Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #TimeTravel Fiction THE FAIR(Time Box Series Book #2) by John A Heldt

The Fair (Time Box, #2)The Fair by John A. Heldt

3 stars

The Fair is book two of the Time Box historical time-travel series. Book one introduced us to Mark Lane and his family who travelled back in time to escape a business partner who wanted to use the time machines for immoral purposes. Mark’s furious partner sent an assassin after the Lanes and this book continues with the chase through history.

After a nail-biting escape from 1865, this story is set mainly in 1893 and the author uses Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition as part of the story-line. Much of the focus is on the new friendships for the Lane’s three oldest children, while the threat of being found once more by the assassin is always in the background.

I really like the concept of the time boxes, and the potential they have to change the future is mind-blowing. However, I didn’t think that this book advanced the time box theme enough. For me, the focus on friendships missed character development opportunities, while in other areas some of the historical facts felt shoe-horned in rather than believable.  I was also disappointed by the repetition of simplistic words (turn, laugh, look) and the overuse of clichéd phrases.  I never felt the author’s own voice got a chance to shine through.

So overall, I like the time-box theme, but the writing style was far too safe to lift this story to its full potential.

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Months after stealing two time machines from a madman who wants them back, the Lanes, a family of six, seek safety and contentment in 1893, the latest stop on a journey through time. While parents Mark and Mary find relief at Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition, an extravaganza of science and splendor, children Jeremy, Laura, and Ashley find romance, friendship, and thrills.

Older son Jordan, meanwhile, heads west in search of answers. Grieving the loss of a lover from 1865, he travels to Virginia City, Nevada, where he integrates himself into a storied mining community and the heart of a pretty library clerk.

Billionaire Robert Devereux could not care less. Reeling from the theft of his million-dollar devices, he sends an assassin to the past to retrieve his property and rid the world of his former business partner and his troublesome clan.

Filled with humor, heartbreak, and suspense, THE FAIR follows a modern family on the adventure of a lifetime as they navigate their way through an unforgettable year in American history.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #TimeTravel Book THE LANE BETRAYAL by John A. Heldt

The Lane Betrayal (Time Box, #1)The Lane Betrayal by John A. Heldt

4 stars

The Lane Betrayal is a time travel historical novel and book one of The Time Box series.

This story begins in Virginia; physicist Mark Lane helped to create time travel machines, but his business partner wanted to use them for immoral purposes. Mark stole the time boxes and took them with his family back to 1865, where they arrived at the end of the American Civil War. Aware that Mark’s partner might try to follow them, he and his family tried to blend in and not change too many timelines.

Mark was correct and within a few weeks an assassin was sent after them using a beta travel machine. They urgently needed to leave for another time, but unfortunate circumstances prevented this.

This was a good start to a series; the author used a mix of real characters and events to keep the narrative interesting. I liked the time travel aspect, it helped create lots of tension and issues. I was surprised at how relaxed all the members of Mark’s family were with regard to changing future time lines with their actions and conversations; if there was one point I would have liked to see more of, it was their dilemma over the ripples in history that they might have altered.

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Book description

Virginia physicist Mark Lane has a problem. Weeks after privately creating two time machines, he learns his corporate partner wants to use the portable devices for nefarious purposes. Rather than give him the chance to do so, Mark takes the time boxes and escapes to the relative safety of 1865.

For Mark, wife Mary, and their children, the adventure is a chance to grow. Mary runs a business. Jeremy, 19, and Ashley, 12, befriend escaped slaves. Laura, 22, finds her place as a nurse. Jordan, 25, falls for a beautiful widow. All hope to find peace in the past.

Billionaire Robert Devereaux has other ideas. Shortly after Mark’s betrayal, he sends an assassin to 1865 to retrieve his property and set matters straight.

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BEACON by Chess Desalls Book #2 Lantern series #YA #Fantasy Novella @Chessdesalls

Beacon (Lantern #2)Beacon by Chess Desalls
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beacon is book #2 of the Lantern series of young adult fantasy short stories. I read book #1 as part of the Darkness Echoes Halloween anthology in 2015.

Havenbrim is a medieval style village in Llum. Serah Kettel has been thrown out of her family home, and seeks an apprenticeship with Master Machin, a celestial mechanic and glazier. His home is filled with strange lanterns which glow with magical light. Serah’s job is to dust the lanterns and to work out a puzzle: just how does the light get in?

With the help of moonlight, Serah discovers herself inside a globe in a far off land. This place is very strange for Serah and she’s not sure this is where her future lies. She uses a magical doorway to return home, but much time has passed since she left.

Book #1 left many questions about Master Machin, some were answered here, although, with the length of the story, there are plenty more questions left unsolved. For myself I wanted a deeper storyline to sink my teeth into and more character explanation, however I am aware that I am reading a book intended for the YA market.

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Book Description

When Serah’s life in Havenbrim becomes unbearable, she accepts an apprenticeship with a celestial mechanic and glazier. Her master assigns her the task of opening a globe framed in copper. But the glass and seal are unbreakable. The solution to the puzzle traps Serah inside the globe, and transports her to a world where she longs for home.

About the author

Chess Desalls

Chess Desalls is the author of the YA time travel series, The Call to Search Everywhen. She’s a longtime reader of fantasy and sci-fi novels, particularly classics and young adult fiction. Her nonfiction writing has led to academic and industry publications. She’s also a contributing editor for her local writing club’s monthly newsletter. The California Writers Club, South Bay branch, has awarded two of Chess’ stories first place for best short fiction. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys traveling and trying to stay in tune on her flute.

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