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A Reader of Fictions: Time Trap - Built to Spill

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Time Trap - Built to Spill

The Revisionists

Author: Thomas Mullen
Pages: 402
ARC Acquired from: Mulholland Books via NetGalley

Brief Summary:
In the Perfect Present, people have even attained the ability to travel backwards in time. Of course, with this power comes great responsibility, namely that of preventing revisionists from changing history, thus changing the present. Such is the job of Zed, or Z. His current job is set in Washington D.C., where he is masquerading as Troy Jones, a missing man, who has a similar back story to that of Z. Z must prevent the hags, the people trying to change history, from preventing a major disaster.

Were it not for my current goal of reading every dystopia ever, or at least the first in a series should it be a series, I would have stopped reading this book. From the very beginning, I found it boring, heavy-handed, and completely improbably. Not only that, but confusing to. The opening chapters alternate between the perspective of Z and a selection of other characters, who, for the first hundred or so pages meant little to me and were hard to distinguish and remember.

The book did get better once Z had less chapters and the other characters became more familiar, but I never ever liked it. For one thing, I'm really not into political thrillers, of which this is most definitely one. If that's up your alley, you may want to go for this, despite my bad opinion or, perhaps, because of it.

I mentioned that the story struck me as improbably, which may seem strange from a person who just eats up all the latest paranormal nonsense and loves everything fantasy/sci fi. Here's the thing. I think if someone's going to write a book or make a movie on time travel, they have to be really careful explaining how that's possible. This story did not do that. You pretty much have to have the characters travel to another dimension/time stream or have to make the declaration that everything happens as it did in the past, because your future was in the past. Mullen did not do this. They were capable of changing the past, and likely did frequently. That just doesn't work, at least not with more of an explanation.

The one thing I really did like about the book was the interweaving between Troy Jones and Z. He finds himself become very bound up in his cover, and, in some ways, indistinguishable. This added a really cool psychological element to the story. Only, if I had written this, I would have ended the story on an awesome twist, rather than a boring logical conclusion to the ridiculous plot he wrote. It would have been so much cooler were it just about Z being crazy.

"It's barely yours on loan
What you think you own
The place that you call home
The ideas in your bones
In your bones

This would still feel dumb
Back where you're from
Do you want to change your mind?
Do you want to change your mind?

'Cause you could never know that
In a time trap
In a time trap"

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Anonymous Audrey (Bibliosaurus Text) said...

Too bad about this book! Thanks for the honest opinion, though. It sucks when you feel like you've wasted your time reading a book, but at least you're warning others.

October 17, 2011 at 8:20 PM  

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