The Psychology of Time Travel

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

The Psychology of Time Travel
by Kate Mascarenhas
I received this copy from NetGalley for an honest Review:
#NetGGalley #ThePsychologyofTimmeTravel
I was very excited to get this book and couldn't wait to start, I loved the premise of time travel and the idea of 4 women at the very start of this discovery; that being said I liked the story, I did, but I found it hard to relate to any of the women, maybe Grace...the mystery was okay, I figured it out quite early. I enjoyed the changing POV & the different times. It was definitely readable and I am glad I had the opportunity to read it.
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Interesting idea, and I love the idea of giving women the spotlight for inventing time travel, but this just didn't work for me, sadly. I might be in the minority here, but to me it felt rather clumsily written in a way that made it hard to follow at times. It's not that it's very complex or in-depth (rather the opposite, in fact) but I found myself having to read over things a couple of times to understand what the author was trying to convey.

The dialogue is also very stilted. It just feels like it's full of quick scenes that are just there to check the obligatory boxes for the plot to move forward.

Just not my thing.
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I've always enjoyed reading books about time travel and this book puts an interesting spin on the concept. It really delves into what the consequences would be of being able to easily travel through time. I was intrigued by the mystery/thriller part of this book as well which kept me turning pages.
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This is very clearly geared toward fans of Hidden Figures, which is not a bad thing. The book is woman-centered and brazenly feminist, without sacrificing the science and complexity of science fiction.(it's almost like women can understand complex scientific concepts!) All of the main characters in the novel are women, including both women of color and queer women. Their capabilities and intelligence are never questioned. We follow them through their careers, seeing the effects their successes (or lack thereof) affect them over time.  

It also wasn't remotely what I was expecting, which is both good and bad. The multitude of perspectives and timeline shifts aren't particularly confusing but they do make it hard to sink into the story. The mystery is well done. It's a rather original take on time travel, which is no small feat these days. I was unsurprised to read that the author has PhDs in literary studies and psychology. She obviously thought quite a bit about how time travel would actually affect the brain and the psyche, which isn't something you see a lot in time travel novels. But the whole thing feels maybe a little bit flat -- a little too perfectly well-thought out and plotted, like a psychological experiment. Nevertheless, this is a unique and engaging twist on the time travel novel.
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I am so impressed how Kate Mascarenhas wove this story together!!! She incorporated time travel  and in her story of time travel they can see versions of themselves past or present. She also had characters interact with progeny of the first four women scientists that created time travel. Quick chapters, whodunnit, aalmost all female characters, a lgbtq relationship, some new time travel vernacular... lots of balls to juggle but she did it wonderfully.
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Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Reading this debut novel was a happy surprise. It was tightly plotted and well written. Time travel has been invented and successfully tested in the opening chapter, but one woman ‘pioneer’ develops a mental health issue. At first this causes many questions about the safety of the technology. The person who ends up heading the newly formed institution for time travel is paranoid about bad publicity and consults with a psychologist about testing of applicants. From there on we get multiple viewpoints from past, current and future people who are emotionally impacted one way or another by time travel. 

This is a novel take on time travel, written with interesting insights into how one might experience watching the death of your family and friends one minute, and then returning to an age where they are still alive. 

My only critique would be related to the number of characters. They are all important to the plot but having a list of characters would have been very helpful. 4.5 /5 stars!
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In 1965, time travel ignites Barbara’s manic depression, and the other pioneers—ambitious Margaret, compassionate Lillian, and social butterfly Grace—leave her behind to form The Conclave, an autonomous organization commercializing time travel. Multiple storylines converge to determine the identity of the woman found dead of four bullet wounds in a locked room. The investigation for this unique whodunit plays out in various timelines with characters’ ages often not corresponding chronologically. There’s manipulation, subterfuge, and espionage afoot throughout the nation and throughout time. The time travel details are concrete, with the fuel posing a danger if not handled appropriately. There’s even a time travel glossary included at the end, which makes one try that much harder to buy into the concept. Macarenhas gives the reader glimpses into the thoughts of characters, providing more depth to a story that might easily go astray with so much time-hopping chapters. Readers who like speculative fiction with compelling characters and complex relationships will appreciate this story that readily lends oneself to suspend belief, a realistic time travel story, if you will. It’s definitely worth the time! Ha! I was fortunate to receive a copy from the publisher through Net Galley.

My review is scheduled to post on my blog October 15, when I will also share on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter, with review to be posted on B&N on launch date.
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I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Didn't finish this book, I'm afraid. I got to about 40% of this book and realised that I didn't particularly have a clear idea of who the main characters were or how they related to each other - considering this was a story where there's a variety of timelines going on, this was a major problem for my engagement with the storyline overall. 

I also had a lot of difficulty with the idea that the same people from different timelines could interact with one another without any issues as a result. That's certainly not been how time travel has (theoretically, of course!) worked in the many and varied books, movies and TV shows where I've encountered it. That also didn't help with my desire to continue reading.
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Many thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane for the chance to read this ARC. 
If we finally managed to create a time-travel machine, how would it be? What the world and its society would become? What would be the rules of it, and its purpose? Surely everything would be possible now, since everything would be known by the time-traveler: to prevent sickness, conflicts, pain, or even crimes? That's what matters in that book; a mysterious woman is found dead, her body unrecognisable. But with all this technology, how is it even possible not to know? 
We follow several POVs, most of all the ones of the four time machine's pioneers: Margaret, Barbara, Grace and Lucille, but also others such as Ruby, Odette, Piper...; Barbara being separated from the whole project after a breakdown, we still continue to follow her interesting POV and the evolution of her creation through her eyes and others, and see what's coming next. 
I loved that book; I was first drawn to it with its cover, which I find really pretty and reveals its signification when we finally finish reading it. The story does alternate with chapters from different periods of time and characters, but it did not disturb me at all, on the contrary. Plus, all POVs are females and of different sexualities, which I really liked!
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I went into this book with no expectations, and came out really pleased. In a forenote, the author described wanting to write sci-fi with more women, more queer women, and more women of color, and her debut does just what she claims. 

It was strangely and powerfully refreshing to read a book that was ... not absent of male characters, but where the male characters took up very little space, and were never in the spotlight -- once again, I realized how uncommon that is, how the reverse is so often true.

I'm going to avoid details, but this is the story of four very different women who become time travelers -- and then, it's the story of several more women who become connected to them in various and sundry ways. There were times, as I was reading, when I thought that Mascarenhas' writing was a tad thin, a little bit more "tell", rather than "show" -- but the book made up for that with her really excellent characterizations of all the distinct women, and their different personalities and goals, as well as with the thoughtful and half-creepy half-hilarious worldbuilding around the culture of time travel.

I would especially recommend this title for fans of Kristin Cashore's Jane Unlimited; and I would seek out more work from Mascarenhas in the future in a heartbeat. Many thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy.
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The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas. New York, Crooked Lane Books, 2019.
I was intrigued and even riveted by this exceptional debut novel. To tell this story, the characters, the main story and a number of side stories jump back and forth through 1967-69, 1973, 1982, 1994, 1999 and 2017-2019. The writing style was appealing and easy to read and the plot unlike others I’ve encountered. 
Four young female scientists discover how to manage time travel. A researcher goes rogue, derailing a promising research career. The research centre appears to become more important for its commercial, economic and political potential than for generating empirical knowledge. There is a romance with lovers from different time periods, a murder that could be time travel related in danger of becoming a cold case and am incredibly flawed child's toy.     

Characters can move back and forth through these different stories intentionally seeking to engage with each other and with themselves at different stages of their lives, this book was much more complex than other time travel fiction that I have read.  I was struck by the level of reference detail supporting the book.  The author created a working set of time travel rules for the book that included, for example, that travel could be back and forth but limited to eras post time travel discovery only.  And that the actions of time travellers could not affect outcomes other than aiding understanding.  One appendix has a time travel terminology, and another has psychometric test questions.  

For credibility, I needed more details on the academic qualifications, experience, requirements and backgrounds of the four young scientists, and more about their research program.  I think it is unlikely that four young female scientists would have such independence in 1967.  Though their sloppy time research protocol, questionable ethics and absence of occupational health and safety oversight may have been typical of that time, I found these deficits jarring.  So, although I read it twice, I did not love it.  I will certainly remember it and was almost tempted to do some academic level analysis on it.  I will probably will read it again. 

Disclosure: I received a review copy of The Psychology of Time Travel free via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Stunning debut. Mystery, action, science fiction, fantasy.  A penetrating portrait of what could happen if time travel were possible.  Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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What is this book about?
In the 60s, 4 women built a time travelling machine. Half a century later one of them is killed under mysterious circumstances that could only be explained if time travel is involved.
This is a story about women, their lives, their loves, their struggle for significance in a World turned upside down by the invention of a time machine, and the way in which their lives are intertwined by time travel.

Overall impression?
I wish there were more books like this. Ones in which women are the saviours, the villains, the lovers, bystanders, without having to resort to the "strength" of masculinity or their perceived ability to always be logical problem solvers of a story.
The characters were mostly strong, some annoyingly weak, but still well developed.
As a whodunit, I wouldn't say it was a strong story. There were bits of foreshadowing and random happenstance that gave away the ending and made it more difficult to reach the end of the book.

Who will love this book?
1. If you enjoy a whodunit, then this might be for you. The ending is given away early, but I think it is still interesting to get to find out the hows and whys and whens.
2. People interested in time-travel who aren't going to ask too many science-y questions.
3. Time travel enthusiasts who wonder how time travel could work without offending the almighty "grandfather paradox".
4. Lovers of Psychology.


***** SPOILERS AHEAD *****

*******SPOILERS BEGINNING - Watch out! ******

Stuff I liked
1. Varied characters with varied backgrounds and ideas and goals.
2. Learning a bunch of new words and phrases. Dowager's hump? Who knew?
3. Acausal matter!!! What?!
4. The storytelling.

Stuff that made me hmmmmm
1. I was struck by the idea of falling in love with someone and then going to have sex with another person as a way to sort out one's feelings? Strange.
2. Odette's fragility and her sudden rise in the ranks at the conclave so that she's asking people to get her information and boldly going where her timid ass should not be going. What happened to the embargo? Did I miss that part? And getting on such a high profile case as a newbie? 
3. So many doggone characters. For real. I felt schitzoidal (if that is a word) having been in all these people's heads and thinking their thoughts with them and feeling their feelings.

Stuff I didn't like
1. I don't know whether it was just the formatting in the ARC, but ARRRRRGGG!!! Many times I found myself confused about who was talking. No separation in paragraphs. It slowed me down and was quite frustrating.
2. Non-essential stuff being included. If I didn't know how Bee made the fuel into a liquid, the story would not have been ruined. There were also other segues into psych information that slowed the story down when all I wanted to know was how people were going to react.
3. The way that Ruby's innocence was determined. Really? Everything else is complicated and I'm taking time to figure it out and understand how things work (including the liquid fuel) and yet the judge asks 3 questions that have nothing to do with the case? How sway? It just seemed so ridiculous and Disney-land ending.
4. Lucille had no voice, no character, no life really, no information about the black scientist character. She was an emptiness in which anything was poured so we could remember that she was there.
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• ⭐️: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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