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Marilee J. Layman

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06:35 pm: Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt
I don't think this is one of his best books. Besides some internal problems, it seems like it's trying to get people to read history.

In the prologue, Adrian "Shel" Shelbourne is being buried. His family, some of his cow-orkers, his friend Dave, and his almost-girlfriend Helen are there at the cemetary.

When the story starts (before the prologue), Shel finds that his father, Michael, has disappeared. Michael is a noted physicist and had told them he'd be somewhere else for a few weeks of work, but he wasn't there. After some weeks, Michael's lawyer calls Shel and gives him an envelope that Michael had left for him if he disappeared or died. Shel opens the envelope to find what turn out to be Q-pods.

He finally figures out the password for a Q-pod and is then prompted:

DO YOU WISH TO TRAVEL?

HERE?

DEST?

LAT/LONG?

[more blanks to narrow destination]

DATE?

TIME?

RESET DEFAULT?

HERE?

Now, Shel started out in physics, but when he sees that, he doesn't think of time travel (or space travel). He answers, pushes the button, and turns up somewhere else, quite confused. He calls his friend Dave to come get him. It's the next day when Shel figures out what happened, what the Q-pods are, and the basic method of using them.

As the book progresses, they not only search a lot of prominent events in the past, trying to find Michael, but figure out more advanced ways to use the Q-pod. They both find ways to make money and have other homes. But is Shel really dead or not?

This is a much lighter book than his others, and I felt like I was constantly ahead of the characters. I like to be surprised sometimes.

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[User Picture]
From:firecat
Date:November 14th, 2009 06:44 am (UTC)
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I felt like I was constantly ahead of the characters. I like to be surprised sometimes.

This is often a problem for me lately.
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:November 14th, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC)
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I frequently know how things end, I did with this one, but I want to be surprised in how the book gets there and how it tells me that. And every now and then, I actually don't know the end, which is even better because I can go back and check for the clues.
[User Picture]
From:firecat
Date:November 15th, 2009 12:19 am (UTC)
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I'm a bit disappointed if I can guess the next plot point more than 70% of the time. The more fiction I read the more often this happens.

If you like somewhat gory mysteries, Jeffrey Deaver does a good job at writing a book where it's difficult to figure out the next plot point.
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:November 15th, 2009 12:45 am (UTC)
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Think the authors are all reading the same thing? Or going to the same writers camps?
[User Picture]
From:firecat
Date:November 15th, 2009 12:55 am (UTC)
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There are certain formulas that produce a satisfying and/or salable story. Not every reader has the type of brain that memorizes all of them.
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