Review: Time Travelers Never Die

Time Travelers Never Die
Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Michael Shelbourne mysteriously disappears from his home, sending his son Adrian on a quest to find him. What he discovers is that his father, a reknown physicist, has managed to create a time travel device packaged much like an iPod. Adrian and his friend Dave embark on a quest to discover where in time his father has disappeared to, and why he hasn't returned.

Overall I enjoyed this book, and I would likely have enjoyed it more if I were a history buff. There are all sorts of references to historical events and people that I'm hesitant to admit I know very little about. One thing that frustrated me is that there are points in the story where the solution to a plot point or question are painfully obvious, yet the characters trudge on, completely oblivious to what should be right in front of their face. It would be one thing if these were men thrust into a completely unexpected situation outside of their normal pursuits, but these are a college professor and son of a physics genius. This is a minor quibble though.

Philosophically, I have to disagree with one of the major plot elements of the book. The author introduces a "cardiac principle" whereby anyone who attempts to modify an event that has been observed such that it can no longer be observed will be foiled in their attempt, possibly by being killed. This would infer that all time is fated. All of the major events we experience in our lifetime were fated to be and no other experience is possible. That's not an idea I agree with. It doesn't detract from the story, but I had to put my thoughts out there on the matter.

The sci-fi element of this story is pretty light, so I would recommend this to historical fiction fans who like to dabble in sci-fi before I would recommend it to science fiction fans with a penchant for history.

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Jade Mason