My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Talk about the necessity of a reader’s hook-look no further. “Time Jump” manages it within the first three sentences-of the Prologue! It captured me and immediately made me start racing through the pages to find out why, how, when (that, after all, is the major question), where, who? The question of time travel: is it possible, is it dangerous, how can the past be altered without completely and complexly changing the future-has been debated, studied, and written about for a more than a century, since H. G. Wells and Jule Verne took it under consideration. Author J. M. Preiss, giving this theory a go, sets in a rather dystopian civilization of 2150, a crowded, cramped, overbearing world pretty much belonging to the wealthy; where almost all citizens are sardine-packed into overpopulated cities, and nanotechnology ought to relieve the burdens of manual labor and manufacturing.
In this venue, the Halcyon Project is all set to enter the final stage of study: no longer content to return inanimate objects into a former era, the Project’s scientists and researchers determine to send humans-two males, Jacob and Mason, back to the year 2000. Of course, there are naysayers who are convinced that the introduction of two humans into an earlier era will erupt causality and effectively destroy the universe as we know it; but who, after all, ever heeds the objectors? What hasn’t been taken into account is that even the best-laid plans can collapse, and then what of the time travelers themselves? Where-and when-have they arrived?
“Time Jump” effectively world-builds, giving us the sociology, history, economy, and geography of the mid-22nd century as a backdrop to explaining why the Halcyon Project was undertaken in the first place (other than sheer scientific hubris). The plot line will keep readers puzzled, guessing, and reading. The conclusions will inspire the intrigued reader to anticipate the second, upcoming, novel in this series.
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