Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt - A Goodreads Review


Posted on : 11/18/2015 01:35:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , , ,

Time Travelers Never DieTime Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A 2 star review on my scale is not a book that I would recommend. 2 stars is an accurate assessment of my experience.

The use of language and grammar were fine. This is a well edited tome.

My issues involve spoilers, so.....

A major theme of the book is time travel and the supposed complications that can result from a time travel induced paradox. The books treatment of this theme creates two significant plotting issues.

1) Per the book, a paradox only occurs when a situation that the time traveller knows results in a paradox occurs. A time traveller that tries to alter history in a way that they know will alter history will die instead of history being altered.

Yet the time travelling characters clearly commit acts that alter history in minute ways as they visit various events in time. They speak with people from the past and commit various acts that must necessarily nudge history ever so slightly. It seems that because these changes are unknown to the time travellers beforehand, these events do not result in some sort of paradox.

2) As a result of the character's desire to avoid running into a paradox, their mission becomes visiting important moments in history, but not overtly changing the outcome. They visited the civil rights march in Selma, AL as an example.

However, these episodes shed no new light on those events or on those historical characters. 

Which brings up...

2A) The time travelling characters are a college professor and a genius with multiple higher level degrees. They are equipped with the knowledge to evaluate the events that they visit. Yet the reader receives very little of that evaluation. If you aren't a history professor already, then most of the events are little more than a casual hour long stroll through a museum that would ordinarily take days to fully experience.

I found the premise of the paradox to be unbelievable in a body of speculative fiction. I found the resulting grand tour of history to be less than satisfying.

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