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Weighing Shadows

2.94  ·  Rating details ·  252 ratings  ·  64 reviews
A new time-traveling fantasy from National Book Award-winner Lisa Goldstein.

Ann Decker fixes computers for a living, and in the evenings she passes the time sharpening her hacking skills. It's not a very interesting life, but she gets by—until one day she's contacted with a job offer for a company called Transformations Incorporated. None of her coworkers have ever heard o
Paperback, 328 pages
Published November 3rd 2015 by Night Shade (first published October 6th 2015)
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Average rating 2.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  252 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Aug 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Here's the thing: this book was frustrating as hell, because it came SO close to being REALLY good, and missed the mark. I wish an editor had really kind of dug in and asked for certain things to be developed more, because it feels like there's stuff missing. But the premise is great!! A young woman is recruited by a mysterious agency that it turns out sends people back in time to make small changes!! What, I love time travel! But there is definitely not enough disbelief about the whole time tra ...more
The Book Adventures
As always, you can find the full review and similar reads on The Book Adventures

Fellow Book Adventurers, the only thing I did not like about this book was that there wasn’t enough of it.

I’d read Goldstein before – The Red Magician, which I reviewed a year ago, opened my eyes to Jewish magic, set in the Holocaust. With Weighing Shadows now behind me, I am determined to catch up on everything she’s written.

Ann Decker, our heroine, is a loner. A foster child with a difficult past, she employs her h
Jeff Raymond
Oct 09, 2016 rated it liked it
The best compliment I can give Weighing Shadows is that it's a great time travel story that would be better served as a television show. The time travel elements are almost too light, and the plot too easily compartmentalized, thus creating an overall story that is okay and kind of pulpy, but never takes off into something more significant. Thus the television comparison - the jump from time to time, from point to point, would just be a little more sensible within the construct of what this stor ...more
Aug 07, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a book with an interesting concept but there were a few things that didn’t work for me at all.

This book starts out just like Time and Again by Jack Finney, with our main character Ann being asked to apply for a top-secret, very mysterious job. Ann gets stopped by a strange woman who asks her to get into her car and go to an undisclosed location to apply for a job she knows nothing about. As I was reading, all I could think was that Ann was clearly getting duped into some kind of sex traf
Lasa Limpin
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent time travel conspiracy. The story revolves around Ann who is a loner with a mysterious past. Her introduction to the Company and her slowly evolving issues about how they change time.

I felt that the conspiracy angle worked really well and I found myself bonding with the main character Ann. So much so that at the end of the book I knew I'd miss her! I also had weird dreams from this book which is always a good sign. Definitely give it a shot if you're into realistic time travel books. S
Lis Carey
Ann Decker is a young woman with no family, no friends, and no real prospects. An orphan raised in foster care, she didn't make it to college, but she's very good with computers, and has a job in a computer repair shop. She avoids attention as much as possible.

So she's not happy when she notices a woman following her, and is even less pleased when the woman comes into the shop and asks for her by name.

Ann is about to be recruited into Transformations Inc., a company using time travel to attempt
Weighing Shadows has a very interesting premise: time travel (I love time travel!) and exploring matriarchal societies / ancient civilizations. I usually lean towards Egypt and haven’t read many in ancient Greece settings however time travel! That alone would usually convince me ;)

Ann Decker is a smart woman but she tries to keep herself as ‘invisible’ as she possibly could as her past experiences have taught her it’s better to keep yourself to yourself. She was flattered when she was head-hunte
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As always, you can find the full review and similar reads on The Book Adventures

Ann Decker, our heroine, is a loner. A foster child with a difficult past, she employs her hacking skills at a small computer maintenance shop, fixing customers’ computer problems. Until the day she is followed home by a strange woman, who, even more strangely, offers her a job. Intrigued, Ann goes through the interview process and accepts the job – even though she is not told what the job is until after she accepts
Jan 01, 2016 rated it did not like it
I didn't know this was a YA novel when I started it -- though the cover art should have been a big hint! So that's my bad. It's a weird experience starting to read a book and having one set of expectations for the reading level ("Oh, this book is going to be written for literate people who appreciate nuance and beautiful turns of phrase") and not having those met ("Oh, this book is actually written for people who don't read"). I must admit to being quite let down. The characters were flat and bo ...more
Fraser Sherman
Jan 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
This is a disappointment. The idea of time travelers manipulating the past to shape the future isn't new, but Goldstein's handling is competent (they aren't pure evil). However Ann, her protagonist, is a cipher: she seems to have no interests (she's a hacker but she doesn't do that much of it), no friends, no goals, no politics until her adventures awaken her. And the underlying theme that the bad guys are trying to repress women's freedom through the centuries has potential, but as executed, it ...more
RIN ಠ_ಠ
The only reason I'm not giving this 1 star is because I somehow managed to finish it, even if it took a week. I was at least invested in finding out the ending. Which GREATLY disappointed me.

Such a great premise but lacked proper execution. A lot of telling and info dumps and the plot didn't really go anywhere. I can live without knowing how exactly the time traveling works but everything was just too convenient.

Oct 27, 2015 marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I listened to about 1/4 of this and called it quits. Mostly the narrator's fault. Horrible ...more
D.X. Logan
May 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Be Warned: Minor spoilers ahead.

I bought this based on the suggestion that the book that was doing something unique with time travel. I began digging in right away and to the book's credit, it was an easy read that I finished after 3 days of casual reading. I wish I could say I liked the book more than I did.

To start, it was not as unique as I indicated. Both the recommendation and the cover information agreed on this point. That isn't the reality. Other books have done almost identical things w
Lissa Notreallywolf
It's gotten hard for me to read about time travel without Kage Baker coming to mind, but Goldsteins take is independent and fresh. There is a Company which over sees the interventions in history, apparently run by people from a Very Polluted Future-one about ten to twenty years ahead of us. Ann Decker ( I knjow one, but she's not like this one) is drafted into the Company from a dead end position at a small computer repair shop. She was a foster child, never adopted, perhaps becuase of the five ...more
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sure the first third of the book was very rushed, but I've read enough time travel books to be okay with the fact that the whole training sequence was reduced to a 10-page montage. I get the drill, no need to dwell. The only thing that made me scratch my head was the level of training the travelers were put through. Because the 5th floor is keeping the why of the missions secret it seems like they barely needed to be trained-- just teach them the language and punt them in for the 48 hours it's s ...more
Deb Oestreicher

I have read a number of books by Lisa Goldstein. This is not the best.

I wanted to like this more. I really enjoy time travel stories and the plot here is intriguing and somewhat similar to a Netflix show I enjoy, called Travelers. In the distant future, the world is really messed up, so those people use time travel to come back to our present. They recruit people from our present to go back (for example, to ancient Greece, plague-ridden Europe, etc.) to make adjustments that they hope will make
Dec 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Although I normally read Christian fiction, I also enjoy some sci-fi and time-travel. This book, however, had too much of a feminist agenda for me. In addition, there were parts of the story that were just too unbelievable. (I mean who jumps into a car with a stranger to be taken to a job interview?! And then accepts the job before being told what the job really is? Who doesn't ask a lot of questions when told the company uses time-travel to make "little changes" in history?) The story is an int ...more
May 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
Gosh this was a dreary read - and the characters? Woeful. Unlikeable, every last one of them.
I read the first 200 pages and then skipped to the last five chapters - I could have cared that less.
This was boring. There were a lot of secrets being kept - but it was all so dreary I couldn't bring myself to give a damn what they might be.
I trudged and I trudged - but no... enough is enough
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Surprised it had three pages of such high reviews. I considered only two stars, so 2 1/2 is my rating . The 'made-up' words were annoying. They detracted from the storyline rather than enhance it. I skipped over them where they were used. Even at that, I found two actual grammatical errors so it must have made editing difficult. I enjoyed the basic story, it just didn't seem that well written. ...more
May 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Feminist time-travel ftw, but I found the writing a fraction on the plain side.
Didn't quite live up to its potential. I prefer Jodi Taylor's Chronicles of St. Mary's books. ...more
FJohn Rickert
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it
It is a well written book. However, the plotting is too slow. I could see this as a TV show, but reading it there was simply to much visual detail compared to the character development or plot.
Sep 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi, adult, time-travel
Boring. Poorly written and poorly executed. Skip this one.
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: time-travel
This book was a complete surprise to me. I bought it because it has a Jo Walton blurb on the cover, and I'm really glad I did! It's a thoughtful look at what time travel would be like and how different groups of people might use it (or misuse it). The writing evokes the joy of travel and also the eerie unnatural feeling that would accompany being out of your own time. ...more
Mar 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was really hard to put down. I wish there would be more in this universe.
Keith West
Jan 08, 2016 rated it liked it
One of my favorite subgenres of science fiction is time travel, so when Night Shade Books sent me a review copy of Weighing Shadows, I was looking forward to reading the book. (Thank you, Brianna Scharfenberg, for sending the review copy.) I wasn’t the target audience for the book, it turned out, but it’s still a well-written novel that will find an audience.

Ann Decker is working in a deadend job in a computer shop when a mysterious woman recruits her for a new job at a company called Transforma
Sam Marx
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
I consider myself a fan of the time travel genre and this book did nothing for me. Eaely in the book there was promise after promise made to explain the effects of the actions taken in the various past scenarios; absolutely none of these ever came to fruition. This ultimately meant that no action taken had any real consequence throughout the entire story. The characters were underdeveloped and damn near unimportant. Various characters disappeared and new ones were introduced and it was almost im ...more
Sylvia McIvers
Time travel! Visit exotic places!

Ann Decker has no family, no close friends, no ties holding her to her own time & place. She's the perfect candidate for a time-travel corporation (how cool is that idea) who needs more travelers.

The Good:
* Visiting Crete and watching a bull dance.
* Realizing you don't have to make major changes - just move a lamp to the other side of hte room and the ripples will spread
* What you know, isn't so.

The Bad:
* People die. You can't (always) bring them back to an earli
Jordan Steinhoff
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
Having just finished this, gotta say, it didn't do a lot for me. Ann spends a lot of time looking for the conspiracy and on personal time travel but in the end neither she nor we have a good sense of if she accomplished anything.

I don't mind a good open ended time travel story where we're not quite sure what's what afterward but this ends with the acknowledgement that she doesn't even know if TI or the world was impacted.

The time travel story and conspiracy seemed like a very round about way to
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Aka Isabel Glass.

Lisa Goldstein (b. November 21, 1953 in Los Angeles) is a Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Award nominated fantasy and science fiction writer. Her 1982 novel The Red Magician won the American Book Award for best paperback novel, and was praised by Philip K. Dick shortly before his death. Goldstein writes science fiction and fantasy; her two novels Daughter of Exile and The Divided

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