A Review Of The First Two Books In The Neander Series of Time Travel Books by @AuthorHarald

Today’s team review is from Noelle. She blogs here https://saylingaway.wordpress.com

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Noelle has been reading Neander and Neander: Exploitation by Harald Johnson.

I purchased these books for review on Rosie’s Book Reviews.

Harald Johnson has written three novels about Neanderthals about a science journalist’s time travel to 40,000 years ago. Here I review the first two.

One has to suspend belief when reading anything concerning time travel, but the science woven into these books by the author is compelling and based on real findings. Johnson has written fun and fact-based fantasies.

Neander: Tim Cook, a science writer couldn’t ask for a better life. He is participating in a once-in-a-lifetime dig in a cave occupied millennia ago by Neanderthals on Gibraltar, where in fact some of the last surviving of their kind live and which is home to one of the first Neanderthal fossil discoveries. Tom’s pregnant fiancée is with him and they are looking forward to becoming a family. Then the fiancée is lost to an unexplained boat explosion and his world crumbles. While searching for her body in the ocean, he drops into a time portal and emerges 40,000 earlier into the Gibraltar of that day, occupied by Neanderthals.

The first book concerns his adaptation to life with them, learning their language and customs and teaching them English and some aspects of life in the future, such as gardening. He discovers these archaic humans are not what he expected and he struggles with the decision to improve their lives and perhaps their duration as a people, beyond what is currently accepted. Should he do this and change history? The Neanders, as he calls them, are a varied group, and the author creates them as very real and colorful characters. I enjoyed this first book enormously and immediately went on to read the second. The cover for the book is exceptional!

In Neander: Exploitation, five years have passed and Tom is living with his Neander family, having chosen a woman as his mate and having had a daughter. But now he faces another life-altering decision: his daughter has epilepsy and he must travel back to the future to get her the medical help she needs. What he finds is a modern world very different from the one he’d known, and he is caught up in a plan by the CEO of a big pharmaceutical company to exploit his daughter’s unique DNA for modern cures.
I found this second book was not quite as satisfying as the first. The characters are a little less relatable – although the author’s descriptions remain colorful and realistic – and the plot is tortuous. The interaction between modern man and their distant predecessors (we contain up to 8% Neanderthal DNA) is predictable – avarice balanced with caring.

I had a bit of a problem with the concept that Neanderthals were completely peaceful while the Sapiens they encountered were brutal and cannibalistic. Nevertheless, the author does describe their integration, as recent genetic studies have revealed. But some of Tom’s decisions had me asking, “Why are you doing this?”

While the first book and the beginning of the second are written from Tom’s first-person perspective, thereafter third-person points of view become interspersed with Tom’s narrative. This challenged me initially but I can see where it was necessary for plot development. I appreciated that Johnson manages to incorporate the butterfly effect and also some of the latest genetic tools, such as CRISPR, with understandable explanations.

With more pluses than minuses, this second book kept me reading on and I am looking forward to reading the third book in the series, Neander: Evolution. I think this series will have great appeal to all fans of prehistory and time travel.

4.5 stars

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Neander: “My God. These people really ARE Neanderthals!”

At an archeological dig in Gibraltar, a boat explosion shatters the hopes of science journalist Tom Cook. His pregnant fiancée was on the boat and is missing.
During the search, things go from bad to worse when Tom plunges through a time portal and into the strange and dangerous era of the Neanderthals. Can he get back, or is he stuck in the past forever?

On top of figuring out how to return to the present, Tom must use his modern-day wits to fight for survival in the world of 40,000 years ago. And contend with a group of archaic humans that are not at all like what he expects.
Finally, Tom faces a crucial decision that could alter the course of human history. A history he knows he has the power to change. Will he make the right choice?

If you’re a fan of the time travel fantasy novels of Jack Finney (“Time and Again”), Stephen King (“11/22/63”), or Michael Crichton (“Timeline”), you’ll savor this science-fiction, time-travel adventure from historical-fiction author Harald Johnson.

“It’s 40,000 years ago and I’m stuck here. Now what?”

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Neander Exploitation:

“What kind of world is this?”
It’s five years later, and Tom Cook is living a “normal” life with his Neanderthal family 40,000 years ago.
But when a life-threatening crisis strikes his daughter, Tom decides to carry her to the future for the medical help she desperately needs. And in the process, he’s entangled in a modern world very different from the one he left behind.

Now, caught up in a secret plan to exploit his daughter’s unique Neanderthal DNA, Tom must find a way to save everything he loves and cherishes.

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‘Science journalist Tom finds himself back in prehistoric times’ @TerryTyler4 reviews Neander: Evolution by @AuthorHarald

Today’s team review is from Terry. She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading Neander: Evolution by Harald Johnson

4 out of 5*

Evolution is the final book in the highly original and well-researched Neander trilogy, in which science journalist Tom finds himself back in prehistoric times, and develops a life there, whilst keeping the portal to the present (and, as he discovers, the future) open.


His journeys between the worlds have not remained a secret, and scientists dedicated to genetic modification are anxious to milk this opportunity for all they can – while Tom, back in pre-history, wants to strengthen and educate the Neanderthal people he has grown to love, so that they will not be rendered extinct by the Sapiens.


The portal between the worlds is becoming unreliable, with Tom returning to the present and finding it to be the future – there is also an instance of a return to times much longer ago.  I loved this idea, and wished there had been more of it; I would have loved to see the world through Tom/Rusty’s eyes before man, or, say, about five thousand years ago.  As with the other books, the narrative flows well and I read it quickly, anxious to know what was going to happen.


This is a great idea, the books are well-written, though I think it could have been explored still further – Tom talks about changing the present by actions he takes in the past, a most fascinating concept, and I would have loved to see more of this.  However, these are Harald Johnson’s books, not mine, and as such I am not telling him what to write!  Suffice to say that if he decides to return to this world, I will be happy to read the results.

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“Can I save my daughter . . . and them?”

Time traveler Tom Cook has settled into his prehistoric life among the Neanderthals, but it’s not without its challenges that include a burning desire to see his future-dwelling daughter, Pook, again.

When a growing threat from hostile neighbors turns into an attack, an old contact from another world comes to the rescue and leads both Tom and his Neanderthal wife, Brassy, back to that future through an increasingly unstable time portal.

Now, after traveling to and from two different worlds, Tom must find a way to defeat his enemies in both, reunite his family, and save his adopted band of Neanderthals.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #TimeTravel Neander: Exploitation by @AuthorHarald

Today’s team review is from Terry. She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Neander: Exploitation by Harald Johnson

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5 out of 5 stars
I read the first book in this series, in which Tom Cook first ends up back in Neanderthal times, and of course his first realisation about what had happened was so good to read, but I actually liked this book more.


In Neander: Exploitation, Tom has a family back in those ancient times, but must travel back to the 21st century to get medical help for his daughter.  The book just flowed along, all the way through, with no dreary bits to wade through, and was oddly convincing despite the subject matter being so bizarre!  I constantly found myself unwilling to put the book down because I was so looking forward to seeing what happened next.

The elements of this book that interested me, in particular, were the idea that a time traveller could enter another era only to find that time has moved more quickly, and the way in which Tom’s actions back in prehistoric times alter the world for millennia to come.  I would love to see more of that in book 3, which I notice is being written at the moment, and about how Tom feels about the 21st century versus his pre-history life, which was touched on at the end.


Anyway, top stuff.  Looking forward to Book 3, and if you’re a time travel addict, get it now!

Book description

“What kind of world is this?”
It’s five years later, and Tom Cook is living a “normal” life with his Neanderthal family 40,000 years ago.
But when a life-threatening crisis strikes his daughter, Tom decides to carry her to the future for the medical help she desperately needs. And in the process, he’s entangled in a modern world very different from the one he left behind.

Now, caught up in a secret plan to exploit his daughter’s unique Neanderthal DNA, Tom must find a way to save everything he loves and cherishes.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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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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