The Psychology of Time Travel

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Sep 2018

Member Reviews

This is an enjoyable read. Although you must forget everything you believed about time travel as in this book you can travel in time only as far back as the machine was invented 1967. But you can go into the future and you can meet yourself!!!
I am only giving 4 stars because I couldn't warm to any of the characters.
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A twisty, well plotted murder mystery centred around time travel with a decent heaping of family drama. In 1967 four female scientists discovered time travel and thus the conclave was born. Of course not everyone shares the same vision and conflicts arise. Flash forward to 2018 where a body s discovered and we're off to a great start. This was highly enjoyable. Part mystery, part adventure story, part exploration of mother-daughter relations. Intelligent, well written and by turns funny and tragic, this is not to be missed.
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It isn't often that I am driven to give a book 1 star but I am afraid this one pushed me to the limit. This is a book about time travel - of that there is no doubt. What else it is about rather passed me by!

In 1967 four pioneering women discover time travel. By 2017 there is a culture of time travellers who seem to flit backwards and forwards in time. Time travel is strictly regulated with its own regulations and rules. We dip in and out of the lives of the original pioneers - Grace, Margaret, Granny Bee and Lucille. We also meet Ruby, Granny Bee's daughter and Odette who finds a murdered anonymous woman.

There are four main problems with this book - the writing style, the total confusion of threads, the dreadful characterisation and the time travel issues.

After the first couple of chapters of this book I had to go and check to see if it was a children's book that I was reading. I am not adverse to reading children's books but the language and style of the writing was very juvenille. It was very "he says, she says" with little depth of vocabularly. There is little in the way of description beyond plain facts. Consequently as the book transfers between threads there is little to differentiate between the different time periods. The chapters did clearly state which character they were following and what the year was but without that I couldn't have been sure. I lost track of how many threads there are in this book. I think there were four or five main ones but each of those went off at tangents with new threads only months apart from previous ones. It was total chaos and a total recipe for disaster.

The characterisation was, quite frankly, dreadful. Who were these people? What were their characters? What did they think and feel? Yes, basic facts are given as required - Ruby felt attracted to Grace. Well, thank you for that but why? What made Ruby tick? Facts are no enough I need to feel these people. What I got was a collection of cardboard characters who were bland and very alike - dull.

Then there is the time travel issue. I am a big Dr Who & science fiction fan. This author broke the cardinal rule of Time Travel & had characters meeting younger and older versions of themselves willy nilly. Any Dr Who fan knows that this will cause a paradox in the wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff. Now I could have accepted the author breaking this rule if they had explained to me why there was no problem with this happening. A simple explanation would have done. After all no one really knows if a paradox would happen or not but some sort of explanation or mention as to why it wasn't happening in this book would have been helpful. Personally I struggled with there being many versions of the same person in the same place at the same time. They all have Christmas together and go to their own wedding and funeral - strange. All the toing & froing with the same person in different time periods & then older and younger versions of that person crossing over into other threads just left me in mindless confusion - if you are keeping up here please explain it to me.

If your book is going to jump around in time it needs structure, a clear plot and clearly defined characters. This book failed on all accounts.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.
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This is a very complex well thought out novel that at times I thought was difficult to follow.

First off.  You have to suspend any notion that you cannot meet yourself time travelling as something bad will happen.  In this universe time travellers frequently meet themselves, and often spend time with themselves.  

This was a concept I found hard to grasp as it goes against the grain for most time travel novels.  Although I do remember Marty did meet himself in Back to the Future.

The psychology is well researched, people suffer from depression, have bi-polar episodes and eating disorders.

At times I did find it a bit difficult to follow, but it did make good reading  If you are into time travel novels and able to suspend your belief that you cannot meet yourself, then I definitely recommend
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I reviewed a sample copy and was lucky enough to be given a full copy from the publisher to review afterwards.

 The story follows four pioneers of time travel. The original four friends/pioneers develop a time travel machine. Barbara has a manic episode after several trials and is excluded from the group. The story is multi faceted and has a diverse array of characters. 

I really enjoyed following Bea and a Ruby and discovering what happens to all involved. The back and forth through time kept me in my toes and I double checked the dates and years from time to time to ensure I understood what was happening. 

The ending was unusual as I didn’t realise it was the ending until I’d read through all the psychometric tests at the end of the book. I felt a little disappointed with this as it felt like there could have been an epilogue to complete the story. 

All in all it was a good read and I devoured it in a few days. I just wish the ending was more established.
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This a gripping and original novel. It’s interwoven timelines and characters are brilliantly laid out. A wonderful timey-wimey mystery book.
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Not usually the kind of book I would choice to read, mostly due to the more sci fi concept of the time travel, but once you become used to the different time lines the book is a fantastic novel, the merging of time travel, love and murder mystery works brilliantly. Devoured the book in one sitting!
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This was a good book! about female scientists, time travel and a murder mystery!
would recommend 4/5 stars!
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I was extremely excited to be given permission by Head of Zeus to review the full ARC after reading the sampler via NetGalley - partly because the idea of having to wait until August to find out what happens was not nice at all. I was hooked after the first two chapters! 

How author Kate Mascarenhas worked out the storyline without her brain just giving up is beyond me, and one day I would very much like to ask how Ms Mascarenhas came up with the idea and the solution without becoming hopelessly confused with paradoxes and other complications arising from time travel being a 'reality'. And yet, the time travel set out in this book makes so much more sense than the 'Back to the Future' franchise ever did. 

Without spoiling anything for future readers, one example is the matter-of-fact way the characters approach time. If a time traveller goes into the past, knowing the present state of events means they can use a process of elimination to 'know' what will happen in the past they are currently in. So effectively, one cannot ever truly change the past, as the past has already happened and determined the outcome of the present - and the time traveller already knows the present as that is what they have come from (or at least witnessed). That's just one example that makes my brain go into a spin, but Ms Mascarenhas nailed right on the head! 

Readers need not be worried that there will be heavy explanations of time travel and science to wade through, however. The characters explain elements throughout the story, and most of it is relatively easy to understand. I also found the psychology tests in the back of the book interesting and useful after reading about them in the main story. It added an aspect of realism to the story. 

And how fantastic it is to discover a book with strong female leads! Most of the characters are quite well fleshed-out as well. I found myself getting mad at Margaret, for example, because her character was multi-dimensional and not flat on the page. It's not common to find a science fiction work that seems so real, much less regarding time travel! 

My only criticism is that, from Chapter 38, the tone of the book changed from a naturally flowing story to jumping between listing facts and listing dialogue. It was rather distracting, and disappointing as the rest of the book had flowed nicely, albeit quickly.   

One edit could be made (Location 1506 in the ebook) - a name is dropped about 2 pages too early. Fortunately it’s not crucial, but as I was enjoying all the suspense in the book it made me feel a little disappointed as it was a spoiler. Hopefully this gets fixed up in the final published version. 

Aside from those two minor hiccups, The Psychology of Time Travel was a fantastic read and one I am looking forward to permanently having on my physical bookshelf come August! And I am possibly already gushing about it to every reader I meet... 

(Review also published on GoodReads)
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