Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review: From Time to Time

From Time To Time
Marius Smith
Available through,
Barnes and Noble on line and Amazon.

In a nutshell, this is the first book I've reviewed which has had the misfortune of failing my "By page 50 test".  If while reading a book, I make it to page 50 and if the characters were to die in a fiery car crash and I don't care, then the book is set aside and I don't continue reading.  From Time To Time is one of those rare books, and I gave it to page 100 before giving up.

The story is of William Herschel, who in the far future is a member of Temporal Security, whose job it is to police time travel in the 26th century.  William is also a vampire, made such by medical science in order to save his life.  William has apparently stumbled on something he shouldn't have, is framed and is exiled for drug possession and sentenced to exile in ancient Egypt.  He knows he's been framed, his friends know it and they set about to try to prove his innocence.

Marius Smith can string words together, that much is certain, and the plot premise is interesting.  However, it's apparent Mr. Smith never read Strunk and White, therefore missing the advice, "Omit needless words."  I made it to page 100, and it was a chore. But you said it failed your page 50 test, right?  Yes, it did, but I was trying to be charitable. I've read a lot of books in my time, but I have never been less compelled to pick up a book and read.  None of the characters had distinct voices.  About as close to that as we came, were all the good guys sounded one way and the bad guys sounded another.  Nothing else distinguished them.  I also ran into my other pet peeve - repeating the same information more than once.  Most readers are smart enough to embrace concepts the first time around and don't need to be beaten over the head over and over with the same information every chapter.
The book also suffers from a glaring lack of editing.  Another thing that pestered me was a lack of page numbers.  This is an error on the publishers part and to me says one word: sloppy.

I cannot in good faith recommend this book

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