The Psychology of Time Travel

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

The title of this book tells you exactly what this book is about, the psychology of time travel. What does time travel do to a persons mind and personality? How would it affect a person’s perceptions and relationships? How would society be affected by time travel becoming as normal an occurrence as flight or space travel?

The book jumps back and forth in time … as it should considering the subject matter, right? A woman has died in 2018. Who is she? That is the first part of the mystery of this story. She was one of four brilliant young women who invented the technology that makes time travel possible. They were also the backbone of what becomes a global organization that controls the use of that technology.

This corporation exists outside of time, and away from any interference or regulation by any government. It has over time been molded into something cult-ish, controlling and corrupt. Employees are affected by this corporate culture to the extent that death becomes meaningless in their lives. Think about that for a moment, imagine if you can simply go back and forth in time to visit the people you love and have lost. Sounds wonderful, but the author has dealt with the isolation and solitary feelings that would happen when you become detached from a phenomenon that is at the core of the human experience, death.

I found the book fascinating. It doesn’t get too deep, just enough to spur your imagination. I started out giving this book 3 stars, but I think I’m bumping it up to 4. I felt at first it was a little too predictable and that I had already figured out the mystery early on. But around 75% into the book I realized that the mystery was much more complex than I’d first imagined. What’s more, the mystery wasn’t the focus anyway.

I enjoyed this book. I hope you do to. It’s worth a read.

Song for this book: It’s Only Time – The Magnetic Fields
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Time travel is a popular subject for books and movies, but it is often difficult to have a believable way for it to happen.  In this book, there are four scientific ladies who make it happen.  The focus is mostly on what happens physically and mentally to the time travelers.  It's a complicated story full of a variety of strong women.
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Four women inventing time travel in the 1960s. A DREAM! I love powerful women and this did not disappoint. 

Told in multiple voices, and in different time periods, this amazing story is unlike anything I've read before. Part historical fiction, part sci-fi, this story explores mental illness and technology. It's a rather confusing novel at points, but in the end, everything is exactly how it should be - altering the world, one reader at a time.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas is a science fiction fantasy that is a bit like the story of Hidden Figures. In this book instead of the ladies that worked on the space program we have a fantasy read with four ladies that worked to create time travel.

The story begins in 1967 with the four ladies working to invent time travel, each with their own specialty. After successful animal trials things move forward for them to begin working with human travel. Unfortunately, one of the woman in the program suffers side effects from the program and is pushed out of the program.

In the present time we meet Ruby who is the granddaughter of that original member who left the program. When her grandmother, Barbara (Granny Bee), receives a note from fifty years in the future it seems there will be a murder of an unknown woman with time travel being at it´s peak in that time.

I will admit first that The Psychology of Time Travel isn´t the easiest of books to follow along with as it bounces from time to time and character to character. However, I do think this one is worth the extra time to read having new and interesting ideas with time travel. Instead of being a book that focuses on what era is being visited this one focuses on these characters and the effects of travel and still kept the pages turning and my interest to see what would happen especially with a bit of mystery, certainly a nice read overall.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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The Past, Present and Future collide in Kate Mascarenhas' brilliant debut book, The Psychology of Time Travel. 

I love and adore the concept of time travel. Thinking about the books and movies that I grew up with, some of my favorites included The Time Machine, Star Trek, Back to the Future and, of course, the cult classic, Somewhere in Time. Today we have books like Outlander that take us back and forth in time and our concept of time and relativity has grown more fluid over the past few decades. So, naturally, when I saw this book, I just had to grab it up and read it. And I loved it! 

The Psychology of Time Travel begins with the story of the pioneers of human time travel who, quite wonderfully, are four female scientists. In fact, the entire book is magnificently woman powered and it is one of the aspects of the book that I found so marvelous! As we transition into the second phase of the book, the present, we find that one of the pioneers is now an old woman who is with her granddaughter. They receive a mysterious post regarding a death that will happen in the future - which, of course, leads us to the future section of the book where the murder will take place. From there the book has a fluid timeline as the characters attempt to solve the crime - or stop it from happening - either in the present or future or, for some, in the past. Confused yet? Yes, there are times that the back and forth in time does get a bit mind boggling, but the story itself is one of mystery and crime and that is what makes the book so fascinating. It's a detective story set in time - or space - or in the time warp continuum. Hmmm. It's like Dr. Who meets Hidden Figures. 
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.

This is, by far, my favorite passage in the entire book and, I think, it is one of the reasons that I find time travel so intriguing. Since the beginning of time, mankind has been curious about what happens after death but what if this is what happens? We are simply transported to a different time, a different place. Perhaps time, and life, and our souls are merely traveling from place to another. It's not too unreasonable to imagine - if you dare. ;) 

I suspect there are those who will say that they don't read books like this and that's okay. This definitely was a book for me and I enjoyed it a LOT! I hope some of the skeptics out there will at least give it a look, I think you will like it if you do. 

Thank you to the author, #Netgalley and #CrookedLaneBooks for my copy of #ThePsychologyofTimeTravel.
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The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas is recommended debut murder mystery with a plot device that involves time travel and some of its consequences.

The first time machine is built in 1967 by a group of four women scientists: Margaret, Lucille, Grace, and Barbara. When they are ready to reveal of their fantastic invention, one of the group, Barbara, suffers a breakdown and is forced to leave the group. She is subsequently ostracized after Margaret convincingly orders Lucille and Grace to never have contact with Barbara ever again. Margaret, the leader of the group, becomes the head of the Conclave, the organization that oversees all time travel, and she rules it with arduous control.

Fifty years, in 2018, later a young woman, Odette, opens the museum where she just started working and finds the murdered body of a woman in a locked room in the basement. The event traumatizes Odette and also compels her to find out who the person was since she had no id on her, and why/how her murder happened. She meets with a therapist, Ruby Rebelloto, help her with the trauma. Ruby is the granddaughter of Barbara, Granny Bee to her, the ostracized time travel pioneer. Their meeting seems connected and predestined because Ruby's Granny Bee had received a newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman (in 2017), and Ruby is obsessed with finding out if it was Granny Bee.

The narrative is told from alternating perspectives and decades in short chapters. The short chapters mean that the point-of-view and time period changes frequently. There are a number of characters, and some of these characters are time travelers, so they appear from different time periods in different plot threads. It does concern itself with the psychology of time travel, but the essential core that holds the novel together is a murder mystery. It is easier and more compelling to follow the novel if you focus on the murder mystery and set the time travelers and their jargon aside as an interesting plot device. 

All of the characters would have benefited from better development and an increase in insight into their own personal psychology. Margaret is the antagonist. She is egotistical, cruel, and arrogant. She runs the Conclave with a model that stigmatizes anyone with any kind of mental illness and engages in cruel hazing techniques to desensitize and test the devotion of new recruits to the Conclave. Her choices in how the Conclave is run are having a negative impact on people and the institution.

While there are interesting tidbits of insight into the effects time travel has on those who are members of the Conclave, there is also the increasing sense that all the time travelers are observers and information collectors with little concern over how they impact the past or future. They often visit themselves in the past or future, which is interesting but the effects of which are never explored beyond the surface details. The marriage of two people from two different time periods will surely bring several questions to mind for the reader.
I actually finished The Psychology of Time Travel over a week ago and the characters and their situations fell quickly from my mind. For fans of sci-fi, this isn't really a great choice for a time travel novel. For interested readers, at end of my review copy, there was a questionnaire/test you could take to determine if you would be suitable to apply to the Conclave. (I wasn't interested in it enough to take it, which is telling.)

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Crooked Lane Books.
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I admire this author and this book. Writing about time travel is harder than writing about most other topics. You have to keep timelines in mind, remember the rules for time travel, and know whether the character is in the present, past, or future. It's a daunting task. That said, I wished throughout this book that the author hadn't tried quite so hard. There were too many characters to keep up with and too many time jumps. I admired the murder mystery part of the novel. In fact, that was the best part. I hadn't ever read a time-travel murder mystery before and I loved the clues and final reveal. Unfortunately, by that time I had mostly given up trying to keep the characters straight. If there hadn't been so many characters, I probably would have cared about them more. Still, if you're really into time travel stories, you'll probably like this one. It was different and really creative.
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Rating: 3.5 Stars

This book thoroughly boggled my brain.  The concept of time travel makes absolutely zero sense to me.  This book is technically a murder mystery, but oddly it didn’t feel to me like a murder mystery at all.  The mystery itself became more of a subplot as I struggled to wrap my head around the various concepts detailed in the book pertaining to time chronology, “genies”, and other time travel concepts.   I liked the book, but I was honestly too confused by it to love it.
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It is very surprising that this is a debut novel. You don't except such exquisite writing in a debut, especially one tackling an in depth, impossible task: time travel. What I loved most about this book is the conversations I was having with myself and close friends based around the book. What would time travel be like? What would happen to the mental state of the person traveling? Would you change things now if you somehow caught a glimpse of the future? My favorite part of books is the discussion of topics mentioned in the book. If you're like me, this will excite you.

In a time of women's rights being broadcasted and fought for so thoroughly and publicly, this is a well timed novel with an all female cast--an all female SCIENTIST cast. Talk about breaking that glass ceiling! Each character has distinct personality written in their pages, and I felt like I knew them all so well by the end of the book.

This is a murder mystery wrapped into a science fiction thriller. If you've ever wished, or believed, for the power of time travel, this is the book for you.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane for an advance copy of this book. All thoughts are my own.
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A huge thanks to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I was so incredibly excited for this book, and while there are many things to love about it, it just fell kinda flat for me. Perhaps it was the audio I listened to, but it seemed to drag a lot. It truly is a shame, because as I mentioned, there is so much to love:

- All the characters are women. Of course there are men present, but they can barely be called side characters.
- There is diversity in terms of color of skin, nationality, and sexuality. 
- The women are intelligent, and independent.
- The women have their own clear personalities.
- The time traveling is quite well thought out, and gives a completely different take on it, which I enjoyed.

But then why, you ask, did you not love it? To be honest, when looking at the points above, I wonder the same myself. I think reading this in print would be better, as it gets quite confusing at times, though the narrator does an absolute splendid job- special shoutout for the accents! 

The story is told in quite a disjointed way, which I suppose makes sense for a time travel story, but when two timelines are in 2017 & 2018 it is just a bit too close to each other. Margaret is absolutely terrible, and I did not care one bit for the mystery, the case. It was no surprise at all who had died, and as the story unfolded it really wasn't a stretch to figure out what had happened. Or it felt that way to me at least. Some parts were also incredibly disturbing, and it felt like they were thrown in for shock value. Sure, they get explained later on, but still they felt disconnected from the book- entirely random.

There are also some awkward instances, like when you think about the actual ages of Grace and Ruby, but some are also disturbingly funny, like having sex with either your past or future self. I thought that was brilliant. The glossary at the back gives you a nice overview of the terms used in the 'time travel language', and knowing there are terms for things because they have actually happened, makes you wonder about what drives people. Now THOSE are the stories I want to read!

So yeah, it's not a bad book, not at all. It has plenty of redeeming qualities, and perhaps one day I'll revisit it in print, but for now I'm very underwhelmed. Perhaps it was my too high expectations, my state of mind, my energy levels.. who knows. Our reviews get colored by all sorts of things, and all I can do is to try and give an overview of my findings, including my opinion. Please read this book for yourself, because I really think a lot of people will love this!
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This first-time author has provided quite a head-scratcher of a story! Four women scientists combine their research to figure out time travel in 1967.  The physics of the process dictate you can only go to a time when there is a time travel machine, so time traveling begins in 1967 and only moves forward into the future.  The women are the first to travel, during which one of them, Barbara, has a mental and emotional breakdown in a public forum, which causes a setback to the science.  Margaret, the self-proclaimed leader, forces Barbara out and takes over.  Over the years, the science becomes big business, which Margaret oversees, with the other 2 scientists assisting.  Meanwhile, Barbara recuperates in a hospital and then leads a normal life, although still desiring to time travel.  

The story moves around from 1967 through 2019, causing this reader much confusion.  The fact that many characters are introduced in these different times also greatly confused me.  Unlike previous time travel stories, in this story travelers can interact with their other selves and with other family members and friends during different times of their lives.  When a mysterious death occurs in one timeframe, it causes repercussions in other times.  The police and other interested parties encounter much difficulty while investigating this death.

I don’t think I grasped all the plot developments, so a second reading is probably a good idea, but I was impressed with the intricate, creative, and very original story.  Kudos!
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The Psychology of Time Travel was a very quirky and intriguing twist on the subject matter of time travel.

This begins in the 60`s as 4 women finally do the first live run of their time machine. All seems well until one of them looses it on television during an interview. What follows is the tale of not only these four women but also their other selves in different times as well as a whole host of other characters that come together to form a very brilliantly written novel that will have you trying to dissect clues from each of the timelines and the characters involved. 

I must say when I first went in I was not expecting to enjoy it because of all the jumping around time wise and the many different characters at play but I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how immersed I became in the story and my need to know whodunit and what happens with the lives of those involved.

Amazing that this is a debut author. Kudos to Ms. Mascarenhas on a tale well done.

**Received ARC through NetGalley. Voluntarily reviewed**
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This book was absolutely fantastic. The story was incredible. Everything about it was amazing and I loved every single second I spent reading it.

My favourite things about The Psychology of Time Travel:

⤖ obviously this incredibly diverse cast of characters (from race to mental health and sexuality) who for most of them I completely fell in love with them and their stories. (practically an all women cast which is even better)

⤖ the way the story jumped from time to time. It fit well with time travel being the main theme of the book but it also gave us such a sense of mystery, we were in the past and in the future but that didn't mean we knew everything that happened and why for now.

⤖ the mystery itself. From the beginning, we know someone is going to die soon but we don't know how or why and for most of the book it stays like that, but with little answers along the pages that help us understand everything.

All in all, it was one of the greatest books I have ever read.
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Time travel is a tricky subject. Many things can turn out badly. However, The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas deals with time travel in a simple manner and involves zero mind-fuckery. Your grey matter won’t blast out of your skull trying to keep track of paradoxes. 

In her debut novel, Kate Mascarenhas limits the scope of this bewildering subject to visit past and future selves. There are just three timelines here- 1967, 2017 and 2018. Mascarenhas is smart enough to not dirty her hands (and risk alienating her readers) by delving too deep into this subject. Instead, this book deals (as the title suggests) with the psychological ramifications of time travel.

Besides raising thought-provoking questions, The Psychology of Time Travel also takes you on a ride through a world divided between the elite time-travelers and those who can’t time travel. It’s Mascarenhas’ version of haves and have-nots. However, becoming an elite demands terrible sacrifices. Read the book to discover what.

Despite a fantastic premise and an excellent beginning, The Psychology of Time Travel failed to impress me for the very reason it may appeal to countless others—simplicity. While the uncomplicated approach to time travel let me fly through the novel, the lack of depth hindered my immersion in Mascarenhas’ world. The world building is not adequate. In a length of around 300 pages, she has stuffed in everything – currency, time machines, a small paradox, multiple and diverse characters, and so much more. 

Speaking of characters, I honestly couldn't connect with any, except Grace (one of the pioneers). I couldn't feel an iota of empathy for Barbara. Neither was I repulsed by the vicious Margaret. The characters were reduced to mere caricatures. The evil characters were strictly evil; the morally upright were, well, strictly morally upright. There is no backstory given for most of the characters. What made the villain so vile? Why didn’t the rest of the pioneers try to contact Barbara (at least covertly)? More importantly, how could a single woman become so powerful? The answers provided did not satisfy me. 

To conclude, I could not feel any zing in the plot of The Psychology of Time Travel. Too many characters, inadequate world-building, and a squeaky-clean treatment of time travel made this a forgettable experience for me. Nevertheless, it is a unique book. People interested in speculative fiction can check it out. 

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a free eARC of this novel. I opted to provide an honest review.
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Probably 3 1/2 stars.  I love science fiction and time travel, but sometimes I have a really hard time keeping up.  The best part of this book was how the relationships were outlined and formed.  I loved the phrases used to describe the various “selves” and how time travel became a business.  The most difficult part for me was that once I was in reading mode, I just kept reading, without stopping to recognize what year and person each particular chapter focused on.  This is probably one of the few books I’ll re-read.  I don’t do that often, but I think this one would benefit from a second reading, where I could cement some details in my brain.
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So I actually finished this like two weeks ago but it took a while to fully process this book in my mind.  So like the description says, The Psychology of Time Travel is writen in multiple perspectives.  I don’t usually like that but in this story it is used really well.  A lot of times multiple perspectives makes it confusing but this book was really easy to follow.  I liked literally everything about this book and will definitely buy a physical copy when I get the chance since the copy I read was digital.  There is a couple graphic scenes in this book that might make people uncomfortable but if you’ve read something like The Hunger Games then you’ll be fine.
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Unfortunately this is a book with a better concept than execution. This book has no depth and is very grim. We are rapidly introduced to characters at a dizzying pace and the timeline jumps around just as quickly. There are a few good characters but a lot of bad ones and a grim situation. We do not spend a lot of time with the characters so they lack depth as we move quickly through the story the author wants to tell. I would have preferred more time with these characters, especially in their difficult situations. There’s very little payoff here and no satisfactory conclusion. Contrary to how the summary is written this isn’t a mystery. We find out pretty quickly what’s going on and watch it play out. I think this book would have been much better with fewer characters. The extra characters weren’t helpful and just made it confusing to keep track of everyone. It could have been an interesting world but it felt like the author wanted to keep showing different pieces of her story than have us spend too long with anyone.
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The Psychology of Time Travel examines just that, taking us into the minds of various time travelers as they traverse across hundreds of years. There are so many aspects of time travel to consider and Mascarenhas tackles a few of them with great skill. Time travel isn’t some novel concept in this version of history, but a common, widely accepted practice. It starts as excitement from a close group of friends and eventually evolves (or devolves, depending on who you’re asking) into an enormous enterprise.  

From the very beginning, Mascarenhas closely examines the mental ramifications of jetting to the future and witnessing its events. How would a person react to their own death? How would they react to the deaths of loved ones? Would their minds be able to handle the constant change in scenery and culture? Or would they simply flounder and fall apart, unsure of who they really are? As expected, the answers vary by traveller, but the concept itself was fascinating. So often, time travel is taken for granted in narratives, just a device used to make money from the future, change past events, or commit crimes. Here, it seems more real given the examination of how it actually affects a person. The Psychology of Time Travel is a deep dive into what it means to be a part of many different timelines.

The writing style is extremely accessible, and that makes the complex concepts much easier to digest. The characters are intriguing and strong, each harboring some kind of issue as a result of past, present, or future events. Many mysteries are pursued within the plot, including a murder and multiple coverups, but at its heart, the novel remains a character piece. Everything feels real, and that’s a testament to the author’s connection with the material. On a deeper level, we see the good and bad effect of travel on people. Some remain content, living their lives for good. Some fall apart gradually, succumbing to the psychological terrors of witnessing deaths and despair. Others become bitter and mean, quickly devolving into monsters. One thing remains evident by the end: travel through time and you’ll never be the same.
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3.5 stars

Part mystery and part faux science fiction (limited to the time travel notion — there are no aliens, other planets, etc.), the Psychology of Time Travel is a fascinating read that had me thinking about the logistics of time travel and its effect on people. I found myself contemplating elements of traveling through time that I had never ever considered before.

I came to the story with certain expectations about time travel, having seen it in lots of TV shows, movies and books, but it is slightly different here. In all other instances that I am familiar with, the individual can only be in one time period at a time.  But Mascarenhas puts a new spin on time travel in that multiple versions of oneself can exist in the same time period. Younger versions are called green selves and older versions are called silver selves and many versions of each can exist in the same time period with the “original” self. In other words, there could be a twenty year old and a forty year old both existing in the same time as the actual thirty year old, if that makes sense. In fact, they can all hang out together.

The Psychology of Time Travel is highly original with a unique premise that I found compelling and entertaining.  But the flow of the story was problematic for me — it jumped around too much and I found myself going back to see the year of the previous chapter(s). Note that each of the 62 chapters is titled with a year. While most of the book takes place in 2017, 2018 and 2019, nearly 20% is scattered across various times spanning 32 years (1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1994, 1999).  In addition, there are too many characters to keep track of. It was difficult to tell, upon first encountering one, whether the person is a primary, secondary or tertiary character.  I did not feel like I got to know anyone in depth so I was not as invested in the storyline as I would’ve liked to be. What kept me reading was curiosity to see how it would progress and end.  

Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.
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