Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

46. Ascending #3

Twists of Time

Rate this book
Uncover the startling truth before time runs out in this complex search for an ancient treasure.

Alex is a former basketball player who has always been able to bend time. These days he teaches physics and parents three quirky children alongside his unusual wife.

When the administration at his high school wants to reignite its history with organized hate groups, Alex can no longer remain the quiet bystander. He must stand up and fight for what he believes is right.

Further complications arise when Stan, an old high school rival, needs Alex's code-cracking skills. Just when Alex has his hands full at school, he's drawn into a treasure hunt. Stan and a handful of ex-grad students lost an obsidian box years ago containing instructions to find an important discovery. As they reconstruct what happened the night the artifact went missing, they need Alex's help to find the last two hidden relics containing the remaining clues to the treasure.

As both of Alex's situations grow more dire, it becomes clear he must tap into the abilities he left behind. Can he manipulate time for the people and causes he cares about most?

310 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 23, 2013

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Sherrie R. Cronin

9 books627 followers
Sherrie Cronin is the author of a collection of six speculative fiction novels known as 46. Ascending and is now in the process of publishing a historical fantasy series called The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters. A quick look at the synopses of her books makes it obvious she is fascinated by people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had.

She’s made a lot of stops along the way to writing these novels. She’s lived in seven cities, visited forty-six countries, and worked as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. Now she answers a hot-line. Along the way, she’s lost several cats but acquired a husband who still loves her and three kids who’ve grown up just fine, both despite how odd she is.

All her life she has wanted to either tell these kinds of stories or be Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise. She now lives and writes in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where she admits to occasionally checking her phone for a message from Captain Picard, just in case.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
36 (40%)
4 stars
34 (38%)
3 stars
17 (19%)
2 stars
2 (2%)
1 star
0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 44 reviews
910 reviews256 followers
October 16, 2014
(Received through Goodreads First Reads)

I'm never sure how to write about or judge self published books (I'm assuming this is self published). For example, books published through well established houses are sure to have access to proper editing, as well as formatting and other such little details. So how do you judge a book that falls down on all these points possibly because there was no access to them?

I'll give it a go anyway. The story is actually really, really interesting. I found myself intrigued by the mystery of the Mayan treasure, and curious to see how everything would play out. The concepts around time were interesting, and the inclusion of extreme racism (from the point of view of how wrong such bigotry is) added another, deeper element to the story. The writing itself was fine though not exceptional, certainly no worse than many of the "bestsellers" I've read in the past however one thing really let the writing down: suffering from an awkward over-formalisation, the tendency to over explain everything through dialogue simply rang false. An example: "She's your buddy dear. The one girlfriend you've got to whom you can tell everything. Your voice goes up with excitement when you two talk."

The structure of the book needs some moving around, as does punctuation. A good deal of impact is lost simply through the placement of paragraphs. The entire "set in the future" end could do with being cut too, as the book nearly ends on a high note but then just kind of... peters out.

The story is there, and clearly well researched. It isn't predictable either. However flawed this book may be, I genuinely think it can be fixed with some decent editing. I hope the author gets the chance to do so.
Profile Image for Bob Craton.
Author 11 books8 followers
April 18, 2013
I'm a big fan of this author's first two books, 'x0' and 'y1', so it is no surprise that I love this third volume of the series. Once again she has put together a marvelous tale. I don't know of anyone doing better in the genre of magical realism than she does. All of the books involve the fictional Zeitman family with a different member featured in each volume -- Lola (wife/mother) in the first, Zane (son) in the second, and now Alex (husband/father). Each character is a very real and believable person who just happens to have a special ability.

The author is unafraid of tackling serious social problems, in this case racism, and she does so without being preachy. She also does a lot of research so the facts in the 'realism' part of magical realism are always accurate. (That makes those of us who just make stuff up as we go along feel lazy.) I don't give spoilers so all I will say about the story is that there are two subplots, each with its own set of characters, and that the story-lines merge and the characters meet each other.

As before, the ending is very upbeat and optimistic. As a skeptic, I would not expect such happy endings in the real world. In the Zeitman family's world, however, the conclusion shows the way things could be -- and should be. I find this approach very encouraging.

Note: Each book is a stand-alone story, but 'z2' makes enough references to events in 'x0' and 'y1' that it would help if they are read in order. Believe me, all three volumes are definitely worth reading.
Profile Image for James Emilian.
4 reviews
August 26, 2014
I won this book on Goodreads giveaway and I can honestly say that it is officially among my favourites SF books ! It was definitely worth reading it!
Profile Image for Dhivya Balaji.
Author 14 books15 followers
October 11, 2013
Intrigued by the previous two books of the same series, x0 and y1, which chronicled the experiences of the Zeitman family, I took up this book, the third instalment in the series which featured the head Zeitman, Alex. As is usually evident in the book covers of this series, I could guess what this book will deal with. If the previous offerings were about Telepathy and Shape Shifting, this book is about the biggest mystery of all, time.
Alex Zeitman always strikes the reader as a mildly humorous but basically understanding guy and a real champion for the woman of his family in particular and good people in general. He is brought out to be a liberal guy and we could expect nothing less than a book that lets him fight for causes. How he uses his special ability to do that forms the rest of the plot.
In the racy narrative spanning over three centuries, about cultures as diverse as the Mayans and new age Americans, and about an object that transcends the test of ‘Time’, the book does it all with a neat narrative and not one chapter is out of place. Like giant puzzle pieces falling to place of their own accord, the book fits together the variety in one unified concept.
Many figurative and theoretical references to time are awesome. Especially using the ‘dreams’ that frequently appear to Alex is an innovative way to give plausible answers to the readers’ questions. The second thing I like about the book is its time lapse experiences that occur to the lead characters and the way they are portrayed. It would indeed have been funny if Alex seemed to understand what he was going through from the first. The slow understanding of the process is more realistic and acceptable.
The story deals with serious issues, agreed. But it does so in a really soft manner and tells out even the ugly facets of the immigration rules and the prejudice of white people. Simultaneous threads of story following a Mayan treasure handed over by generations and that survive the Spanish invasion follow a really gripping whodunit sort of mystery.
One second we are following the adventures of the Mayan people in the seventeenth century and next we are brought back to the current Mayan descendants of the twenty first century. No wonder the book includes at least a fake time travel scene. Although it does amaze the reader that the search for a single treasure could go on for those many years with such dedication, it is actually a mirror of what is happening in the world.
Alex’s time-relative ability and how it is triggered are all well written. And how something abnormal can be brought out to be used in normal scenarios is thought out well. But there are times when the reader feels wanting about more action and adrenaline, especially considering the fact that the book is about time. But certain allowances should be made when the protagonist is a middle aged man who has fathered three kids and is a simple school teacher.
The author specialises in weaving the story around socially related causes and boasts of a good accuracy in the facts and laws, especially considering this deals with her home country. And Alex does manage to capture our hearts with his determination and the way he pulls off his stunts. In short, if you are already familiar with the Zeitman family, you have to shout out, ‘Go, Alex’ every time he manages to do something awesome.
Profile Image for Alina.
277 reviews
January 21, 2016

I admit that I always judge a book after :

1. The cover.

2. The title.

And I ( almost )never read the preview.

That's how I ended up joining this giveaway.At first I thought that it was the story of a basketball player but then the title got my attention and it was pretty intriguing.I read the preview on GoodReads after I received the book and when I saw that the book belongs to Sience Fiction and time traveling I was a bit disappointed as I'm not really into SF books and I hate math , quantum physics and everything that has to do with that.

So I started reading it and the fact that it contains different stories , connected one way or the other , made me go on with the book.I love such books and I was so curious to see the big puzzle at the end of it.

So from a girl who does not like Sience Fiction , either the book is too well written or I am too sensitive , at the end of the book ...a few tears started to fall.

The deep feelings between Alex and Lola made my heart melt!It's hard to get used to the characters , live with them, join them in each of their action and at the end...you can see their future ,which of course always leads to death.I hate it when a book ends like that but at the same time I love it!It is hard to explain.

This book is officially one of the very few favourite Sience Fiction books!The author sure knows her things , she studied before writing this book and you can tell that she knows the facts.These are not just random words on a few sheets of paper!Everything fits perfectly!

I am so looking forward to read y1 and Xo too and I am so honored to have this book in my bookshelf!

Profile Image for Ally Swanson.
280 reviews83 followers
May 30, 2019
---4.5 Stars---

Another successful book in the intriguing 46. Ascending Book Series!!!

It was enjoyable to catch back up with the Zeitman family and join them again on their next adventure!

This is the third book I’ve read from the talented writer, S. R. Cronin. A couple months ago, I had the privilege of reading her book, “One of One,” which is Book One of the 46. Ascending Book Series. Then, a few weeks ago I read, “Shape of Secrets,” which is Book Two in the 46. Ascending Book Series and I really enjoyed them both, so I was excited to read her latest work – which also happens to fall in the same series. “Twists of Time,” is Book Three in the 46. Ascending Book Series.

Like with the previous books, and with the rest of this book series, this book follows the Zeitman family. This particular book focuses on the husband/father, Alex, and his job as a physics teacher at Early Gulch High School.

This book follows Alex’s friend, Dr. Stan Drexler and his students while on an excavation they finally discover a stone box – the “holy grail,” Mayan Artifact Dr. Drexler had spent several years searching for. Dr. Drexler opens the stone box and discovers there is a well-preserved yellow paper inside covered in hieroglyphs. Before he photographs the box and works on deciphering the hieroglyphics the box is mysteriously gone, and Dr. Drexler’s career and reputation is tarnished. It isn’t until many years down the road when the box is mailed to him with an apology. Dr. Drexler is then given a second chance at cracking the hieroglyphic message and partners up with Alex for help solving the clues – and so a hunt for a mystery Mayan Treasure is afoot.

This book also follows one of Alex’s students, Xuha. Xuha, who is bullied and teased for being an immigrant. Xuha is of Mayan decent and is carrying a deep secret. His plot point focuses on immigration and racism. This is a powerful and compelling part of the story that brings up a revolting and unsavory - but still ever present in today's society - a prejudice and discriminatory culture.

This felt so on the button right now! With Trump Nation it seems immigration bullying is actually considered tolerated if not acceptable – perhaps even encouraged in some cities!!!

I really liked Alex! He is smart, charming, considerate, thoughtful, helpful, compassionate, and good-natured. Alex’s special ability is that he can warp time. It’s a very intriguing ability and one that the science fiction community has been obsessed with so it was very riveting to see Mrs. Cronin’s take on it.

I also really liked Xuha and how he didn’t let the bullies – the Neo-Nazi’s aka the three T’s get to him. Xuha is intelligent, confident, funny, hopeful, positive, and self-assured regardless of his setbacks and disadvantages.

I found myself emotionally caught up in the characters and cheering for both Alex and Xuha!!!

I love the in-depth amount of research the author did while constructing this book. It was clear she was very familiar and well-versed on the culture, customs, and traditions of Southern North America. The author provided so much detail and such vivid descriptions it made the scenes easy to picture.

Mrs. Cronin goes above and beyond in her research and it strongly shows in her writing. She always seems to find a way to add significant historical references into fun and interesting scenes while showing an active knowledge of the area.

I always seem to learn a vast variety of information from her books that I find both compelling and intriguing! I had no idea that the Statue of Liberty was closed in 2001 after 09/11 for security reasons and wasn’t fully reopened until 2009.

This book genre is marketed as a science fiction/fantasy book and yet the author found a way to throw in adventure, mystery, intrigue, suspense, and romance elements into the book. It definitely added a fascinating extra component to the story!

I totally loved the exciting Mayan Artifact treasure hunt mystery! I had so much fun on the adventure with the characters and was on the edge on my seat waiting to see what we would find next!

There are some predictable scenes. However, there are quite a few unexpected twists and turns that you won’t see coming!

The only negative comments I have is that this book felt a bit jumpy with the time warp and as it goes back and forth from past to present scenes. Also, there is a lot going on in this book and you definitely have to pay attention while you’re reading. There were a few passages I had to re-read when I wasn’t totally focused. And when I was getting texts while reading this book, I got a bit lost on what was happening and ended up having to re-read a whole chapter.

The last tiff I have is that I was significantly surprised to find that this blurb was so misleading as it is was a totally different book inside. I really enjoyed the book and yes, the blurb does hint at some of the plot points, but it really doesn’t strike the main jiff of the book or give the book the justice it deserves.

I really liked all the additions to the book besides the story. This book included a map of Southern North America focusing on the settings in the book: Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. This book also included a list of resources the author used while researching and writing this book that includes songs, cultural, historical, and scientific information, etc. The website links and books are listed for easy access to follow up on the data. Also, at the end of this book is a list of characters names and their role in the book. These additions provided readers a little something extra. Plus, it allows the reader the chance to decide if they want to follow up with reading more research instead of having too much information forced on them by overloading too many facts into the book.

This book is book three in the 46. Ascending Book Series. It can be read as a standalone. There is a total of six books in this book series and all them have already been released for sale. All six books feature the Zeitman family and their special abilities. According to the author, all of these books in this series can be read as a standalone.

I will be reading and reviewing additional books in this series and look forward to sharing my take on those books with you soon!

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book and would absolutely recommend it! I think all science fiction and fantasy readers will like this book - and this book series too! So, add it to your TBR List and get to reading - you won't be disappointed!

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book and have voluntarily provided an honest, and unbiased review in accordance with FTC regulations.**
Profile Image for Veronica ⭐️.
973 reviews198 followers
September 4, 2013
I received this novel free from Goodreads First Reads and Sherrie Cronin in exchange for an honest review.
Dr Stan Drexler and 5 of his students uncover an ancient carved box during one of their excavations. But the box mysteriously disappears.
Alex Zeitman , a physics teacher at Early Gulch High School , has the ability to warp time.
Xuha is born in a car travelling from Mexico to Houston as his mother rushes to see her dying father.
What do these people have in common? How will they all be eventually linked? And what do each of them have to do with the mysterious carved box?

On reading the blurb on the back of the book I was expecting a much different story. More supernatural , basketball star. I was pleasantly surprised.
The novel starts off moving back and forward through a few different stories. The multiple stories are well balanced. Plus the side stories of racism and supernatural abilities were all linked together to flow well.
I was totally hooked on this book as soon as I started reading it. It was a case of literally " can't put it down ". I needed to know what was going to happen next!
The characters were well developed and so real they had me thinking about them and their dilemmas long after I closed the book each night. I could easily read this novel over again. Looking forward to reading Sherrie Cronin's other novels.
Profile Image for Aoife.
1,294 reviews551 followers
December 31, 2013
I won this book on a Goodreads giveaway and it was so much better than I thought it would be.
I was expecting some dreary tale, about a middle aged teacher struggling through until realizing he needed to use his gift of time warping to save people. Instead it was an interesting tale of finding rare artifacts, a teachers fight for justice with the help of his brave daughter and a young boys optimism in the face of one of the greatest evils of all-racism. I found this a great tale in fighting for equality among all, and although this is a 3rd volume, it can be read as a stand-alone.I was afraid I wouldn't be able to follow along as I hadn't read the others but in fact I clearly didn't need to read them.
I don't think the summary on the back of the book really gives Z2 justice, and for anyone doubting whether they want to read it, go on...give it a try!
Profile Image for Claire .
223 reviews17 followers
March 10, 2014
Multiple plot lines are interwoven very nicely in this story that begins in the late 1600s with a Mayan princess going to extreme lengths to protect her family's greatest treasure from Spanish invaders, and ends in the second half of the 21st century with that treasure having impacted the lives of many people.

Along the way, clues to the treasure are found, lost, and found again as an archaeology team reconnects and settles past differences, racial and ethnic prejudices are challenged, and individuals with abilities beyond the norm come together to solve the mystery of the Mayan treasure.

A highly entertaining read, the plot is complex but not overwhelming, the writing is solid, and the characters are all well-developed and believable.
150 reviews1 follower
September 3, 2013
Great for fans of sci-fi. Great for casual sci-fi readers.

Great for anyone, really.

z2 is one of those novels that stays with you. It is written intelligently, and the plot is never boring.

5/5 stars!
December 2, 2015
I purchased this book to finish the Alphabet Challenge as the book that begins with the letter z. I had read another book Y2, by this author and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed this novel as well. The author does a great job of weaving the science with the fiction.
637 reviews8 followers
April 4, 2019
Received an arc from netgalley. Really enjoyed this sf/uf book. Definitely recommend it!
Profile Image for E..
1,897 reviews19 followers
June 13, 2019
4.25 out of 5 stars

“Twists of Time” by S.R. Cronin is another story in the ’46. Ascending’ series that blends fantasy and science fiction. This particular tale spotlights Alex Zeitman as well as a Mayan family tasked through the ages with saving and guarding an essential artifact.

The book is aptly named because it shifts between time periods and various characters, so it takes a bit of flexibility to connect with the story line, but it is worth it to persist because eventually the elements meld to present a fascinating premise. I think that what I appreciate most about this series is the way each book spotlights a particular societal ill, highlighting the insidiousness of evil that is permeating our lives. The impact of racial prejudice is showcased in several time periods and environments in an exciting story that also features another remarkable capability in the Zeitman family.

I think one of this author’s talents is the ability to create likeable seemingly commonplace characters who have hidden depths and wonderful strength of character. Even as one aches for the travails they have to overcome, and worries that evil will get the upper hand, the courage and ingenuity displayed by these folks make one cheer for the good guys and the reader can’t help but be inspired and reassured that there is an ongoing desire to have good triumph over evil. Sadly, the subject matter is all too relevant to the happenings in today’s society, but hopefully each person who reads this entertaining story will also be inspired to have hope for a better world.

Although this is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, but one will better appreciate some of the nuances if one becomes familiar with some of the other characters. I look forward to meeting more of these quiet superheroes in subsequent stories.

A copy of this title was provided for review
Profile Image for Nancy (The Avid Reader).
2,333 reviews102 followers
June 8, 2019
In 1696 a woman, Nimah sends her two sons Ichik and Balam out in the world with a box in different directions giving them instructions on where to go and to guard their box with their lives. Nimah and her eight year-year-old daughter would guard the biggest box they hid close to their home. What was in this box? Why would a woman send her sons away each with a box of their own?

Several hundred years later Dr. Stan Drexler and his students dig up this shiny black box. They leave it in the cave where they found but upon their return the next day the box was not there it had disappeared. Where is the box? Did someone take the box? If so why?

Alex Zeitman is a physics teacher at Early Gulch High School. Alex has an ability where time slows down for him. Alex’s wife Lola is a telepath someone who can read minds and knows exactly what they are thinking.

A pregnant woman, Ixchel and her husband Raul are crossing the Mexico, United States border trying to reach her dying father in Houston when she goes into labor.

What do all these people have in common? What is there connection? Do their stories intact? These are all the questions I was asking myself as I was reading Twists of Time. I love stories with several characters and you get the point of views of all the characters. You know somewhere in the story their lives and stories are going to intertwine it so enjoyable trying to figure out how they all connect and the mystery between all the characters awesome.

Once I picked up Twists of Time I couldn’t put it down until I had read the last word. Well actually I don’t think I have put it down yet as it is still with me. I keep thinking about all the characters and the little shiny box and its journey through time.

Twists of Time is a stand-alone book but I do suggest that you read the first two books in the series One of One #1 and Shape of Secrets #2 before reading Twists of Time as there are characters in Twists of Time that was introduced in One of One and Shape of Secrets that will give you insight into some of the characters and their stories.

I would recommend Twists of Time to all fans of science fiction and people with special abilities.
93 reviews3 followers
June 8, 2019
Yet again another brilliant story packed with history, self-discovery and humanity.

I don't know why but I'm always blown away by how S. R. Cronin weaves an intriguing story.

I love how the characters return (helped along by them being family) and remind you about previous books in the series, but it adds an extra layer that helps you understand things more.

Twists of Time has an interesting array of characters that combine and build an amazing world to escape to....a world highlighting physics, history and an uneasy streak of racism reminding us of daily struggles and showing how decent Alex is....and that's all before the half-way mark!

Best of all there's more books after this, so once you've relaxed with this fab read and a cheeky tipple I highly recommend getting the other books!
Profile Image for Paul Wandason.
57 reviews6 followers
January 19, 2016
z2 is the third book in the 46.Ascending series and revolves around Alex Zeitman who has the ability to warp time and hence experience time slower or faster than the rest of us.

Several story lines weave and wend through z2, and characters interlace beautifully. Since this is where much of the elegance in the novel lies I'm going to go against the traditional approach of a review and leave out a synopsis - but I will mention here that the back cover blurb is perhaps a little too one-dimensional and really does not do the novel the full justice it deserves.

Reading about chasing after Mayan artifacts, high school physics lessons and sports coaching was a gripping ride which left me wondering how on Earth it was all going to come together in the end! When the end did come I had mixed feelings at first. It seemed to come early, it was rushed and even predictable. However as I continued reading I realised that the real conclusion is more subtle and goes beyond the obvious 'pseudo' conclusion I had read moments earlier.

Characters are fascinating and well developed and the writing style is excellent! For example, a conversation that Alex has with his wife has the potential to be a complete drag to read. But Sherrie provides the background thoughts and concerns that both Alex and Lola have, and this multiple character insight gives a seemingly mundane conversation a whole new level!

There are also original angles on otherwise 'standard' ideas and concepts; telepathy, for example, apparently doesn't have the accuracy that only words can provide! (I'd have assumed it would be more accurate!)

The main character is Alex Zeitman, and ultimately all story lines involve him to some extent. Indeed, the final conclusion is arguably about him more than about anything else. Like other members of his family, Alex has a special ability - to experience the passage of time at different speeds. We also meet Lola who has telepathic abilities and Zane (Alex's son) who is able to morph his body into other shapes.

Daughters Teddie and Ariel also have powers, though we don't see those at work in z2 and would need to read c3 and d4 respectively to see how Teddie has out of body experiences and Ariel is able to see into the future. (Incidentally, x0 centers around Lola and y1 around Zane.)

Although z2 is the third in the series, it is stand-alone. Perhaps there are cross-overs between segments of the plot in z2 and the other novels, but of course at this stage I'd be unaware of those. There was one moment where Ariel seemingly gives Alex some advice about the future and I thought that I may have missed something in an earlier novel, but a few pages later it's explained (although we should note that d4 focuses on Ariel and her ability to see the future - which comes after z2! ;) )

In summary, z2 by Sherrie Cronin is a delightful science fiction novel with a delicate undertone of time manipulation running right through it. A multitude of story lines and characters blend together beautifully to create a 5 star novel with inter-related characters with depth and a poetic conclusion to top it all off!
Profile Image for Tim Roast.
736 reviews13 followers
October 7, 2013
This is a book that I won in a Goodreads First Reads contest.

Z-squared, or zee-squared as this is an American book, is an ambitious novel. It contains the making of time-machines, Maya history, American Civil War history, telepathy, racial hatred, a potted history of American immigration policies and a treasure hunt for ancient artifacts.

The first thing I noticed about this book is that it is volume three of six. However having read it, and not the previous two books in the series, I would say that it is perfectly stand-alone. It does mention the previous two (x to the power of 0 and y to the power of 1) but there is no need to have read them.

The second thing I noticed is that this started as an eBook and the eBook version has some clickable links to help with the atmosphere of the novel, whereas this one has the links in the annex so that you can have the same experience if you wish, although you would need to cross reference to make sure you picked them up in the correct places, and if the URLs change then tough. Plus these are not necessary for the story, just to add to ambiance.

As for the story it starts off on several strands, each one bursting with action from the get go which really helps you get into the novel straight away. Then the story settles as the strands come together with the main strand being a treasure hunt, and the secondary strand being the stirring up of racial tensions in a school where the main character of the book Alex Zeitman works.

The book flits through time with sections from 1696-1697, 1981, 1993, the main part from 2010-2011 and even a bit from the future at the end so that you know what happens to the main characters.

The 1696-1697 part details how three Mayan boxes were to be protected from generation to generation to keep the greatest of treasure from being discovered until the time was right. Only when all three boxes have been reunited will it be clear what the secret they bear was. That is the basis of the treasure hunt that Alex gets involved in.

The other part of Alex’s story includes the setting up of his school club zee-squared, “a club about considering multiple timelines and their ramifications,” i.e. about doing your bit to make the future timeline better. This is in part in response to a growing movement in the school, a school based in Texas in the south, led by Ms. Johnson and endorsed by the principal, towards the return of white supremacy. This culminates in a re-enactment of the Battle of Cedar Creek, a key battle in the loss of the South in the American Civil War, and how if things had been done differently at that battle then things could now be for the better. Of course Alex sees to it that this movement is put in its place and involves his psychics’ students and their “time machines” to make it so.

The novel is ambitious but is pulled off.
Profile Image for M.T. DeSantis.
Author 17 books60 followers
November 10, 2019
I received this book for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Read an excerpt and follow the Goddess Fish book tour here.
Again, I’m drawn into this series. The interwoven nature of the books is so fascinating. Couple that with watching this family use their powers separately (but almost in a together way), and I’ve got myself a set of books to sink my teeth into.
I enjoyed Alex’s ability to slow time, but I also liked that he wasn’t really in complete control of it. It was a nice switch from the big baddies who can outright stop time or the limitless potential of time travel. It’s an ability that alerts him, and then, he must make choices and act. It made for great tension.
Something else I really enjoyed about this was the smaller scale of the threat. The first two books featured big-picture consequences. While the white supremacist angle here could certainly become a major issue, it was more confined to Alex’s home and family. Despite this, I hated the villain just as much as I did the ones in previous books. There is nothing attractive about hatred, something Cronin captured brilliantly. The struggles of youthful thinking were also explored in beautiful detail. The teen years are when the mind is most able to be molded, and the back-and-forth was interesting and a bit chilling to see.
But let’s not stop there. The search for the ancient treasure is not to be forgotten. I loved how these two major plotlines worked side-by-side and ultimately crossed. The slow buildup to their joining was seamlessly accomplished. There was some jumping of perspectives back-and-forth through time. This jarred me at first, but once I realized it was happening, it stopped bugging me.
The best thing about this series and Cronin’s writing is that they make me think. There are some hard topics discussed in this and the other books. They are not shied away from, even if they are uncomfortable. Many books do this, but Cronin does it in an almost understated way. Rather than having a rebellion shoved in my face, Cronin shows how a small action here or there builds into a local or international incident. It’s fantastic storytelling, and I look forward to more in this series.
Profile Image for Kathryn Svendsen.
468 reviews11 followers
September 9, 2016
Z Squared is a multi-faceted novel not only about a teacher with the ability to manipulate the speed of time, but about the mystery of the treasure related to a Mayan artifact and racism with overtones of the Klu Klux Klan.

There was definitely more to this novel than the synopsis implied. To be honest I thought that the book was really more about the Mayan mystery and the racism/immigration issues than about the time warping. I did enjoy how that ability that Alex had fit into the story however as it did help to play a role in the solution of events.

I also thought that Z Squared was educational too as it included some factual “asides” where the author told us about events in history regarding US history regarding immigration related to how Americans felt about people of nationalities of people not considered “white” or “Aryan”, and how those laws changed right up to the present day. The novel helped us see that even today in the US there are still people who are prejudiced against non-white individuals, and likely non-white individuals prejudiced against white individuals too.

I liked the way that the author took us back several times to the event where the Mayan box was found and then lost again several times, each time from the point of view of a different person on the team. Each version of the story was correct, but each story on its own was unhelpful.

I don’t know how realistic it is that there would be teachers like Ms. Johnson in the school system (I teach in Canada) but I would hope that anyone as prejudiced as her would not be allowed anywhere near impressionable youth anywhere. Obviously the author did an excellent job of creating a very unlikable character.

Z Squared unique novel, with a lot of potential for future sequels, particularly with a family full of such distinctive talents. Telepathy, shape-shifting and possibly prescience; these will make interesting topics for future books. I gave Z Squared 4 stars out of 5.

Thank you to publisher who provided a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

This review was published on my blog Shelf Full of Books http://kathrynsshelffullofbooks.blogs...
44 reviews
September 28, 2013
I received this book from Good reads for an honest review. And honestly, I enjoyed this book tremendously. All the characters are quite believable and fit nicely into the story line. For the most part they are just everyday people. It follows Alex from his days at school playing basketball, to his teaching career and own family, to his demise with aging. The other characters include Professor Drexler, all of his students and those that are met along the way. As the story unfolds, it is amazing how time travel, archeology, the Maya, the "find" and the outcome are all intertwined. You can't stop thinking "what happens next?"
I feel that although this is a work of fiction, the research involved was exceptional. To bring facts into fiction is not always an easy feat. Stories of the Civil War and the KKK to name a few. And not to forget the physics. I was not expecting the outcome once the three artifact boxes were placed together. A great ending to a great story. Can't wait to read the previous two novels and the ones to follow. I would definitely recommend this as a read for those who enjoy fiction.
Good reads certainly have some great authors and books that one might not otherwise be aware of.

I hope Sherrie Cronin can find Mrs. Jacobs, her eight grade English teacher to thank her.
Profile Image for Myrthe.
170 reviews8 followers
December 12, 2015
So this took me extremely long to read. Not necessarily because it was a bad book: the concept is amazingly interesting and well thought out, but overall it just didn’t really work for me. I think it was because there were just a bit too many characters, and because you jump from past to present to different places a lot, which makes it hard to read. This is most certainly not the book to read after a long day of work: you just have to concentrate on the story too much.
Another thing that I would have to say is that some of the characters seem a bit flat and stereotyped, and sometimes downright not very real. But overall, once I did find the time to read and concentrate on the story, it was good and I enjoyed it. I recommend this book to everyone that doesn’t mind a confusing story, because when you look though that aspect, it’s a great book!

I received a free copy of this book from the author - thanks!
Profile Image for Linda Todd.
305 reviews62 followers
April 5, 2014
Well I most say wonderful story a lot of hate, love, fun, laughter, and more hate but loved this book a good story the characters and story lines where well thought out and delivered with grace and some characters with the power to make you hate them your self but if you wish to read this wonderful book you will not be disappointed you did with all that said my humble thanks to the amazing author Sherrie Cronin and keep the good works of art coming and I will be looking out for more of her work with all that said keep smiling and happy reading to you all with love from wee me.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Profile Image for Pearl.
4 reviews2 followers
January 21, 2014
This book was excellent! It's got an anthropological treasure hunt, Mayan history, theoretic time travel, science, people with super human abilities. It brings into the light the ever controversial issue of racism still alive in our modern world. Something, I regret to say, I have experienced first hand. Every character has their own side story that is equally intriguing. When all the side stories finally converge, you will discover an unexpected outcome. I laughed, I cried, I fell asleep with this book rested on my chest. It was a joy to read, and I will highly recommend it to all of my friends, and my book club.
Profile Image for Holly.
Author 48 books31 followers
May 23, 2014
The idea of an interactive novel was alien to me when i started reading this book, but I grew to understand. Buried within its ranks are links and pictures, steering the reader towards music, maps and histories, all of which build up in the background to make this one of the better stories i have read in a while.

Alex and Lola's abilities, the battle between work and the world, between family and the human race, it all comes together in a climax that will leave you flipping pages at an amazing rate. It's well-written, with very few grammatical or spelling mistakes, making it an easy read for anyone.

Profile Image for Macoffkilter.
115 reviews3 followers
March 9, 2014
As engrossing as the others that I have read from this author but once again different in subject matter. As usual excellent blend of storyline with travel and engrossing detail. And yes I started it and could not put it down just like her others. Without giving away anything about the story, I can only say that I am significantly richer in knowledge from having been exposed to this author. Looking forward to other books from this author.
Profile Image for Sarah.
99 reviews20 followers
January 30, 2021
I won this book as a GoodReads First Reads giveaway.

I'm going to preface this by saying that this is not a book I would probably ever pick up. I don't understand the title (before reading the book anyway), the cover art is crappy (we all judge books by their covers, don't try to deny it), and based on the back cover synopsis, it just isn't my thing. In fact, I wasn't even sure I wanted to read it at all even though I had gotten it for free (don't ask me why I entered the giveaway if it didn't sound good, I can't even remember why, something must have stuck out at me to make me enter).

The first few chapters are all over the place. I was about to give up after a couple of chapters because there were so many story lines with seemingly no connection, but I decided to wait until I was at least a quarter of the way through the book and then make a decision to keep reading or stop. I'm glad I kept reading.

I don't think the back cover synopsis really describes this book very well. Alex's "ability" isn't really all that prevalent in the story, it only comes up on occasion, at least in my opinion.

The characters are very well written. I was invested in quite a few of them, and that to me is a mark of good character development. The writing is a tiny bit rough at times and there are some editing errors, but to be honest, I have read a lot worse from bigger name authors and well known publishers, and those errors really weren't that off-putting. You could tell even without the note at the beginning that this was written as an ebook. With some simple design changes it could have been well done as a paperback and I'm not sure why the author/publisher didn't insist on those changes.

In all, this book is very well researched and the characters are well written. The supernatural aspect is done in such a way that it's not unbelievable, and the villains are truly villainous, though I would like to have understood a bit more of Tina's backstory to fully understand her hatred.
Profile Image for Mickey.
11 reviews
August 18, 2013
Quantum physics was always a subject of fascination to me. Z2 is about the choices, possibilities, limits and order of priorities in life. Combining the subjects of Z2 with quantum physics is like a combination of bumblebees and flowers. It is a smart and perfect fit in the plot.

I love the way Sherrie Cronin reveals her personal views and opinions of the human society through the eyes, mouths and behavior of the Zeitman family members, and because i happen to share the same ideas and ideals, the whole Zeitman family series is not only compelling and a great joy to read in my opinion, but an important and valuable reading as well.

Z2 is about Alex Zeitman this time, but his personal journey is not of self discovery through his special ability, as happened with his son Zane in Y1, but a mean to help him create a better society and to be able to live according to his views and conscience.
All this he carries out in a modest, quiet and graceful way which makes you wonder how our society would look like if there were only one Alex Zeitman for every 50 people :) You gotta love this guy.

The plot is interesting and you cannot stop reading as it carries you from Texas to Central America and back, the old Dixie and the marvels of archaeology, but the reader is compelled to look deeper into the meaning and message behind the plot and between the lines, and cannot stay aloof without having his or her own opinion on the matters the book discusses.

I look impatiently forward to read C3, the next one in the series.

* I give 5 stars to classics only, and this is the only reason the book gets only 4 stars from me. i do hope to see it as a classic one day and correct my unjust grading :)
Profile Image for Taja .
103 reviews30 followers
June 22, 2014
I received this book for review a while ago. I hd every intention of reading it right away and writing the review because it seemed super interesting, a book right up my alley. But when I started reading it, I was, more than anything else, confused. I was immediately introduced to a big amount of random, seemingly non-connected characters and with each, the story started somewhere in the middle. Needless to say, I had a hart time wanting to continue. I kept putting off the reading, and when I did will myself to pick it up again, I only managed a couple of pages.

Jumping a lot of time forward, I finally managed to finish it, bit by bit. I do have to say the writing is good and the story in itself is very interesting, But sometimes the way it is written and put together isn't the most tactful. Often I hopped upon boring parts or parts I just didn't think were necessary in the book.

What I liked about this book is the rich history included in it. I've always been fascinated by ancient cultures and so I enjoyed reading parts that were interconnected with them. I also liked the 'talents' characters had, such as Lola's 'telepathy'. It was quite enjoyable to read.

There was also heavy rascism on part of some characters, which as of course, necessary for the story but, oh man, did these characters piss me off! It was almost painful to read what they had to say and I really just wanted to smack some sense into them.

All in all, the book was good, even if it took me a while. The way the events follow eachother and the was the plot is connected, is a tad weak. But I suppose in the end, this is only a problem if you cannot get past the first half of the book.
Profile Image for Londa.
169 reviews2 followers
July 29, 2014
As she did in y1 Cronin offers a unique blend of mystery, history, adventure, and fantasy. The Zeitman family is again at the center of the plot. Alex Zeitman has the envious ability to bend time but never realized how strong his abilities were until now. Just a mild mannered physics teacher, no one would suspect that he has these superhuman skills.

However exciting, there is more to the story than just time bending.

It opens with a 1696 flashback of a Mayan society already besieged with the influences of the Spaniards. Nimah and her children have an enormous task to carry out. They are be destined to protect and deliver a great secret to future generations.

There is ever more here. Cronin also deals with several social issues including racism and immigration. She does so in a way that does not feel preachy or condescending.

All of these themes are woven together into quite an adventurous story, and the pieces fall into place quite nicely in the end.

My only issue with the book would be the large number of minor characters. I found that there were several characters that I just didn't care much about, and I had a hard time not skimming over parts of the story that involved them.

All in all an entertaining book and I look forward to reading c3 next. Solid 3.5 stars

Book provided by author through Librarything.com My review is unbiased.

Profile Image for Margarida.
329 reviews68 followers
March 13, 2014
3.5 stars

So I have some mix feelings about this book because there were parts that I absolutely loved but there were others that were so boring I couldn't even concentrate to read.

The beginning was really slow there were so many characters presented and so many stories that I was like What's happening?! I did have some ideas of how the stories and the characters would meet at some point in the book and I was right. It really interesting seeing that.

I loved that I got to know more about the concept of time travelling, the war between the South and the North which I had heard before but I'm not an American so I never learned anything about it.

There were some pretty heavy subjects in this book. Racism a lot of racism. I felt really disgusted with what Tina the history teach did. I mean WTH?! Trying to get rid of all the blacks, Mexicans, everyone that wasn't white. That was just crazy. Ordering her "special kids" to beat up kids that weren't white?! I just hated this teacher and she had so many supporters, it's crazy.

I really liked the search for the three artifacts and the story behind it and how Stan's team, especially Kyle and Jake were going to find the instructions to jewels and money but no the artifacts held a instructions to . The relationships that were built throughout the book were really cool and really funny at some points.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 44 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.