I read this short story really late at night. After a few wines and fighting the effects of insomnia. I tend to write notes as I go to make it much easier to recall my thoughts when I write reviews. But, since this was on a sleep-deprived alcohol fuelled moment. I thought instead of writing my traditional review, I’d share my very excitable notes instead…
This novel was nothing like what I expected. Probably because I expected it to be like the movie that I saw when I was much younger. Tip: this is NOTHING like the movie. It’s brilliant, and engaging and not the kind of story that I’m going to forget, but I may as well have had no connection between the movie and the book – because there is really nothing common between the two.
This story was a little bit bizarre. She only travels about 45 years into the future. But the future is drastically different from the current. Since this was written in 2010, and 9 years have already passed… I don’t think that many of these predicted moments are going to come to pass. I was also a little uninterested in most of this story. I’m not sure why – probably because I spent most of the time going ‘huh’?
Love, love, love the idea of a time travelling anthropologist! After all, anthropology is all about participating and observing. In studies today, we mostly have to tell our participants that we are actually observing them… but if we travelled back in time? Before anthropologists existed? Well, I can understand not telling people that you’re observing them, after all, anthropologists aren’t something that exists yet.
This is a lot less romantic than many of the other stories in The Mammoth Book of Time Travel Romance collection. In fact, there’s a hint of incest. Just a hint. And not enough to be icky (and believe me, I have read some icky tales lately…). But, mostly, the romance within it isn’t really gushy… they hook up and there is a little lust, but it’s only just glossed over. Which makes it different and refreshing compared to many of the other tales throughout the collection.
Fate is always an interesting thing to deal with. Especially when you’re talking about time travel and keeping the lines of fate together. However, I never really thought of how unfair fate could be. Particularly for a woman who manages to survive, and then is forced to face her demise when two time travelling soldiers come to kill her…
It took me a little while to understand what was happening in this story. Mostly because it’s a short story in a collection of urban fantasy tales, and it didn’t quite seem like a fantasy until about three quarters of the way through. And then I started to really pick up on the nuances and quiet storylines that I’m beginning to recognise in Richard Bowes’ short stories. It was at this point that I decided I really wanted to go back to the beginning and read it again with more awareness.
At the beginning I really loved this story. And I even loved it in the middle. The end though was just a little too open for me. It meant that I could imagine a happily ever after, but I still wanted just a little bit more to cement that idea for me. Something that made me understand a few of the plot holes and made me feel that sense of happy anticipation that I felt at the very beginning of this tale.
Most of the time travel romances and books that I read tend to be about travelling back in time. Romanticising a past that we can’t truly fathom and removing aspects of history that just don’t quite fit with our ideal. This is the first of the time travel romances in which the time jump involves the future. Like a thousand years into the future.
The telling of parallel storylines is something that has been growing on me more and more as I’ve expanded my reading knowledge and obsessions. So finding one that involved time travel, the Australian landscape and a woman willing to find herself a new life worked brilliantly for my latest literary fascination.