Unfortunately this novel does not live up to the expectations created by the generally extremely positive reviews. It is after all very light fare. Some parts are entertaining enough, the prose is simple and a good match to the vivacious, bubbly main character and of course there is ample sex and action, but overall, it remains chick lit. The time travel makes it look like science fiction, but Jody Taylor does not make a serious effort to avoid all the inconsistencies and flaws the plot presents. She expects the reader to overlook all of that and simply enjoy the story.
I had a hard time finding this enjoyment, because the narrative descends to the level of dime novels at times. A typical example, Max, the female historian and main character is in the car with her boss, Chief Leon Farrell, on the way back to the office. Out of the blue she offers to give him the best blow job ever. He is so shocked that he hits a tree and they immediately have passionate and wild sex on the hood of the car.
What really made me dislike the book, is the careless attitude the main characters display, when colleagues and friends die during accidents or in enemy attacks. Some of these scenes are pretty gory and a harsh contrast to the generally flippant style of the story.
The story itself is full of surprises and takes a couple of unexpected turns. Max starts her first job as a historian at St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research. No big surprise, not academia, but something completely different, outraging and adventurous is expecting her. The historians explore the past in contemporary times, they practice time travel. Of course the risks are high, history will fight back and kill, if the rules are broken. But this is not all of it, terrorists got hold of this technology as well and use it for their own purposes.
The plot sounds interesting enough, but the story telling is flawed. It is not only the holes and contradictions in the concept of time travel, it is also the sketchy characters and the superficial storytelling, which turned the book into a big disappointment for me.
If you want to read outstanding books with a similar subject, try Connie Willis. She will not disappoint you, especially, when you start with “Doomsday”.