An original take on time-travel, Time Assassins skirts the fine line between a brief digest of historic events and an action movie. A guild of trained assassins is manipulating history to the benefit of mankind (mostly). Things don’t always go to plan, and there are secrets that mustn’t be revealed. Rick Brewer, an apprentice with special abilities escapes a reality where he is sentenced to death, travels back in time and amuses himself over several centuries by first attending and then attempting to change certain events in world history.
I have to say at this point: hat off to the author for what must have been a backbreaking amount of research. Every event – a tiny portion of the book in itself – was detailed, vividly described, presented as history has it, explained and originally ‘tweaked’ until it fitted perfectly. I can’t even begin to imagine trying to keep hold of so many loose strands and getting them all to make sense in the end.
So, objectively, here’s the crux. Descriptions – very good. You’ll get the picture, whether in a German bunker, Islamabad, the Smithsonian or Boston Commons. Plot – intricate. I did lose myself in the twists once or twice and had to back-track, but all makes sense in the end. To be honest, I thought this book could have easily filled two or three, with the amount of information in it, and maybe that would have been easier to follow. As it is, you won’t get to catch your breath. The action is continuous. And just as I thought the author missed the obvious solution to the corrupt businessman problem, he served it up as the very satisfying conclusion.
Characterization – good enough. Whilst there is nothing wrong with the way the characters come across, I could not work out which one was the protagonist and I could not get close to them. I didn’t read the blurb, but dove straight into the story, so I had no idea Rick Brewer was of major importance. It might as easily been Donovan, or Apprentice 101 or 97 or both, as the relationship between them develops, but leads nowhere certain, or it could even have been Mayweather and his corrupt business associates.
All in all, Time Assassins was a thoroughly enjoyable read, a rollercoaster ride, unexpected, dizzying and imaginative. If you like action, you’ll love this book. If you like a different approach on time travel, you’ll love it. If you like originality, you’ll love it. It’s definitely one of the best. 4.5 to 5 stars.