Book Review-Time Riders by Alex Scarrow

11 Feb

I actually really like this cover. Especially because the three people meet their descriptions so well, but the cover also doesn’t give much away about them. And there’s, you know, the flying saucer. =D

Summary: Maddy should have died in a plane crash. Liam should have died at sea when the Titanic sank. Sal should have died in a tragic fire. But a mysterious man whisked them away to safety.

Maddy, Liam, and Sal quickly learn that time travel is no longer just a hope for the future; it is a dangerous reality. And they weren’t just rescued from their terrible fates. . . they were recruited for the agency of TimeRiders created to protect the world from those seeking to alter the course of history for personal gain. By reliving the highly documented events in New York City on 9/11, they can closely monitor history for any deviations—large or small. When just such a change is detected, they are alerted that a threat is at hand unleashing the evil of the Nazis to wreak havoc with Earth’s present and future. Can Maddy, Liam, and Sal fulfill their destinies as keepers of time to save the world from utter destruction?

Am I the only person who believes in books standing alone any more? Going through this book I was dead certain that it was going to maybe have a sequel. Was I correct? No. This is book one of a planned NINE BOOK series.

Dear God…

The first came out almost a year ago, Feb 4 2010, and the second was released about six months later, aka October 10 2010. The third came out recently, I guess, and is apparently about Robin Hood, so I might actually be interested. The second book is about dinosaurs.

And the first book, the one I’ve actually read, deals with Hitler, World War II and the Nazis (although they’re Nazis in name only, which was actually disappointing)  winning that war.

I liked it. There was little to no character development (the crap people think they can get away with when they’re writing massive series), leaving the most developed characters as Foster and the German lieutenant Karl. And both of them are dead (well, Foster walks off into the sunset; Karl is actually killed twice) at the end of the book.

There are so many things this book could have done, that I would have liked to see it do, that it didn’t. There were some continuity problems, namely with Sal and the whole Time Riders thing. Sal was a conundrum–being from 2026, she should have been a bit futuristic but not so far beyond Maddy. Not so ‘I learned about that in history class.’ Fifteen years ago from now was 1995, and other than cell phones (addressed by Sal) and Britney Spear’s reputation, it hasn’t changed a lot.

And where the crap were all the other Time Riders during these time shifts? Why do they (Time Riders) have to be plucked out of deadly situations? I understand that all of their bodies wouldn’t be missed based on how they were going to die, but is that the only reason? And I wanted to know more about Foster. Some big final confession would have been nice.

But despite all that, I liked it. And Bob was a nice touch, although why the ending (spoiler, sorry) had to happen to him is beyond me. Except that it helped develop Liam, likewise with Foster for Maddy. And I’m sure there’s a point to Sal not being developed at all. The one upside to serieses: there might be a plan. You have to read the whole thing to find out, but there might just be one.

Anyway, I’m rating this 3.5/5. It’s good. It’s not great, but I’d recommend it to others, particularly my brother, who cares not so much about characters and more about Nazis. (Although, again, these guys were almost sadly un-Nazi-like. Why did Kramer pick them to be his world-conquering army if he just got rid of all the Aryan crap? Come on, Alex Scarrow: that could have been the best part of your novel if you’d thought this through).

But I digress. I would like to leave the following questions for Alex Scarrow to consider, if he feels like considering any questions ever:

Why was aerophobic Maddy on the plane? Why is she aerophobic  at all? Did Sal’s parents die in the fire? Where/when did Foster come from? Why was Liam on the Titanic? Did he see Leonardo DiCaprio?

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2 Responses to “Book Review-Time Riders by Alex Scarrow”

  1. AlexScarrow February 12, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Hi…aaarghhhh, most of those questions at the end of your review, I simply can’t answer because they play out in the series. But I can answer this….yes, he passed by Leonardo and Kate briefly…watch the film again, you might just catch a glimpse of him!

    • Kristine February 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

      Heehee.
      Wow! It’s so awesome that you not only read this but answered my random questions (or, at least, one of them). Makes me glad that I’d already decided to give in to my curiosity and get the second one.
      Thanks for the comment!

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