is Michael Jordan, assuming that best friend status is earned by a shared television commercial. If not, then his best friend is his dog Eva who he can often be seen riding like a trusty steed through the windy streets of Chicago.

Unfortunately, Chu’s goals of using Hanes underwear commercials to launch a lucrative career following in Marky Mark’s footsteps came to naught.

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