April 17th, 2012, 06:48 AM
Heritage, Not Hate
Spoiler Free review of Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt
I had a love and hate relationship with this book. It starts out at an A+, moves on to become a C-, and finishes at a B.
A+ because its a wonderful tale of time travel. It actually in the end made me think of how the Doctor ends up being a constant figure in history.
Also, during the work, some text is devoted to making you think about the history that has been lost out there. Those quiet moments that are just not seen or thought about. The closest that I can come to those moments without a time machine myself is to think about some of the writings of Jefferson Davis (President of the CSA) or of the call to arms by the Governor of Virginia. I mention these two because they tend to not be taught in schools and if they were, they would change people's perception of the War for Southern Independence.
In McDevitt's work, he touched on some of the uglier civil rights issues that came about in the South. This is not surprising since he lives in Dixie. I think he gave a very fair portrayal of that uglier side of our history. Specifically it was the march in Selma he discussed. Modern day Sheriff's still have a touch of their independence about them. However the Sheriff in the case of Selma was acting way, way out of line and history correctly sees him that way.
Then, after all of that thoughtfulness comes an obsession with Sophocles. A Greek playwright who I know precious little about. He lingers on the lost works of Sophocles a tad too long for my liking. That's more of the excitement that would appeal to English majors and Linguists. It just didn't cut it for me and I nearly put the book down during those annoying 50 pages.
The book finishes with a clever way to solve a huge crisis which is introduced in the 3rd act.
Overall, yes, it still gets a B. =) A highly recommended read for any fan of time travel books and a must read for Jack McDevitt fans.
April 17th, 2012, 05:04 PM
Your review parallels my reading of the book quite well. I read the first half very quickly and then skipped a bunch and read the end. I'm going to finish the middle when I'm not sleepy.
April 17th, 2012, 05:22 PM
Heritage, Not Hate
LOL! Yea, the middle when he goes on the Sophocles kick was horrible.
You didn't miss much plot wise. He also just poured different historical events in that they visited. Some were interesting, but if you're not going to give a narrative of them, one paragraph is plenty of discussion on the places they decided to visit.
I always feel bad criticizing authors. With my luck McDevitt will be at the next *con I go to and will refuse to sign anything because he remembers my B. =)
Last edited by DennisC; April 17th, 2012 at 05:25 PM.