The Psychology of Time Travel

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

This out took me by surprise.
I usually don't read many sci-fi novels (but when I do, I really dislike them) but I kept seeing this one pop up around booktube and the premise of four women creating the first time machine drew me in straight away.

A novel about women in STEM? What more could I want?

The novel follows their lives after they invent and present the time machine, and also the lives of a few other characters. There is murder mystery as well that is unraveled as the story goes on.

What makes The Psychology of Time Travel extremely original is the fact it deals about the repercussions time traveling has in society, and in individuals mentally. Mascarenhas writes about how skipping through time periods affect individuals in multiple ways, which was extremely appealing to me.

Because they use time machines as they please, time travelers take everything around them for granted. If they miss someone, they can go back in time and visit, or they can go to the future to learn their fate. Nothing seems to faze them and, in part, nothing seems real when there's a possibility to skip ahead in time.

I also enjoyed the culture the author created about time traveling, and how they develop their own expressions. They call their younger selves "green" and future selves "silver" because of the experience they obtain. And as they use the time machine and grow old, their views and personality also change.

The characters itself were very interesting to read about but not remarkable. To me, what really stuck was the society Mascarenhas created and how she intertwines psychology with the usage of time machines.

Overall, a very enjoyable and interesting read. I definitely see myself rereading this in the future and I look forward to her future works.
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Working in a secluded lab in Cumbria England, four young scientists invent the first time travel machine in 1967.
Margaret is a cosmologist, Lucille works with radio waves, Grace is an expert on the behavior of matter, and the youngest, Barbara, specializes in nuclear fission. Combining their talents in its creation.
When Barbara has a mental breakdown, she is ostracized from the group, not wanting to tarnish their image with mental illness.
Fifty years later, time travel is a successful industry. Ruby Rebello's Granny Bee was one of the original pioneers. When an origami rabbit, made of paper from a coroner's inquest, is left on their doorstep, questions arise about a future murder. The unknown female victim's date of death, January 6th, 2018.
The story moves along in three different times lines, past, present and future. It also is told from multiple points of view, which tends to be confusing at first. But about half way through, it becomes easier to follow.
A fascinating mystery, trying to find the identity of the future murder victim and who killed her. An intriguing and intricate puzzle that kept me engrossed. Some of the characters were not as fully developed as I would have liked, but overall an exceptional read. 
Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for the free ebook, in exchange for an honest review.
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Pitched as a blend between Hidden Figures and The Power, this debut novel certainly has lofty aspirations, and I feel it largely succeeds in reaching them. 
The basic premise is a group of four young female scientists create a working time machine in 1967,  unfortunately when testing the discovery, a disturbing side effect is discovered which results in one of the women being ostracised by the group.  Flash forward fifty years and when a young volunteer finds an unidentifiable murder victim inside an otherwise empty locked room, it seems like time travel of some sort must be involved. Saying too much more would spoil the intricate set up, so that is where I will leave the description of the plot. 
The story is told from several perspectives and in various timelines, and at times this bordered on confusing, especially when the author introduces new characters almost half way through the book, but I think this is forgivable given the complexity with which the author has crafted her plot. It is clear that Mascarenhas has put a lot of thought into the way time travel needs to work in order for the book to work, so much so that she has even created a  set of slang terms which she uses throughout the book, but which are conveniently explained in a clever piece of exposition worked into the story.  The author has also worked hard to make her characters diverse and interesting, and certainly in the case of at least one, unlikable. I really enjoyed the sections of the book that imagined how time travel could have a negative impact on the traveller's  mental health and stability, a theme that is obvious from the title, and is central to many aspects of the story. 
I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.
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I really wanted to enjoy this book as the premise seemed so intriguing.  Sadly, it wasn’t to be.

I love science fiction, strong female characters and stories with complex timelines and character interactions, but it was spoilt by the clumsy and unsympathetic shoehorning in of a multitude of agendas.  Potentially rich explorations of sexuality, racism, psychology and alternate sociology/anthropology were wasted in my opinion.

I did read to the end, for the sake of the plot - rather than the characters - and to make sure that I could give a fair review, but it wasn’t worth it in the end.

An interesting idea, poorly executed.
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This was AMAZING. ✨

“They were going to change the world.”

It all starts when a group of four scientists invents the time machine. The nice thing is that the book does not dwell on the scientific part of the matter, but digs deep down, studying the soul of people and their confrontation with this science novelty. The group shatters at the behest of one of the four scientists, interested only in the economic and political aspect of the discovery: this woman decides to chase one of the other girls because, in her opinion, she damages the good name of the group. Because of the continuous space-time jumps, in fact, Barbara, the chased one, begins to suffer from mental illness, and this is seen as a weakness of the entire group. They decide to send her away. 
The book does not dwell, as I said, on scientific matters, but mainly explores the consequences that travels over time have on people, society, language and religion. Thanks to the skilful intertwining of three narrative lines, we witness the events that follow each other from the years of the invention until 2018.

“When you’re a time traveler, the people you love die, and you carry on seeing them, so their death stops making a difference to you. The only death that will ever change things is your own.”

Not only the cast is completely female, this book gives new vision of life and death, gives new meaning to the “love” “friendship” words.

“A memento mori is a symbol, to remind you life is transient. We all need a spur to action now and then.”

To this careful representation of the reality of the protagonists, who must live with the awareness of life and death, a mystery plot is also mixed. In fact, one of the youngest protagonists, after discovering an unrecognizable corpse, decides to investigate the matter, meeting in her path many political, social and cultural problems.

It is a beautiful book not only because it is beautifully orchestrated, but also because it deals with important issues such as homosexual love, cultural prejudices, the violence of power. What struck me most is the preponderance of the female voice in the text, a choice that I have rarely seen done by the authors. The writing is magnificent, the plot is fantastic and full of twists, the characters are well characterized and have a voice of their own, indistinguishable. Sometimes the book also makes people (me) cry. This book could be a great start for those who are interested in scifi but have only read fiction: there may be many food for thought both for fans of fiction and for fans of sci-fi.
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Many thanks to NetGalley, Crooked Lane Books, and Kate Mascarenhas for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy.

In Kate Mascarenhas fantasy novel, four women join forces in 1967 to develop the technology of time travel. Mascarenhas has created an intricate world where time travel becomes its own industry. Her rules have been meticulously thought out and whether it is because of her scientific research, her understanding of the corporate world and her grasp of human nature to invent such a complex but completely believable world. I’ll let you in on some of the more unique details in this story, without divulging any spoilers that might ruin the mystery. You can’t travel further back in time then when the machine was invented. So smart, because it limits what would be endless possibilities and takes away the pesky issue of having to do a bunch of historical research. She has worked out a whole fuel plot point, that again makes perfect sense, even bringing in the idea of re-using fuel. In this world, you can not only meet yourself, but can have a number of different versions of yourself running around in any one timeline. How travelling through time can change you as a person, you ability to empathize and how it messes up your whole concept of death. You can know what happens in the future, but can never change events. The military, just as in real life, gets involved right away in the technology. Time travel becomes a huge industry, almost a world unto itself, where it has its own money and even its own justice system. I could go on and on. This attention to detail makes this world so believable and keeps your interest as a reader. You just want to keep discovering more about this world. 

Then on top of this we have the mystery. Barbara, one of the original four, has a reaction of sorts to time travelling. Unfortunately, this melt down happens on the day they announce their discovery to the press and Margaret feels she has embarrassed them. Margaret convinces the other girls to kick Barbara out and they cut off communication with her. Barbara never really recovers from being ostracized and after her hospitalization keeps trying to get back in the group. Eventually she marries and her daughter has a daughter, Ruby. Now it starts to get complicated. Let’s just leave it that there is a puzzle of a murder that happens in a locked room. Barbara makes a new discovery and thinks this is her chance to finally be able to time travel once more. Ruby gets a message that Barbara will die soon and she can’t forgive the group for being so cruel to her grandmother. All of these stories, moving together, have a way of working themselves to an exciting conclusion.

For the most part, I really enjoyed this novel. Kate Mascarenhas imagination and attention to detail really are to be marvelled at. So much work went into creating such a complex story that is also heartfelt. You really are rooting for Barbara and Ruby. You can feel how twisted Margaret gets over the years. My only drawback is, with so many different moving parts and storylines, things did get bogged down for me and I started to lost interest in the middle parts. It was bound to happen. You are jumping from character to character and for a long time you don’t see the connection between them. You are also jumping from one decade to another to another. Nothing that would make me put the book down. Once I muddled through, it was worth getting to the end. There were lots of surprising bits and psychological twists that I never expected. Most importantly, the heart of the story didn’t get lost in the complex world building. I was so excited when I read the blurb about time travelling women scientists and I wasn’t disappointed.
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I saw this book on Netgalley and requested it as soon as I read “Hidden Figures-type story about the female pioneers in time-travel.”  UM, YES.   And that was a good description but also it was so much more. When I tell you this is a twisty time-travel mystery, it IS but that’s also not doing it justice. There are diverse characters, multiple POVs, multiple time-periods, deeper themes and an exploration of mental illness all smushed together in a page-turning well-written speculative fiction whodunit.  Which is ALL my catnip. If you read it, I’d love to know what you think!
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A very interesting concept, looking at the how time travel can affect someone's state of mind, and the effects this has on their surroundings and the people aruond them, but I found the jumping backswards/forwards in time confusing every now and then, as I wasn't quite sure of who/where/when the characters were coming from, as the conecpt of the novel included characters that can travel back in time and meet themselves, therefore giving multiple points of view from the same person. 

I did enjoy it as a whole, but some parts needed more explanation.
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I was intrigued by the premise of The Psychology of Time Travel. Time travel itself has always fascinated me, and I loved the idea of it being a group of women pioneers who actually made that leap for the first time. Also, the author herself is a psychologist, which I think lent a special depth to the characterization and some aspects of the story (notably mental health issues).


Within the first couple of chapters we are introduced to one of the main characters, Ruby, as she changes the oil in her motorcycle, and I was SOLD. I’m hopeless when it comes to mechanical things myself, but I love seeing women mow down that stereotype. Also motorcycles are just awesome. I miss ours…but I digress.

The characters – and there are MANY – are from various walks of life, various sexualites, various cultures. I enjoyed all the diversity but the constant perspective hopping became exhausting rather quickly. Especially since even after the book was halfway over, there were STILL new characters being introduced! I almost went cross-eyed trying to keep them all straight. That said, the friendships developed through the book are really what MADE the story. Not the romance – which was a little hard to believe – but the friendships.

I struggled some to connect with the characters, sadly, and only really felt invested in two. The others I didn’t really care that much about, they were interesting but if they lived or died I was just…meh.


Yes, all caps, because the amount of thought put into just how time travel would work – really, actually, maybe work – was very much evident. Unlike a lot of books with time travel elements, there are no dire consequences if your younger or older self sees you as a time traveler (no time-turner woes here), it’s just an accepted part of society and life for those travel. There is new slang and jargon for time travel and the occurrences that go along with it – even down to terms for sex with one’s older or younger self! The story also probes into thedisregard for death that most time travelers either already have, or develop through their career. After all, if someone they love dies, they can just travel back in time and see them again. Despite that…they aren’t actually able to change the past. It’s all very mind-bending.

The Mystery

There’s a behind-a-locked-door murder mystery plotline as well, and it was quite interesting. However, that is definitely not the main draw for the story.

Overall, 3.5/5 stars. The Psychology of Time Travel is a very intriguing story, especially if you like seeing things from many different viewpoints and angles.

Review posted on GoodReads and my blog at the link below (publishing 21 Feb on the blog).
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I am a fan of time travel stories, so it was the title and premise that drew me in right away. It's definitely unique to have female characters as the scientists who discover time travel and become the pioneers of an entire industry around it. And the time travel tropes get a bit of a twist here, as multiple versions of characters can exist and interact with one another without the usual paradoxes that cause issues in these sorts of plots. Plus, incorporating the different reasons for travel is something few novels of this type do - revisiting fond memories and deceased loved ones, collecting items from the past to preserve in the present, finding out future events, political gain and espionage.

I like the way the book was written, with each chapter titled with the character it focuses on as well as the time period in which it is set. The crossed timelines made things interesting and seeing certain characters meet past/future versions of each other required paying a bit of attention. Ultimately, this novel is a murder mystery, so the skipping around definitely kept the mystery going. You don't need to be into scifi, time travel stuff to enjoy this one.
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I just couldn't connect with this one at all--so many characters that I really didn't particularly care about any of them.  And I got really stuck on the logistics of time travel and how it affected the timeline that really didn't seem to be explained very well at all, at least not to my satisfaction.  Love that it's a story about female scientists, but it wasn't for me.
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Kate Mascarenhas’ debut novel, The Psychology of Time Travel, sure ticks off a lot of boxes. Is it a book about female engineers? Yes, it is. Is it a book where some of the characters are women of colour? Sure. Is it a book where some characters are lesbians or bisexuals? Yep, yep, yep. And is it a tome where a character or two suffers from mental illness? Tick, tick, tick off those boxes, too. Thus, you can easily conclude that there’s a lot of good stuff going on with this book, which is a mystery thriller as well as being a sci-fi novel about time travel.

Well, I have good things and bad things to say about this read, so I’ll start with the good first. For a book about time travel, there are some interesting rules about the subject that this book sets down: namely, time travellers cannot change or alter the future and past. Paradoxes do not exist. How the book deals with this is quite novel and original. What’s more, it is possible to communicate with people in the past or future by telephone. As quirky as that might sound, that, to me, is an original thing that the author has cooked up about time travel. Thus, the author has deeply thought about the rules of time travel and how they shoehorn into her story.

However, as much as I hate to say it for all the good that this novel does, this isn’t a terribly well-written book. There are no literary fireworks, and the writing is pedestrian enough to get into a non-paying SF writers’ market, let alone one a notch or two up into quasi-pro. It’s also a hard book to get into. The book starts off with what seems to be a murder in a locked room. While blood and violence are more than suggested, the way the scene is written makes one wonder if the best way to enjoy the gruesome spectacle is by drinking tea and eating crumpets.

The Psychology of Time Travel is a story about four British engineers, all female, who, in the book, invent time travel in the late 1960s. Flash forward to the present and one of them winds up being found shot to death in the boiler room of a London toy museum. The woman who finds the body suffers from some post-traumatic stress disorder of sorts, and figures that the best way to deal with it is to join the team of time travellers called the Conclave that the four pioneers have set up and try to solve the mystery. Meanwhile, one of the four pioneers got kicked off the team early because she suffered from bipolar depression, and her granddaughter winds up having an affair of sorts with another one of the pioneers for no discernable reason.

If that sounds like a lot of plot, well, it does because there is a lot going on in this novel. I would argue that it’s too busy. New characters are introduced and then thrown to the wayside, making it tough to understand what’s really going on. There are also several plot holes and things that don’t make much sense that is so big or problematic in the context of the novel that you could drive a Mac truck through them. One of them is that the original group of time travel pioneers, sometime in the late ’80s and early ’90s, constructed a toy for children called a Candybox, where, if you dropped candy into the box, it would be transported exactly one minute into the future. Besides being a rather dumb idea for a toy, it turns out these boxes were recalled because sometimes the candy would ricochet back and injure the child — but somehow the author ignores the fact that time machine technology in this book runs on nuclear fuel that produces radiation, so my question is how on earth would a time travel toy for children get approved if it emits radiation? How would that even happen?

However, the novel’s biggest sin is that it’s quite boring — I really had to force myself to read this book, which is strange since time travel is such an exciting subject — and oftentimes this volume doesn’t make much sense. We’re shown that new time travel recruits to the Conclave have to undergo hazing rituals in order to make the cut, and one of those rituals is going up to strangers and informing them that a relative they love is about to die (a fact that the person being tested in the ritual would know about because, well, they’re a time traveller). Think about this: even though the novel makes the point that the Conclave is sort of like the Vatican with no outside influence on it, I’m pretty sure that this “Angel of Death” ritual — as it is known as in the book — would very quickly be stopped by the police or government after howls of outrage from the public.

In the end, The Psychology of Time Travel is a very silly little book. A lot of it just doesn’t make sense, and it is too smug in its own rules about time travel to be taken too seriously (there’s a list of time travel slang terms at the end of the book, to wit). It’s too bad that it is such a disappointing read, because the book does a lot of good for the role of women in science, the role of people of color in terms of visibility and the role of people who suffer from mental illness to a degree in this volume. However, when you write a book, you must do more than just check off a list of things that are admirable to include in your story. You must write something engaging. That’s a checkbox that Kate Mascarenhas doesn’t tick off, leaving her work surprisingly mundane and every day for a topic that’s so extraordinary. Too bad. So sad. Try again next time.
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I’m thrilled to finally share my full review of The Psychology of Time Travel by the incredible Kate Mascarenhas. This book completely captivated me, and I actually purchased the hardcover and am on a second reading of it because I loved it SO much! On my second reading, I'm picking up on so many wonderful clues and moments that weave together and delight me even more now that I can place them in the context of the full novel. This is a book that should be read many times--the best kind of book in my opinion!

About the Book

In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project―and future of time travel―in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team―erasing her contributions from history.

Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?

Traversing the decades and told from alternating perspectives, The Psychology of Time Travel introduces a fabulous new voice in fiction and a new must-read for fans of speculative fiction and women’s fiction alike.


Intelligent, intricate, delicate, and captivating... I am so in love with this novel! This is so much more than a mystery that involves time travel. To me, this is a book about the implications of being the first to do something groundbreaking, and about how different people react to power. Because in a way, time travel is power. What is at the core of each of us as humans? Would we all succumb to the mental and emotional impact that time travel has? At what point do we lose point of what makes us humans, who love and feel emotions, and experience highs and lows?

If like me, you are uncertain about a book about time travel (I rarely read science fiction, fantasy, or related genres) then I encourage you to branch out. This story is really one that needs to be told. I think the characters were perfect—even the ones that I didn’t like. I wouldn’t change a thing about any of them. And the time travel is hard to describe—it is the essential core to the book, but it is also not the focus. The characters, their stories, the way they develop, and the mystery—that is what the book is about.

I don’t want to spoil anything, so I want to be careful here with how I describe the four pioneers. I loved that they each had unique and distinctive characters. Even the pioneer that was the toughest on the others and, let's say, the most susceptible--even she was sympathetic and engaging as a character. This is a novel about the ladies! Nearly every stand out character in the book is female. Go girls!

I love the way Mascarenhas delves into the implications of this scientific break-through. There needs to be laws and codes on conduct, and there needs to be research into the impact on the human body and mind by unleashing this breakthrough. How do we determine who is best suited to hold this privilege? As a psychologist myself, the characters and how they develop throughout the novel were truly the best part. And by the end I found myself in awe of the way everything was tied together. There wasn't a single character, story, or moment that went unaccounted for. A masterpiece!

I received a copy from Crooked Lane Books. Opinions are my own.
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The Psychology of Time Travel features four women who pioneered time travel technology (and their pet rabbit Patrick – the first time traveller ever), which I’m sure a lot of readers can appreciate considering females read more fiction. But that was just the setup for this book, the rest of it follows the ensuing establishment and the existence of the time travel organisation, namely the Conclave, and how it leads to the mysterious death of a woman.

This book covers a lot of themes including friendship, betrayal, power, science, feminism, mental health, appreciation of the minority groups that don’t make up the norm. The author even incorporates office politics as well as employee rights and mistreatments. It’s about how these themes affect the characters, how they shape the characters’ lives. They all revolve around a mysterious murder of a woman touching various lives in multiple timelines. It sure muddled my head (in a good way), jumping back and forth between character point of views in multiple timelines, trying to figure things out.

I adored details in the speculative part of this book, like how time travel shapes the world as we know it, from news headlines to children’s ambitions to toys and food. Somehow, to me, this bit is obvious that it has ‘a woman’s touch’. I don’t mean that it’s girly all over. Rather, it’s more like how a woman would think to bring tissues or facial wipes in her bag that turn out to benefit other people, and how a wife would know to pack a spare pair of socks or tie that matches all of a husband’s shirts in his bag when he’s travelling out of town for work. The details in this book are an example of the things that are often only thought of by women.

I certainly would pick up another of Kate Mascarenhas’s titles if I happen to see it.
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If you think you know what time travel is like think again. Can't be in the same place at the same time - not true. You can have several of you from years apart in the same room at the same time. That allows the plot in The Psychology of Time Travel to move from a character from one time period to the same character from another time period while all are in the same place. And while that is part of the plot the action revolves around the murder of one of the main characters. We follow several people as they interact often without knowing that they are all part of the same story. This was very interesting with its different take on time travel and how different people saw the same action. The history, the backstory and the world building are all very well done and help keep the story line and characters moving. Pick this up for a very interesting and different murder mystery.

I receive a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.
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The Psychology of Time Travel is the debut novel of Kate Mascarenhas, and believe me when I tell you that it is absolutely worth reading. The novel is being described as perfect for fans of Hidden Figures, which I agree with. It’s one of the most intelligent stories I’ve read about time travel, and I just can’t say enough positive things about it.
	At the beginning of the book, Kate Mascarenhas makes a point of talking about her motivation for writing it. She said that she felt that there wasn’t enough of a representation of women, or people of color, in time travel plots. And she’s not wrong. I don’t think it ever really hit me until I read The Psychology of Time Travel, but I have never read something quite like this.
	Going back to the Hidden Figures reference – picture Hidden Figures meets time travel - and you’ve got an idea of the tone of this novel. It’s smart and sassy and full of brilliant women of all types. It also tells a story of time travel that I’ve never seen before, and I absolutely adored it.
	I went into The Psychology of Time Travel with high expectations, only to have those expectations completely blown away. This novel was so much more than I had ever hoped it would be. It was brilliant and well thought out. It also had strong and wonderful characters. More than that though, the characters were human through and through, for good or for bad.
	I said up above that this novel wasn’t like any other time travel story I’ve read, and I meant that. I loved the concept of there being successfully time traveling, and that it would be open to…well not the general public, but certainly closer to it than anything I’ve seen before. It opened the door for a lot of debating and for a ton of content as well. A lot of which is actually covered during the course of the novel. The end result is a surprisingly complex and well thought out system of time travel.
	The consequences and limitations of time travel are also covered. I loved one of the limitations in particular, but I don’t think I’ll spoil it by saying it directly. I do agree with it though, for what it is worth.
	The complexity of the story being told combined with the dozens of interesting and unique characters truly created a wonderful reading experience. It was fun trying to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Especially since the puzzle pieces were handed to us out of order – courtesy of time travel. 
	I’ll admit that there were a couple of characters in particular that I was especially fond of, while there was one character that I just loved to hate. That they all had flaws made them feel so much more human and it made the situations they were in feel just a bit more possible.
	This is one of those novels that really doesn’t need a sequel - it told the story it wanted to, and there are no parts left up in the air. However, I love the world created here so much that I wouldn’t mind seeing another book or two. Maybe not involving the same characters, or even the same general time frame. I just want to see the world continue, I guess. I suppose that’s the sign of a well-written book though, huh?
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Thank you to Kate Mascarenhas and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this book. This was a pretty cool book. I enjoyed it. I would recommend it.
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Judging a Book by it's Cover - 2019-02-01
Time travel has been something that endlessly fascinates me. You add it into a book or movie and I'm there. I don't care what else happening. This seemed like it tackled the concept of time travel from a scientific realism standpoint, as opposed to full out sci-fi or fantasy, and I loved that idea.

( 2.5 Stars )
Review - 2019-02-16
The Psychology of Time Travel wastes no time. It felt like we were thrust right into the book almost mid-sentence. The beginning seemed very abrupt to me, there was no real scene setting or character introduction. It all seemed kind of rushed and straight to the point and matter of fact. I suppose that's fitting to an image of strictly professional and scientific ladies who have no time for other pleasantries, similarly fitting for a book about time travel where time isn’t really linear, but for me I found it kind of off-putting right from the start. I suppose I felt a little whip-lashed.

I never would have believed that a book about time travel could be slow moving or not very engaging, but I had the most difficult time staying on track reading this. I didn't take to the writing and I found that the cold introduction to the characters didn't do anything to help develop much fondness for them. They all seemed like characters to me, just names existing in various dates and times; they didn't grow beyond the surface of the page I was reading and didn't really come alive. I found I wasn't fully invested in their story and kept getting distracted while reading.

That said, there were some great elements to this. Female scientists pioneering the field! The deeper conversations about how time travel affects the traveler mentally. I especially loved the time travel slang, and the aspect of time travel that I adore in all aspects is when timelines cross, and that happens fairly often here. This was really interesting to me. But I just couldn’t get past the fact that a story about a murder that spanned many layers of time was just… boring.

Surprisingly, it was the story arcs that didn't involve the four original pioneers that interested me the most. These added a lot more detail to the time travel process and how the Time Travel Conclave worked. This was what I wanted to know. All the other story angles took time travel for granted as a common everyday occurrence. But to the reader it's not and I appreciated this added context. This is where Mascarhenas was able to fully flex some imagination and creativity and that's what I was looking for in this book. I just wish the book elaborated a bit more on this. It touched on how time travel makes people cruel and turns people mad, but other than loosely using that to create a villain in Margaret, this wasn’t really explored or expanded on and it could have been really interesting to read more about.

I'm really torn on what to think. Time Travel is such an interesting concept to me that I want to fully embrace and experience this wonder any time I embark on a story about it. But I find, once again, in this case, Time Travel is more of a tool to drive the overall message and picture than anything else. Time Travel could have easily been replaced with another scientific experiment and we would still have similar results, just in a more linear time frame than what played out here. What I'm saying is this was more about the abuse of power and authority and how when something is discovered, how easily it can be used in vain, not necessarily a story about time travel. And that's perfectly fine! In that sense, this was a good story. But that's not what I was looking for and not what I wanted from this.

** I received an advance copy of The Psychology of Time Travel for honest review through Netgalley from Crooked Lane Books and thank them for the opportunity to read this and share my thoughts.
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The story became interesting to me after a few chapters, though some things seemed to take far too long. I didn't really care for the romance, probably partly because the two people concerned didn't seem all that wholeheartedly for it either a lot of the time.

Some parts were fun, like one version of a person finding another version of themselves annoying or brash. I also liked that one part of the big mystery would be solved only to have it become apparent that a different part needed to be explained. For the most part the way time travel worked in the book was clear, though I did wonder about something to do with the Candyboxes that just didn't make sense to me.

There were a few too many characters to really keep track of, but a couple stood out. The main villain was plenty convincing, and I thought Odette was a great contrast to that individual. Odette was probably my favorite character, and it was worth following the story just to see what would end up happening to her.
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In 1967, four women scientists were determined to make time travel a reality. They worked non-stop to make that happen – and succeeded. Then, as they were introducing the world to their achievement on nationwide television, one of them has a breakdown. The self-appointed leader of the group, Margaret, said that Barbara’s breakdown was jeopardizing not only their project but the future of time travel, too. Barbara is sent to a mental institution to recover but isn’t allowed to return to the project. Fifty years later, time travel is a huge success, and Margaret has created a consortium to control time travel with her at the head of the organization. When Barbara receives a newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Beatrice’s granddaughter, Ruby, becomes obsessed with finding out if the murdered woman will turn out to be Barbara because why else would someone have sent the newspaper clipping to her?

Each chapter of this book is told from the perspective of one of the characters – not just the main characters. It can get confusing for the reader at times. The character list includes, among others, the four scientists, Barbara, Grace, Lucille, and Margaret; Ruby, Barbara’s granddaughter; Odette, a volunteer at the museum who finds a dead body; and the list goes on. The writing though is outstanding and had me engrossed from page one. This book is the debut book for author Kate Mascarenhas, but it reads like the work of much more experienced writer. 

Mascarehas has written a multi-layered book and over the course of the book, she pulls away layer after layer providing the reader all the details of the events in the book by the end. Mascarehas has obviously spent an enormous amount of time plotting this complex novel and not once left any character or plot line hanging in the wind like so many other authors do.

If you want to read a well-written creative novel do let the words speculative fiction or women’s fiction deter you from picking this book up. The bottom line is that you’ll enjoy it no matter what your current favorite genre is.
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