The Psychology of Time Travel

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

I fell in love with the cover of this book immediately. So well done to the designers here. Truly did it's job and made me stop and look. Then the premise, drew me in immediately, peaked my interest and got my book senses tingling!
The story itself? it did not disappoint. A truly wonderful tale that i found engaging and inclusive. The characters themselves were extremely rounded and well written, all in all, an excellent read.
I will be recommending this to everyone.
Thank you to the author, the publisher and netgalley for my ARC. All thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.
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I love time travel stories but this one felt different than others I've read due to the focus on the 4 women rather than the journey of time travel. The 4 women are scientists and their lives and relationships are scattered across different parts of time. There's even a murder thrown in that one of the women tries to solve which I found interesting and unexpected. The way the novel unfolds, however, often felt messy and chaotic. I often struggled with feeling like the plot details seemed out of context or jumbled around. While I enjoyed following the women and their relationships, struggles and journey, I don't think i enjoy feeling like I have to concentrate quite so much to keep ahold of a plot. In the end, the story did come together and I appreciated how it was tied up but it wasn't the easiest reading experience
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Psychology? Time travel? Pretty cover? Of course I had to read this book!

Told across a few points of view, and timelines, we learn about four female scientists who discovered time travel in 1967. And how that impacted on their minds, friendships, and relationships. Fast forward to 2017 and one of the founding time traveller's has a grand-daughter who becomes interested in an unusual murder scene.
The book jumps around a bit and it can be hard to get your mind around the whole timey-wimey part, but I thought all in all it is really enjoyable and easy to read. The mystery takes a bit of a backseat to the character development, which is totally fine by me, but it was nice to get a good explanation of the mystery (even though it is a bit mind bending too!). I also thought this would make a great start to a series, and it really is left open to learn much more about these characters - so hopefully there will be another book in the works.

I'd recommend this to anyone that enjoys time travel books which are more alternative reality rather than sci-fi, and is ok with time periods jumping and multiple characters. You just kind of need to close your eyes and go for the ride :)

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review
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I really wanted to but couldn't get into this book.  I was so optimistic about the female protagonists and the premise of the book seemed really interesting but the characters felt too forced and fell flat for me personally. DNF
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This was a good book. Definitely a twist on time-travel I had not yet experienced. And the mental health consequences of a career of timeline hopping, well that was definitely an interesting layer. If you enjoy spec. fic and don't mind turning some long accepted time-travel tropes on their heads, give this book a go. Just keep an open mind....
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I really wanted to like this book but I think it just wasn't for me. I really appreciated the friendship displayed between the women during the opening chapters but just couldn't quite connect with the plot further in the book. I absolutely see the appeal it would have for others but things just didn't click for me and I ended up putting it aside at around the 20% mark.

If books that go into time travel are in your reading wheelhouse, definitely check this book out!
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This book is different. At some points it hit me at good vibes and disappointed at others.
It is about six girls and effect of time travel on human psychology and everything is interwined with a thrilling inquiry into a murder.
First of all it is layered and jumps between past and present and you have to suppose a lot of things like time machine, its fuel, its research team and lots of other things.
Everything is different and although story takes place in London, time travel corporation has its own rules..

.lt is superficial in narrative with lack of focus on minor details. Lots of stuff is left to imagination.
There is weired law mechanism where court decides fate of accused by providing him to complete a task..

It will need a lot of focus.
But it is Innovative and different and hence will require focused reading.
Best part which is moving is chapter 40 when time travelling daughter tells a painful secret to her family..

It is a thriller with moving backgrounds which is always just behind its magic.
Thanks netgalley and publisher for review copy.
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"Four women will invent time travel.
Three will make their mark on history.
Two will do anything to be remembered.
One will not survive."

I’ll be honest: I didn’t like this book nearly as much as I was hoping I would.

Don’t get me wrong, the story itself was intriguing. We follow the lives of the four women who invented time travel and forever altered society. Fifty years later, following a mysterious message that hints at a violent death in the near future, Ruby Rebello suspects that it is about her grandmother, Barbara – one of the original pioneers – and starts to investigate. Concurrent to this storyline, we also follow Odette (one year later) as she makes the initial gruesome discovery and commences an investigation of her own.

I think my main problem with this book stems from the fact that the author tried to do too much, and as a result, I don’t feel like it was as realistic as it could have been. I think it would have fared better if it was either a science fiction or a murder mystery – not both. Because of this disparity, the science fiction wasn’t science-y enough, and the mystery wasn’t as gripping as it had the potential to be. There were also too many timelines going on at the same time; I get it’s a time travel book, but still. Not only do we get a more-or-less chronological portrayal of the history of time travel – from its invention in 1967 – but we also follow Ruby in 2017 and Odette in 2018; further interspersed are accounts of other secondary characters that offer a behind-the-scenes look at time travel culture.

I did really liked the female-centric storyline and the fact that these “genius” women were able to make significant scientific strides without question. However, it was unfortunate that the author simultaneously seemed to gloss over gender and racial inequality as non-contributing factors to the story; it was as if time-travel was this convenient blanket, e.g., “Inequality is not an issue in the future, thus it is not an issue in 1967, 2017, or any other year in between or beyond” (since the Conclave existed in all times with time travel simultaneously). It was all too easy. I also felt that most of the characters were too one-dimensional: Margaret was ruthless, Barbara was naïve, Grace was mysterious, and Lucille was largely relegated to the background. Even Ruby and Odette felt flat, though I admittedly liked their characters better than the others.

Overall, I liked the story, but the execution was not as well-done as it could have been.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Publishing for a copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest review.
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This was well written and an interesting story.  Science Fiction is not my major reading category. It does read as a very plausible story. Starting in 1967 4 women build the first time machine.  When one of the ladies begins to question their invention she is removed from the team and her name banished from all records. 50 years later Ruby begins searching for information about her Granny Bee who she knows worked on the original project. The story pops all over time which I find distracting but overall I enjoyed this book.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Time travel is confusing, very confusing.  This book couples time travel, multiple points of view, and highbrow language.  I spent most of this book feeling confused and stupid.  
There's a story here, but it's faint; small tendrils in each of the women's chapters but not strong enough to tell the complete story.  For all the different characters, there’s no character development.  This book focuses on the psychological impact time travel has on people.  This is more a montage of scenes seen through the different women's eyes.
3.5 stars because of the murder mystery and the fact that the last 20% ties up all the loose ends.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I am a sucker for all things time-travel and this title did not disappoint.  There were interesting points made, new ideas introduced, and I'm still pondering and processing the possibilities.  It was a delight to read and I cannot wait to add it to my personal library of time titles.
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The time has come for another rant review, my friends. Not since The Bone Witch have I felt so strongly about a book, and I truly thought I would love this one, but, alas, here we are. The premise revolves around time travel, a subject that has always facinated me and I've read many wonderful books involving some variant of it. So, when I saw that this book included time travel and mystery, I was curious.

Cut to the actual reading of it and, sadly, I was disappointed. I will explain why to the best of my ability and try to be as objective as possible. It's nothing against the author, but due to the points I will mention throughout this review, this book just wasn't for me.

Spoiler-free Summary

In 1967, four female scientists invent time travel, and just when they're unvailing this groundbreaking discovery, one of them uffers a nervous breakdown. She's cut off from the team and cast out of the fold. Fifty years on, time travel is a booming business, with fingers in every pie from economy to espionage to politics.

One day, that same disgraced pioneer receives a newspaper clipping describing the mysterious murder of an unidentified woman in her eighties. Ruby Rebello, the twenty-something granddaughter of that ousted pioneer, believes that it refers to her grandmother, and embarks on a mission to find out the truth of the cryptic message from the future. But she's not the only one trying to unravel this mystery and she has no idea how deep the rabbithole goes when it comes to the secrets of the time travelling bureau, aka The Conclave.


Writing Style: Considering that this book revolves mainly around time travel, which falls into the realm of science fiction, I didn't expect the writing to be flowery or lyrical, and thankfully, it wasn't. But, that being said, it wasn't great either. The writing was bland and inconistent, with instances where it switched from third person to first person and left me utterly confused. The chapters were short and a lot of the time, I felt as if nothing was happening to propel the story forward or that I wasn't getting any useful information. It was convoluted and sometime unclear, which was conpounded by the structure of the story itself (more on that later).

Characters: Even after finishing the book, I till had no idea who the characters were or what they were like. Some were presented as caricatural embodiments of their one driving flaw or purpose and others were completely lacking in terms of any discernable goal or personality. Granny Bee (the disgraced pioneer) is purely one-dimensional, thanks to her obsession with returning to the Conclave and her old friends, despite everything that happened between them and despite the fact that she was clearly obsesed to the point of irrationality. Ruby was almost two-dimensional in her quests to protect her grandmother and find out more about the conclave. Then we have another one-dimensional main character, Odette, who is singularly obsessed with unraveling the mystery of the unidentified body, to the point where it becomes annoying. And, on top of all that, there were constantly new characters being thrown in, with their own chapters, out of time and place, throwing even more information or anecdotes at us that just add to the confusing mess of characters and timelines. I ended up barely able to remember anyone other than Ruby, Odette, and Granny Bee, and constantly had to go back and forth to remind myself who was who.

Structure & Plot: I understand that a story like this is a great undertaking and that it's not easy to write a mystery that jumps between decades. However, the structure of this book was just confusing. We go from past to present to future and back and forth and up and down and there's just no real structure to the plot at all. Half the time, I was wondering what the plot even was, because it just kept getting lost amid the attempts to show how awful time travelers had become and how terrible the world becomes in the future. The plot felt almost like an afterthought, with brief glimpses of the winding road it took every once in a while, but the rest of the time, it was an endles stream of character insertions, out of place events (that would only make sense dozens of pages later, and barely at that), and needless reiterations (we get it, time travelers are jerks and they have their own twisted laws). By the middle of the book, I was just pushing myself to finish it, hoping that the mystery would be solved at some point, because I was just so damn tired of trying to keep up.

Time Travel Issues: Let's have a quick word about time travel. Now, I've read quite a few books in the time travel subgenre, and one of the most consistent points (because it makes sense) is the issue of paradoxes. Characters go around meeting their younger and older selves all willy nilly, going back and forth in time and interfering in pivotal life moments like it's no big deal, and the only paradox anyone is ever worried about revolves around a painting being vandalized (and even then, it's part of a twisted test and turns out not to matter whatsoever). Had the author explained why these things didn't cause paradoxes, maybe it would have made a bit more sense and not come off as illogical as it did. Even a short, brief explanation, strewn in between the endless pages of random character insertions and seemingly unrelated events, would have been helpful. And honestly, the way that the time travelers were portrayed as these heartless, cold spies didn't make much sense, and neither did the cruel culture of the time travel "Conclave." And the portrayal of the future was also quite confusing, because I, for one, would like to think that we, as a species, will one day evolve rather than devolve into barbaric, archaic stupidity (which, of course, was not really explained either).

Final Thoughts

Like I said, I really wanted to like this book, but it was just too confusing and jumpy to enjoy. I couldn't connect to any of the characters, so I wasn't invested in any of their stories, and they were all too underdeveloped to be memorable anyway. I know it's cynical or overly critical of me to say that I didn't like anything about this book, but, to be perfectly frank, I didn't. Nothing captivated me or made me laugh or cry or feel any emotion other than exasperation, and nothing made me excited to keep reading. With a book based mainly around time travel, there needs to be structure, well-defined characters, and a clear plot. This book was more like a meandering maze. So, without further ado (and more rambling), I would give this book 1 ★, because I felt that it failed on all accounts.

*Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for an honest review*
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Firstly, if you are in the habit of diving in and skimming your way through a story – that reading tactic won’t work here. This is a densely written, tightly crafted book with a non-linear timeline that means you need to slow down and pay attention when reading this one. And if you approached this one, thinking that you would be in for the kind of adventurous mayhem offered by Jodi Taylor in her Chronicles of St Mary’s series – again, you’d be wrong. It’s nothing of the sort. So now we’ve got the two fundamental mistakes I committed when first approaching this one out of the way – let’s address what it is.

For once, the title is spot on – this book addresses what regular time travelling does to the travellers. Unlike most time-travelling books, this one doesn’t take us on forays into the past or future, but concentrates on a small handful of people who are profoundly affected by time travelling and follows their story. I was intrigued that some didn’t even time travel themselves – Ginger, for instance – but were connected in some way to people who did. Told in multiple viewpoint, the story weaves around a tightly-knit group for whom the ordinary rules of the universe no longer apply. Led by someone innately arrogant and entitled, Grace’s viewpoint pervades the group and anyone who disagrees with her viewpoint is forced to leave. Apparently driven by a fear that the project will be shut down on the grounds that time travel causes mental illness, Grace institutes rigorous checks, including nasty games designed to foster an indifference towards death in the travellers.

How can an outsider find a way into this group to discover details about a mysterious death? As the story jumps between the characters and different timelines, we gain an insight into the motivations and lives of a handful of women all somehow involved in the particular death, or time travelling. It is an engrossing, clever read packed with telling character details that have had me mulling over this one ever since I put it down. And, exceptionally, I’m tempted to go back and reread it – something I hardly ever do. Partly, because while I thoroughly enjoyed it and am in awe of the writing talent that is Mascarenhas – I didn’t love it. Being a rather simple soul, I need to be able to bond with at least one of the main characters and other than poor Bee – I didn’t.

I’m really sorry about that, because the other outstanding aspect of this book is that the only male characters who appear are incidental. For once, I’m reading a book where every single person who has agency and matters is a woman – I can’t tell you after growing up in the 60s and 70s what an amazing feeling that is. I just wished I cared more about at least one of these brave, powerful females. However, that doesn’t diminish the book’s importance or lessen my appreciation of the writing skill on display and I shall definitely be looking out for more by this immensely talented author. While I obtained an arc of The Psychology of Time Travel from Netgalley, the opinions I have expressed are unbiased and my own.
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This was an excellent read. Equal parts Doctor Who & mystery. I loved how the story folded in upon itself and the detailed explanations the author gave for these time travelers.
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There's more to time travel than simply travelling through time. In this debut, Mascarenhas crafted a world where it becomes a big business. She explores how life evolves and how important image and perception is. She explores how new terms enter the vernacular, laws and who and how they're enforced change, and the mind processes all of it. This debut novel creates an enjoyable story blending sci-fi with mysterious moments. The characters are strong characters manage and enhance the multiple time line narratives. I look forward to more of this author's writing.
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I received this book in exchange for an honest review from both NetGalley and the publisher. This has not altered my opinion of the book.

This was honestly one of my most anticipated books of this year and I knew that I wanted to read it as soon as possible. There are so few books about time travel that are not full of fantastical characters in adult fiction I feel. This book really fulfilled my desire for the scientifically accurate time traveling. There are so many rules and things that I hadn't even thought of (such as decontamination and desensitizing oneself to death) but are still very important. This story was super unique and really pro just about everything. One of the main romances is between two women and the entire company is run by women scientists. In fact, it was women (and a rabbit) who first discovered time travel and created the first time machine.

The story is told in three different time zones and from many points of view, which made following it a bit difficult for me. This was only proven more confusing when the timeline umps around. I almost wish I had written out a full timeline because I got so confused at points. In all honesty, this book took me longer to get through that I had thought. This doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it, it just took a lot more thought and concentration to get through.

I highly recommend this book because it is scientifically very well done and really is quite interesting. Overall, this was a well written book, but hard to follow at points. 3.5 out of 5 from me!
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What a hell of a book!  There's always a thirst in a good novel for the ways that the events impact the surrounding world - you want to see the effect of magic on something so ordinary as the public transit system, maybe, or how resurrection can mess with taxes and census records.  Here?  Where we get to see the implications of time travel not only on psychology and mental health, we get to see how it affects payroll, crime investigation, and the public at large?

I'm still thirsty, but damned if I knew for what!

Every character is deep and thrilling, each event adds another layer to a painting in progress that you never get to see until the very last page.  And the romance - the /queer/ romance?  Be still my heart.  

I wish I could unread this book so I could take it all in again with fresh eyes.  The best I can do is recommend it to everyone I know so I can witness their emotional journey through the book.

Tl;dr: most excellent, should be required reading in any college course to showcase how a braided narrative can work even as a novel (up there with the likes of V.E. Schwab!), and this is the hill I will die on.
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Title:  The Psychology of Time Travel
Author:  Kate Mascarenhas
Genre:  Fiction
Rating:  3.5 out of 5

In the 1960s, four women discover time travel. After testing their machine out, one of them has a nervous breakdown on live TV, and her three friends dissociate themselves from her in order to save their own careers, blaming her episode on mental illness. 

Fifty years later, her granddaughter knows Bee was involved with time travel, but they never speak of it. Until she receives a newspaper clipping from the future reporting the mysterious death of an elderly lady. A year later, the death has happened, and no one knows how. Or why. But the girl who found the body is determined to do whatever it takes to find out.

I had a hard time keeping track of the various characters in their respective timelines/ages. If a character in 2018 can go back in time and speak with her now-deceased father (or herself in that earlier time) and not change anything…it seems like time travel is a concept with no repercussions or cost, and I just can’t make that work in my mind. (I’m aware of the irony that I can allow time travel…just not time travel with no repercussions.) Solid writing, but the concepts and time-jumping just didn’t work for me.

Kate Mascarenhas is a writer and psychologist. The Psychology of Time Travel is her new novel.

(Galley courtesy of Crooked Lane books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)
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Great debut sci-fi novel. Kept me interested and invested the plot and characters. I liked that the 4 scientists that invent the time machine are all women! However, time travel doesn't agree with everyone and one member of the group is exiled off the project. This book tells a story from alternating perspectives while jumping through the decades. Good read!
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Kate Mascarenhas' top-notch debut should be a first buy for all adult collections and a recommended purchase for high shcool media centers. A fantastic addition to any library.
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