Sunday, April 06, 2008

Temporal Book of the Month for March

I started and stopped reading a couple of books in March, mostly because I really wasn't interested in my choices and also that I wanted to spend all that time playing Team Fortress 2 instead of reading. So, March passed and no book was read, seemingly meaning that I am not accomplishing my book-per-month reading resolution. Since I was in April and needed to read a book for March still, what better choice than "the Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger.

The characters and story are interesting and it was quick to read: I finished the five-hundred some pages over the course of two evenings. The way the story is told is in what could be considered mini-stories, jumping across time, though in most cases, the stories occur linearly. The concept was interesting and the storytelling was well done. The sometimes complicated subject of time travel was addressed simply and handled easily. That said, there were a couple of things that bugged me about the book.

One of my gripes with the book is that some events seem extraneous and unnecessary to the story, either detracting from the plot or introducing elements that the reader expects to be more relevant but are never developed. Another issue I have is that the characters are too accepting of their inability to alter things; with a little thought, there are routes that could be explored that never are addressed.

Additionally, several paradoxes throughout the novel indicate that there must be ways to alter the time line. An example of this includes certain facts that are passed from the future to the past and back again without there ever being an origination. This is glossed over for simplicity's sake, but it implies that the information came from somewhere originally and was then the origination point became unnecessary and never occurred.

The ending was unsatisfying. Without revealing spoilers, it seems that the ending resolves nothing, leaving some plot points introduced but never explored.

Regardless of the flaws, it was still an enjoyable, page-turner of a book. While it is, at best, lite sci-fi and outside of what I would normally consider for reading, I would still recommend it. I give it 3 or 5 stars.

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