The Psychology of Time Travel

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

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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https://www.thebooksmugglers.com/2018/10/book-review-the-psychology-of-time-travel-by-kate-mascarenhas.html
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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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In The Psychology of Time Travel, time travel has become a profession, a rather mysterious one that follows its own secretive laws and codes of conduct. (Literally - time travelers fall under a different jurisdiction than other people and aren't bound by the laws of England, where the book takes place.) Anyway, we follow the stories of the first four women to invent time travel, as well as the people's whose lives intersect theirs, including Ruby, the granddaughter of one of the original time travellers, and Odette, a young woman caught up in a murder investigation. I really liked the world building in this book - the time travelers have their own slang and a complex culture. I also felt like it was well paced, and while the plot bounces around quite a bit in time and perspective, I never felt lost. (Well I will say that I forgot who a couple of the minor characters were when they would disappear for a while and pop back up, but was able to figure it out without too much of a problem.) I think my one complaint is that there was a little too much plot and too many characters and not enough character development. I think the story could've been told without so much about some of the side characters (Less of Ruby's lover Ginger and her daughter Fay, for example and more of Odette' playing detective and the Ruby/Grace relationship.) Overall, this is a fast, fun read with a really interesting premise.
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A grandmother living the quiet life receives a strange document suggesting her own death--occurring five months in the future. It's not as strange as it might sound, because Granny Bee used to be in the company of time travelers, and herself has made the journey. That doesn't make it any less unsettling for her and her granddaughter, who tries to figure out what she can do to help. 

Thus starts the murder mystery, but its only part of the book. There's quite a bit to digest in this relatively short book. People meet different iterations of themselves, they can enter some complex relationships throughout time, and it turns out you develop some pretty cavalier attitudes towards death when you can hop around your own timeline. There's also a real message about the "hidden figures" behind scientific advancements. Something I appreciated (but other readers may not)  is that the book never gets bogged down in the science and paradoxes. It remains accessible and easily readable throughout (although I suspect Kate Mascarenhas put in quite a bit of research, as she cites two theoretical physics papers in the forward). 

One thing that I didn't really like about the book was that the identity of the body in the locked room is revealed about three quarters of the way through. The reader has it figured out, but the characters are still trying to figure out what's going on, which makes for a sort of boring read. However, it all dovetails nicely in the end and works towards a satisfying conclusion.
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I had to stop reading this book when I was 12% through. I’m a huge fan of time travel stories, but this one just wasn’t gripping me. I found that the constant switching between time periods was really confusing, and the characters weren’t established well enough at the start for me to be fully engrossed in the narrative.
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Time travel books are kind of my guilty pleasure. I have read dozens of them. I adore all kinds of time travel books. And let’s be honest there is a wide variety of books out there. Think about the romantic story like The Time Travellers Wife, or a more sexy, historical setting like Outlander. Or if you are more of a scientist fan The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O will certainly enchanted you. But with The Psychology of Time Travel I am a little bit of a loss. Because it tries be all of the segments of time travel books in one….

The Psychology of Time Travel strongest point is without a doubt that it explores many ideas within the spectrum of Time Travel. The book really plays around with all the implications of Time Travel. Knowing your own future and of course also the future of your lost ones. How the concept death changes when you are able to travel through time. But also more intimate questions about having sex with yourself. It really is a book that touches a lot of deep questions that made me think deeper into the subject. And I even had a nice discussion with my husband about some of the implications of time travel on relationships.

The main focus of the book is as the title is already suggesting psychology. How is the human brain affected when you time travel often. Is it a straight way to loose grip on reality or doesn’t it inflict anything on a human being. I really liked that side of the story. When we finally get to time travel I think psychologist will be very intrigued to see the effects this has on the human brain.

The story also contains a very nice love story. It isn’t a major part of the book, but it gave the story some extra panache. And in some weird, but very well done way it connected all the loose ends and story-lines.
But where the book fell a little flat for me is the way it was written. The overall story is very messy. Considering how many time travel books I have read, I am the first to admit that it is incredibly difficult to write a book with multiple timelines without creating some sort of confusion. And in this story it is not only the jumping through time that makes it complicated, but apart from that we follow different narratives. At times the story feels like a complete mess, but it is brought together all in the end. But and this is a major but if this is the first time you read a time travel book I think you will be lost in translation. You will feel completely overwhelmed and might even be put off from the genre. I loved the overall story but it was just trying to be too much at once. 

Overall The Psychology of Time Travel has a very unique take on the concept of Time Travel books. It contains something for everybody, soft science, hard science, romance, LGBTQ, action…. But at the same time that is his biggest weakness. Because of the numerous topics and the very short chapters it might be quite hard to follow for some readers.

Review will be published on 18/02/2019
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This is a fascinating read for all who enjoy mysteries and Science Fiction.  
Thank you for the ARC which does not influence my personal opinion. 

I found this book captivating from the start. It is the story of four women scientists in the `1960's who are creating the world's first time travel machine.  They are experimenting with small objects before letting the world know they have been successful. They are all suffering effects from time travel that are disturbing and causing them mental distress.  When one of their team has a mental breakdown and is hospitalized will the project die and what will happen to the  other team members and their own experiments with time travel   ? Decades go by and a grand daughter of the hospitalized scientist receives a mysterious article about a death. The death is tied to the project.  She begins to investigate and finds herself involved in both learning more about the mystery behind their project and suspicious deaths . 
 This is a  must read sci-fi murder mystery.  This is a excellent well crafted story that successfully ties in the past, present and in between with mysterious occurrences and ground breaking secrets that will revel all in the end. It was a fascinating read !  I highly recommend this book as one of the best mysteries I have read this year and a fresh new concept in mystery reading.
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Excellent first novel.  Mascarenhas' writing flows beautifully with a rich vocabulary.  I enjoyed looking up several words.  This story is women-centric, in fact there are few male characters and  they are greatly in the background.  The time travel concept is well-done, though it does get a bit hard to follow , as it should, since the concept of time being non-linear is foreign to the reader.  In all I enjoyed it and would read this author again.
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The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas tells the story of four female scientists who built the world’s first time machine in 1967. A unique mystery, the story takes place over a least five decades, describing the murder of an unidentified woman and the obsession that drives the characters to solve it.

This novel is very timely. In recent years, there has been a focus on telling the stories of women in history that have been overlooked. From Hidden Figures to The Girls of Atomic City, the publishing community has shone a spotlight on powerful and intelligent women that had been previously disregarded. This trend has continued into the fiction genre. The Psychology of Time Travel is clearly one of books inspired by these tales. The focus is on four female scientists who designed the first time machine and used time machines to build an empire.

This novel is told from multiple perspectives and across many timelines, yet it is very easy to follow. Each character is distinct and the author has made it very clear which decade in which the events described are taking place. In fact, due to the time travel aspect, the same character may appear multiple times in the same scene, except they are different ages. I am seriously impressed at the plotting in this book. It could have easily gotten out of hand and confusing but the author kept a tight rein on the story.

One thing about this book that was really fun, is at the end there is a quiz you can take that tells you whether or not you would make a good time traveller. Turns out I could potentially be a time traveller but I would have to make an effort! Also, there is a glossary that defines the many made-up time travel words the author has used throughout the novel. Mascarenhas has clearly put a lot of time into developing this world and these details really bring the story to life.

The Psychology of Time Travel is very unique in that it combines so many different genres. It is historical fiction, science fiction and a thriller wrapped up in a surprising diverse package. I look forward to seeing Mascarenhas comes up with next.
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I received a copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books in exchange for an honest review. 

The Psychology of Time Travel was an ambitious book that tackled love, moral subjectivity, and fate in a fun and new way. The world Mascarenhas created helped me think about time travel in a completely new way than ever before. Her book's non-linear timeline and multiple perspectives left me unable to put it down. Mascarenhas painted so many strong and diverse characters (including several POC and LGBT+ characters), each with distinct personalities. 

I mean, the whole book was about women in STEM in the mid-20th century - what more could you want?! I would definitely be interested in Mascarenhas' future projects as she perfects her writing style.
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