Tuesday 9 August 2011

Book review: TimeRiders by Alex Scarrow

Title: TimeRiders
Author: Alex Scarrow
Source: Library
Publisher and Published: Various, various times (according to goodreads. The book is downstairs

at the moment and I'm too lazy to get it)
Warnings: Blood, cannibalist mutants, violence, mild profanity
Summary from goodreads: Liam O'Connor should have died at sea in 1912. Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010. Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2029. Yet moments before death, someone mysteriously appeared and said, 'Take my hand ...' But Liam, Maddy and Sal aren't rescued. They are recruited by an agency that no one knows exists, with only one purpose - to fix broken history. Because time travel is here, and there are those who would go back in time and change the past. That's why the TimeRiders exist: to protect us. To stop time travel from destroying the world...
Review: Right when they were about to die, three teenagers were asked if they to go with an old man, called Foster, or die. The first one is Liam who is aboard the sinking Titanic and has 90 seconds left to live (according the same old man). So he follows the him and wakes up in New York, 2001. But of course he doesn't know that. Then we get Maddy on a plane. Which will blow up in 90 seconds. Foster really pressurises these people doesn't he? She follows too. Sadly, we aren't told about Sal's experience. They are introduced to each other etc. and we discover that Foster is from "Never-neverland". How enigmatic. They also meet their team mate, Bob, an artificial human. They assigned roles, Sal the observer, Maddy the analyst, Liam the guy who
actually gets to time travel and Bob the support unit. I think that's the end of the basic character introductions.
I like how the team are based during 9/11 to distract the attention away from themselves. It's quite an interesting concept and it's probably true, people in the local shops would be more focused on the mass destruction around them. Other aspects of the book that many people believe don't make sense actually do. Depending on what theory you use. To make sure I don't give out any spoilers, I'm going to use the concept of autoinfanticide (if you don't understand, think of the child self as the information that the antagonist needs to know to change history: what he needs to change). If you went back in time and killed yourself as a baby you would no longer exist and "you" that existed at the time you killed your child self would not exist and you would not have been able to kill yourself. The Novikov self-consistency principle agrees with this statement and says this can't possibly happen. The parallel universe/alternate timelines says you can do this, great for you. The nonexistance theory doesn't work with this book. The destruction resolution I don't think would work and temporal modification negation theory does work. The delayed effect of the shifts if a form of the delayed ripple effect.
The characters don't change much (apart from Bob. He changed a lot). I found that really disappointing as the characters need to progress in sci-fi to make it more realistic. The "Tuesdays" weren't described much which is a shame because they would have made the book more interesting. I wish that Sal had written more in her diary and the Maddy's feelings were shown a bit more. I love the idea of an alternative future (though in this case, it's the past).

Rating: 4 Really good but you need to do some research to understand some things.

1 comment:

  1. Published by the Penguin Group
    First published in 2010


Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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