When physicist Michael Shelborne mysteriously vanishes, his son Shel discovers that he had constructed a time travel device. Fearing his father may be stranded in time—or worse—Shel enlists the aid of Dave Dryden, a linguist, to accompany him on the rescue mission. Their journey through history takes them from the enlightenment of Renaissance Italy through the American Wild West to the civil-rights upheavals of the 20th century. Along the way, they encounter a diverse cast of historical greats, sometimes in unexpected situations. Yet the elder Shelborne remains elusive. And then Shel violates his agreement with Dave not to visit the future. There he makes a devastating discovery that sends him fleeing back through the ages, and changes his life forever. (From Goodreads)
I’ve noticed with this book, some readers were not pleased as there is no ‘real villain’ of the book. This was fine by me. There’s no need for antagonists in every book read. I really enjoyed reading this one, the time travel was excellent and it made a real good adventure/science fiction book to read.
The plot was good. It flowed and didn’t stop until at least towards the end. I really did enjoy the time traveling aspect of the story. Being a history lover myself, I loved how Shel and Dave traveled through different time periods where important historical events had happened it made for very interesting and sometimes dangerous or funny reading. I cringed when Dave was asked to join in the adventure, because I knew something bad was going to happen. (Something did happen, but am not going to reveal to keep this review spoiler free).
There was a mini mystery plot with this book, (regarding Shel’s father) and although it was interesting, I found I preferred reading the time traveling part much more and the mystery part followed after – it just didn’t seem as important, at least it felt that way while reading the book. Once the mystery was solved, it wasn’t what I thought it would be. I expected a little more drama, maybe some action but it wasn’t the case. So, I was mildly disappointed. It still did not deter me from enjoying this book though.
The characters were all right, nothing out of the ordinary or special. I actually enjoyed how Dave developed through the book more than Shel. His small love story was touching and provided a nice tender moment of the storyline. I’d have to say Dave is the most exciting character to follow between the two and although Shel becomes more interesting later on, I preferred them traveling together instead of separately.
Also, I have to note, I loved the ending of the book. It just seemed like such a perfect ending and one of the best I have read so far this year. I do admit, I did expect some sort of catastrophic event to happen. Yet I found that by the time I was finishing the book, it was a nice satisfying adventure to read. I think this is a perfect read for even those not really into science fiction but would love to read a great adventure as well!
I give it an 8 out of 10.
Side Note: Extra points goes to this book to mention and feature Cesare Borgia!