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The Historian

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Time travel is the greatest current threat to national security. All those accused of acts of time terrorism will be prosecuted swiftly and to the fullest extent of the law. When scientists invented a means to travel through time years ago, the government swooped in with its typical regulatory finesse. Now the Department of Time and its Secretary, Vincent Garland, use the technology to defend extensive laws invading personal freedom. Emilia Falk, a historian at the Department, works uneventful nine-to-five days tediously writing time travel reports, until her quiet life is shattered when her sister is suddenly accused of the capital crime of time terrorism. Emilia must delve deeper into the mysterious Department of Time to discover the truth behind her sister's actions and the startling plans of the Department itself.

Description from Amazon.com website

317 pages, ebook

First published January 1, 2014

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Rachel Bohlen

1 book17 followers

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5 stars
16 (25%)
4 stars
23 (35%)
3 stars
20 (31%)
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4 (6%)
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1 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 reviews
Profile Image for Suzanne.
27 reviews
February 19, 2015
A really fun read, with interesting twists that I definitely didn't see coming. Such a different take on time travel books; I highly recommend it! I'm already picturing it as a movie one day...! Good suspense, interesting plot with great descriptive writing that really allows you to imagine the whole thing clearly. Excellent!
Profile Image for Helen O'Toole.
605 reviews
December 21, 2015
Read it on my Kindle during long waits at airports & it really captured my interest. Emilia is an interesting choice for a heroine; a working historian in a future Government Department centered around time travel. The freedoms taken away from the US citizens and the almost summary executions were hard to comprehend but if you inject enough fear into the population, they will believe your lies. A great holiday read & I was careful not to give any of the plot away.
January 7, 2015
Rachel Bohlen is an attorney in the Washington, DC area. I had never heard of her before finding this book available on Kindle. It was free so I thought I’d give it a shot. I am so glad I did.
She has created a fascinating story about what happens when the key to time travel is discovered and the government controls the whole system. The “machine” is housed in the sub levels of a governmental building housing the newly developed “Department of Time” or DOT. The building is surrounded by security personnel who have no regard for personal space or privacy or freedom.
The lead character, Emilia Falk, works as an historian at the DOT doing research to make sure that all of the “travelers” are dressed appropriately, fit in with the environment, have the right language patterns, and don’t change anything while they are in their chosen time. Even Emilia is not free. In fact, employees are even more closely watched. They go through checkpoints to enter their workspace, their homes and personal computers are monitored at all times, even phone calls are tracked.
Emilia’s sister, Lenore, is an attorney who despises the Department of Time, and ridicules Emilia for working there. Lenore is arrested by the “time agents” and faces the death penalty for “time terrorism.” All of Emilia’s efforts to save her sister are useless. Emilia’s belief in the system begins to crack and she starts trying to piece together what happened as she knows that her sister was no time terrorist. The story moves quickly along adding new characters and conspiracy theories, layering other viewpoints on the developing story.
This book makes the reader sit up and take notice of governmental involvement in personal lives and the possibilities of what could happen in our own future.
There are some grammatical errors in the book, but they were not so severe that I was distracted in reading. A good editor can solve that problem quickly. If there is any fault in the book, it’s that the ending wasn’t as satisfying as it could have been. Still, it is definitely worth reading and I highly recommend it.
22 reviews
January 25, 2015
Today, we fear dirty bombs, airplanes used as missiles, and bioweapons. But what if terrorists had access to a time machine? The author of this fast-paced novel depicts just such a society in the not too distant future. The federal government has created the Department of Time. Its dual purpose is to utilize the time machine housed in its headquarters under great secrecy for historical research and to prevent or prosecute any attempted acts of "time terrorism" by unauthorized individuals outside of the government. Because of this threat of terrorism, the government has severely restricted personal freedoms and instituted pervasive surveillance of American citizens.

Emilia Falk, the protagonist, is quite likeable. She serves faithfully as a Historian in the Department of Time doing historical research for government time travelers but sometimes she feels like a tiny cog in the huge government machine and wonders if her job is really that important. When her sister is arrested for time terrorism, her whole world is turned upside down and she begins to question her job, the Department, and the harsh treatment of accused terrorists.

As the novel progresses, the tension mounts and Emilia and the reader are pulled deeper and deeper into the mystery of the Department. What is really going on with the time machine? What had her sister been involved in? The author keeps the reader guessing and there are unexpected developments. Fortunately, the ending is open ended enough to allow for a sequel.

I highly recommend this novel for readers who are interested in speculation about time travel and its implications for society.
Profile Image for Paul Smith.
10 reviews
October 10, 2015
The first half of this book did a credible job setting the scene for what could/should have been a good tale. I felt the author was doing a decent (although obvious) job of creating a parallel between the invention of the time machine and Americas experience after the twin towers fell. The question of 'how high is the price of safety' is one that I think should continue to be discussed in the public forum. But there was a sense, more than any other book I've ever read, that the author was working to a deadline. The second half was not just dull, but incredibly poorly written; with weak dialogue, no attempt to develop characters, and worse yet a complete abandonment of what seemed the only redeeming quality of the book; the aforementioned tradeoff of civil liberties for relative safety. And worse yet, the last few pages seemed tacked on in an effort to set up a sequel. May I offer this suggestion; if a sequel is in the works, develop a story you want to tell, and tell it. Because this effort was not worth the telling.
Profile Image for Susanna Parker.
316 reviews
February 21, 2015
Bohlen build a fascinating alternate/future Washington DC (and USA) where MIT scientists and the US Army discovered that time travel was, in fact, possible. But the moment that it became a reality, it also became the largest threat to national security, and is shrouded in guards and secrecy.

Bohlen does a phenomenal job of slowly revealing more and more of the messed-up state of the world. What seems to be normal security precautions quickly evolve into an almost oppressive regime, with guards everywhere, body scanners at the Metro, and international travel almost completely forbidden.

I wish Bohlen had taken her time more with the ending, it felt rushed. If she wrote another book as a follow-up, I'd happily read it just to learn more about the world she built. As is, it's a fun, fascinating book on its own. Just one that could have had its ending fleshed out a bit more.
68 reviews2 followers
January 7, 2015
I enjoyed The Historian- and I hope the author has thoughts for a sequel. I downloaded this for free on Amazon, and while that promotion is over, I see it is listed for only $2.99. This story is well worth the price.

Some of the themes- how much freedom given up in the name of safety is too much? How can we fight against that? should we?- the characters in this novel grapple with these questions in a fairly realistic way. I think a little more depth into why Garner felt sympathy and a connection to Emilia would have been a welcome addition to the novel. Did she look like his wife/daughter? Act like his little sister? Her being 'too smart' was really not enough reason for me.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Laurie Kazmierczak.
182 reviews209 followers
January 18, 2015
Am always intrigued by time travel plots so when I spotted this for free I decided to read it...I did enjoy it but it was not a romp through time that I expected. It concentrated on the threat time travel would present and how it would be handled politically and by the government. I found the characters to be realistic enough and the writing style engaging. Always good to read how we could allow freedoms to be taken away and what consequences can ensue...I recommend it, especially if you get it for free.
March 26, 2015
great fast paced read

I read this book in one day because I could not put it down. It kept me guessing and I liked how the characters stayed on point
Without the usual sex and relationship drama. It had a great ending but left enough for HOPEFULLY, book two.
Profile Image for Kawen.
121 reviews1 follower
May 19, 2015
You see stories about time travel regularly, so it's nice to see what Rachel did to the theme. An interesting reading.

Estórias de viagem no tempo são comuns, por isso é interessante ver o que a autora produziu.
Profile Image for Lorac625.
78 reviews1 follower
February 19, 2015
This is a fabulous book,especially for a first book! At least 3 cheers for Rachel Bohlen! History is exciting,and this book is a real page turner,non- stop read! Loved it!
Profile Image for Kori Kamradt.
71 reviews
December 25, 2015
Fun, quick read, with an interesting and thought-provoking plot (especially if you live in D.C.) The ending was a little messy and drawn out, but overall entertaining.
Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 reviews

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