The Psychology of Time Travel

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

• ⭐️:4,0/5
💬:  I received a free digital ARC of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review)
This is an unusual type of book for me. Usually I don’t go for books that don’t have a romance plot as the main one, but when I read the synopsis I was intrigued by the different way the author would be exploring time travelling. The story divided itself in three timelines: 1967, 2017 and 2018 and each one of these were interesting in a different way. All of them had the thriller, suspense and mystery aspect mixed with the mind analysis of people that start to time travel, how they perceive the world after knowing the future.
In 1967 we see four women perfecting the time travel machine and transforming themselves as the pioneers of something that would change the lives of many people and the world. One of them has a breakdown after time traveling, making the other three realize that people who travels time should be followed by doctor and psychologists, so it doesn't happen again.  Rebecca, the one that had the breakdown, is asked to leave the organization and her friends totally forget about her. We see the this organization become reality, The Conclave, where they administer all things related to Time Travel, having one of the pioneers as the leader (Margaret). When I discover that Margaret was the leader I laughed because I already didn’t like her, and now they give her power? Of course things would go south.
In 2017 we follow Ruby and her grandmother that was the pioneer who had the breakdown and was “let go” of the organization. Ruby wants to seek answers about the time travelling and about what happened with her grandmother back then and she starts to get to know the other fellow pioneers. One of them scares her, and the other she starts to love.
While in 2018 we see Odette, a girl that finds a dead body and needs to deal with the trauma of it. She meets Ruby and then realizes that what happened with the dead body is related to The Conclave. So she starts to obsess about it and starts her own investigation, finding out more about the pioneers and how the things are dealt with inside the conclave. She becomes a Time Travel so she can be inside the organization and find the identity of the person that died and who is the murderer. 
The interesting about this book is how time travel changes the mindset of people, how it totally made them like a robot after some time using the machine, a cold hearted person. The Time Travelers starts to get numb about feelings, they don’t understand death, for example, because they can go back in time and see the person again and alive. Time travelling makes death obsolete and time travellers dangerous.
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The summary of this book, about four women scientists who invent time travel, sounded fascinating. However, the execution of the book was too disjointing to finish. If Kate Mascarenhas intended that the reader feel like the story was jumping around, she succeeded. While I can manage a degree of time hopping, the frequency and the lack of a discernible coherency was difficult to follow. I found myself forgetting whose story I was following and when. Was it Bee? In what year? Was it Odette? Is it 2017 or 2018? Wait, I just read something that is going to happen... How are they even connected? Who is this character again? 

Mascarenhas has a different take on time travel that most writers take in that she doesn't view it as a paradox when characters meet themselves. In fact, time travelers get to know their earlier and later selves quite well. That was another concept that I felt was disconcerting. Perhaps because it was a step away from the the standard approach of time travel in fiction. But I feel that it's a less believable concept than the concept of paradox. In fact, this book seems to throw all logic to the wind. I would not recommend this book.
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The psychology of Time travel by Kate Mascarenhas is a truly exciting and amazing story. Not my first book about time travel but definitely the most unique one. I suppose the reason for that is that this book focuses on the effect time travel causes. 

 The other thing I really liked was the story itself. How do you investigate a crime when you can go back and you actually could prevent it but you're not allowed to change the past? Because who knows how dire the consequences could be.

It would've been fun to find out more about the future world. Especially Grace's wings...

Would you travel through time to meet future worlds and future selfs? If the answer is yes this book is for you.
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This is MY kind of time travel novel!  I love every bit of this book  and hope this is the start of a fantastic series which could easily be built. For a first novel, Kate Mascarenhas has truly outdone herself and shines. Bravo.
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In the first chapter of this book, we are in 1967 and time travel has just been invented. The four scientists are excited, hopeful, full of dreams. But when one of them, Barbara, goes into a manic depressive episode that is broadcast on a BBC interview, she never again is able to time travel or go back to her work. Fast forward to 2017 and Barbara's granddaughter Ruby is just now finding out more details about her past and why her mom hates time travel. Then, it's 2018 and a body has been discovered in a room locked from the inside, shot to death. 

Yes, all those things are connected.
So welcome to the review of one of my favorite sci-fi novels ever: where time travel , the economy and culture it generates are the center of this novel, which weaves different plots together, exploring human nature, relationships, mental health, power. This book has great elements of what constitutes a good sci-fi to me: its science is interesting and well-researched, the technology is inserted seamlessly into people's lives (there are toys that use time travel, there are dolls with the scientists, there are several "trash" horror time travel stories, there is slang...), but what makes this novel really awesome is the human element of it. All the characters (which are mostly women) are so complex, interesting, different, smart. Their lives change and connect with one another all the time.

And the plot twists! There are so many (but not too many) and I doubt you'll see many of them coming. The novel is fast paced and so much happens, but I wish it was never over. I could just read it forever and never get tired of it. I'm already planning to buy it in paperback (which comes out today, when this post is live!) and re-read it, because it's that amazing (if you don't know - I hardly ever re-read books).

Everything is fantastic and I have no complaints at all. I also particularly love that there are so many women in this novel. When have I last read a book with women scientists as main characters? And with time travel!

I highly recommend this book, even if you're not that much of a sci-fi fan, trust me: this is so worth it for the character-driven plot, which is also fast-paced and so, so full of awesome twists. You will not be disappointed!
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-- I received a free eARC via NetGalley. Many thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher! --

I'm not sure what to make of this book. I've been pushing out writing the review for a few days, but have not found more clarity. I think the main issue I have with it, is that it's concept of time travel is so incredibly far removed from my own ideas about how time travel would work and affect society. It is an interesting concept, but more dystopian than anything else, in my opinion.

What I really enjoyed were the various female characters - there weren't really any noteworthy male characters with a stake in the story - and their relationships ranging from family, to friends and coworkers, to lovers. Interesting dynamics were developed in this way, pushing the story forward.
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I really enjoyed this refreshing, original novel. All the best of time travel in a compelling mystery. For fans of Elan Masterai and "The Calculating Stars". I loved the relationships between all of the women across time.  My only regret? I would have liked a little more science, and more of the early days of the invention of time travel. Perhaps a prequel where we learn how this disparate group of women ended up together? Thank you
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This book was amazing. It had twist and turns I didn't expect and it went RIGHT into my favorites list when I finished. I am not sure what I expected, but I didn't expect this to happen. I loved seeing the different women and how they were all portrayed and how time travel affected them all. It was all in all a good book, and the author has done an AMAZING job on this. I would consider this to be a feminist novel, and I regard it as such - and I am so thankful for the opportunity to be able to read it. It was so much more than I expected and it was wonderful.
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This is a great novel about an  imaginary future. It’s a modern-day mystery novel. It was quite interesting. I didn’t want to put it down. It’s an intriguing mixture of science fiction, romance, mystery, and thriller. I loved this book. It is about four strong, independent ladies who designed and created an incredible time machine. After many tests performed on the machine one of the women, Barbara, seems to have gone unhinged and is put in a mental hospital. She openly disgraces the other women and is never allowed to return. The novel jumps to the future where Barbara, is now a grandmother. Her granddaughter Ruby is interested in her grandmother’s past. One day a warning note is received from the future. From there the book goes back and forth between characters and timelines. You really have to pay attention to keep up.
I would like to thank Netgalley, the publisher and the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
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This book was good! A lovely character study of smart, capable, yet vunerable women, and it's almost as if the time travel is the Cherry on top. I greatly enjoyed the lingo, the mystery, the feminism. Solid 3.5 stars from me.
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The title of this book intrigued me.  The author, Kate Mascarenhas, is a first-time novelist.  I entered the book with meager expectations.  Most authors error in attempting to do time travel fiction; even those with numerous works behind them.  This work appeared to take a completely different approach to the oft-attempted plot device of time travel; Ms. Mascarenhas did and didn't disappoint.

When reading time travel fiction, I'm expecting the author to fall into the trap of paradoxes and plot holes.  Mascarenhas avoided creating any glaring ones that I caught and "black boxed" the inevitably created ones when doing science fiction.  I enjoyed her nonlinear time in writing and the beautiful symbolism to the plot.  I found myself in a time fog jumping from time to time attempting to follow the characters.  This is not bad writing IMHO, but the excellent and unexpected use of the craft of writing.  The effect that time travel could have on the psyche is an epistemological unknown.  Attempting to have a reader experience the result was creative and genius.

Well done Ms. Mascarenhas.  I look forward to your follow on novels.
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God, I loved this. Easily my favourite book I've read this year. 

The blurb mentioned it being for fans of Emily St. John Mandel, and I can easily see why. Multiple narratives from different characters at different points in time, slowly converging and tying into each other. I know of lots of people who loved Station Eleven and I urge them to read this. 

The world that Kate Mascarenhas has created feels so real - it blends in so naturally to our real one. She has thought of so many issues that could occur from the reality of time travel that I couldn't have even begun to think of addressing, and covered them well. 

One recommendation I have is that you don't leave many days in between reading sessions - I did and due to the growing number of characters mentioned (who are often, due to the nature of time travel, in a different point in their - or other characters' - timeline to where you last heard from them) it took me a while to remember all of the connecting threads at times. This isn't a criticism of the book, this is a criticism of my multi-day periods of not reading it!

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the copy to review!
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The Psychology Of Time Travel Is Kate Mascarenhas Debut Novel.

What Got Me To Pick It Up? Not Gonna Lie It Was The Cover I LOVE PRETTY BOOK COVERS. Don't Judge Me!! 

So I Basically Went In Without Knowing Absolutely Nothing About This Book. 

What Drew Me In? 
Time Travel Storyline
Women Empowerment YES Women Get A Front Row Seat In This One Ladies 
And It Is Incredibly Well Written. 

I Loved The Book And Can't Wait To Read More From Kate. 

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This was a strange little book. The best part of it was the murder mystery which lies at its heart, and the careful plotting that pulls all the threads and all the relationships and time-strands together. What was also intriguing was the titular psychology of time travel, or more specifically time travellers, and the effect such a power might have on someone's mental state. It was completely believable the way the author portrayed the way being a time traveller would affect someone's ability to have meaningful relationships (and this is in a _completely_ different way than in The Time Traveller's Wife, with which this book is being inevitably compared).

Issues I had with it were, first of all, the SF-nal aspect of the time travel itself. It is not well explained (as per, say Connie Willis, with all the settings and risk of mishap). The laws, as they are explained, are counter to most well-establish science fiction tropes, and lend a certain fatalism to the universe that I would suspect goes against actual quantum physics, for all the author's use of some scientific jargon.

Second, the number of characters and different timelines was extremely confusing. I felt the need to make a chart of who was who and related to whom. Also, the different points of view were not sufficiently differentiated to help with that. The only character I connected with and always knew who she was was Odette. I liked the diversity of the different women, and although sometimes I had the feeling that the author was ticking boxes - lesbian? check. person of colour? check - at least it's in a good cause.

This is a first novel, and as such is certainly promising. I think the author has a lot of potential (that's the English prof talking, sorry).
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I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. I heard a hard time following the narrative timeline wise  and also the formatting was off which I know shouldn’t affect me too much but it was very difficult to read. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher!
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This is a brilliant dystopian future; modern-day mystery novel and I couldn’t put it down. It is a great mixture of mystery, thriller, romance and science fiction and I absolutely loved the story.

Barbara, Margaret, Lucille and Grace are four friends who have designed and created a fully functioning time machine. However, after testing the machine a few times Barbara seems to have gone mad and is shipped away to a mental hospital, she publicly humiliates the pioneers and is never allowed to return. The novel skips to the future where Barbara is now a grandmother, her dreams of being a famous scientist/inventor are over and so is her friendship with the others. Her granddaughter Ruby has a keen interest in her grandmother’s past, but Barbara won’t talk. Until one day a note from the future turns up. It is from Grace her old friend and shows a newspaper clipping of an inquest into a death of an elderly lady which will happen in 5 months’ time. A warning from an old friend from the future, but who is this old lady and why does she get murdered? 

The novel is told through a multitude of perspectives across different time zones. It was a very modern-day murder mystery… how can you catch the killer that could be anywhere in any time? Who is the elderly lady that got killed? Is it one of the original pioneers? The body is unrecognisable and there is no way to identify her. Everyone is a suspect because you may have killed someone in the future and not even know. Not knowing who did this kept me reading and wanting to know who not only the murder was but also the dead lady. There were so many unanswered questions throughout the book that I needed to know the answers to just like the characters did too. At times the novel was slightly mind boggling, more character’s perspectives were added, and the multitude of time zones and characters made it tricky to keep up with. Though Mascarenhas does a good job to keep it as easy as possible making sure each chapter has a character name and year they are situated in, I feel like other authors may have turned this into a tangled web of confusion and chaos. The fact it was slightly confusing I felt helped the novel as it reflected the mystery of the story and confusion of the characters.
As the title of the novel suggests the main themes across the novel was mental health and how time travel effects how people think. At the beginning of the novel Barbara has a breakdown so when Margaret continues to build up the time travel company she makes it very clear that new employees must go through vigorous testing to make sure they are “mentally stable”. It seems that time travel messes with people’s minds, especially when it comes to knowing their own deaths and relative’s deaths. Some characters ended up suffering from anxiety, eating disorders, depression and OCD, if this was shown in any way they were fired immediately. The way they shipped Barbara off when she had a breakdown was so sad, she got no help or support and that really upset me. Mental health is such an important thing these days and the fact that this book let people suffer and didn’t help them was very frustrating and sometimes hard to read. There are a lot of characters throughout that seem mentally unstable but as the novel unfolds you can see that Margaret plays a lot of mind games and tricks to toy with people’s emotions. When the job is already high risk for mental health Margaret really does not help her staff, and you can see what kind of person she becomes. 

Another thing I loved about this novel was that it focussed solely on female characters. The pioneers were all women and there were hardly any male parts in it at all. I am not a feminist, but it was nice to read a novel where women were the leaders of a scientific invention/breakthrough and the book had lots of strong, independent women. Such as Odette, although she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder she wanted a job at the Conclave to see if she could solve the murder alone, her father was against this and thought it would give her another breakdown. But Odette carries on and doesn’t let the past faze her in her passionate journey to solving the murder. 

I highly recommend The Psychology of Time Travel, it is engaging, unique, thrilling and clever. It provokes a lot of ideas and debates which I always love in a fictional novel. This is Kate Mascarenhas’ debut novel and I think it is fantastic, I will definitely be reading move of her work in the future I feel like she is and author to watch out for!
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I love time travel books which is the main reason I picked this book. However I just didn’t love or even like this book. I thought it was hard to follow, it was confusing. It just didn’t work for me
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Sorry to say that I just couldn't get into this book. I really wanted to like it, especially with such varied female characters. Unfortunately, I found it kind of hard to follow (or hard enough that, in the moments I was getting some reading in), and not particularly compelling. There wasn't anything to make me feel like I had to keep reading.

It still gets some stars, however, as this type of book is needed in the sci-fi genre.
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I've read a lot of time travel novels. Funny ones, chaotic ones, good ones, bad ones. Almost always, there are rules within each little universe about time travel. One of the most common is that you can't exist in the same time twice. But what if you could? In PTT, you can. So "silver" versions of yourself can have lunch with "greener" versions. You might attend your own birthday parties, repeatedly. You know when you're going to die. There is only one rule, that you can't tell earlier selves about the future, and it's defined as treason and punishable by death. However, you might get out of it if you get a judge from the 24th century, when the rule of law had become subsumed by superstition and religion and if you're lucky, you'll get an easy "trial by ordeal" and survive. 

After time travel is invented by four women, and one goes mad, time travel becomes a hugely powerful institution, the Conclave, where time travelers live by their own set of rules. It's a little sketchy on what all of these time travelers do, but at least many are detectives, going back in time to observe and record crimes. The crime that is the center of the book is intertwined with the time travel corporation.

I found the book very engaging, although I can't say that I really empathized or connected with any of the characters. You do have to pay attention to when each chapter takes place, though, or you'll get confused, but the crisp writing makes it very unmuddled and clear. The book is a mystery and science fiction. Also, it wasn't until after I finished the book that I realized almost all the characters were female. Feminist fiction at its best.
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#ThePsychologyOfTimeTravel #NetGalley

I liked the story. Very light and funny. This is a good book to read during the weekend or during a travel. I wished to see more leadership of certain characters and more details of the scientific process.
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