time travel

Top 10 Books to Read While You Wait for Outlander’s Second Season

I waited with so much excitement and anticipation for the first season of Outlander. When I finally got my copy from the library (yep, still without cable, still not torrenting, still not buying episodes on iTunes), I started watching it immediately. As excited as I was, I still had no idea how much I would love the series. Fellow book adventurers, I finished the whole season in a WEEKEND. I did not do so many things that I was supposed to do this weekend.

The series remains very faithful to the plot of the book, the costumes are perfect, the scenery is gorgeous, and the acting is so good I felt just as immersed in the show as I did in the book. Well, almost. I do remember “knowing” the characters better after I read the series the first time, than I did after watching the TV series.

Knowing how addicted I am, and how much more I am anticipating the second season than I did the first, I’ve decided to put together a list of books I (and you) can come back to whenever I’m (we’re) feeling withdrawal from Outlander.

The list (and more), after the jump…

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Feminism vs. Time Travel in ‘Weighing Shadows’

weighing shadows Weighing Shadows by Lisa Goldstein
Night Shade Books: November 3rd, 2015 (Science Fiction)

Review copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss

Outstanding Adventure!
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Fellow Book Adventurers, the only thing I did not like about this book was that there wasn’t enough of it.

I’d read Goldstein before – The Red Magician, which I reviewed a year ago, opened my eyes to Jewish magic, set in the Holocaust. With Weighing Shadows now behind me, I am determined to catch up on everything she’s written.

Ann Decker, our heroine, is a loner. A foster child with a difficult past, she employs her hacking skills at a small computer maintenance shop, fixing customers’ computer problems. Until the day she is followed home by a strange woman, who, even more strangely, offers her a job. Intrigued, Ann goes through the interview process and accepts the job – even though she is not told what the job is until after she accepts . (Demonstrating a surprising lack in survival skills here, but we can ignore that).

Turns out, this organization time travels. Purportedly to fix the past so in the future humans don’t destroy the world. So, as you might expect, she’s really excited about going on her first assignment, to ancient Crete. Society is matriarchal, with a queen who takes a consort for seven years (the Minos), before sacrificing him to the goddess, Kore. Unfortunately for Ann’s time-traveling team, things go wrong. Before she can blink, they’ve been arrested on suspicion of treason. On the trip, Ann encounters another time-traveler, one who warns her that the Company is not at all benign.

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Reading ‘The Rose Garden’ in Devonshire, England

the rose gardenThe Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley
Allison and Busby: 2011 (Fantasy / Time Travel / Historical Fiction)

Outstanding adventure!
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There isn’t much I like more than reading books set in the places I travel to. Sometimes, reading these books before I travel will make the trip seem more exciting; sometimes, reading them while I’m there allows me to emotionally and intellectually immerse myself more fully in (or even provide distance from) the experience of travel and adventure.

That will come as no surprise to our followers, since our whole blog is about the places you can go with books. No surprise that we love traveling almost as much as we love reading.

As soon as I learned that Devon and Cornwall are neighbors, I knew that a re-read of Susanna Kearsley’s The Rose Garden was a must. It is perhaps my favorite Kearsley novel, and it’s set in Cornwall. OK, so I wasn’t actually in Cornwall. But Devon is as close as you can get, I believe –  and there are several cultural and geographic commonalities between the Cornwall I was reading about and the Devon I was adventuring in.A re-read is often more comforting than a new read, and comfort is no bad thing on a solo trip to a foreign country. Also, I couldn’t think of another book that wasn’t Hound of the Baskervilles that was set in Devon. Or, maybe I didn’t try very hard, having decided on The Rose Garden.

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A Reader’s Guide to Devon, Bath, and London

If you’re like me, you love reading about places you travel to. Or want to travel to.

I was much busier than I expected to be (or I was nodding off on the train, or watching the scenery pass by), or I would have read more of these.

On my recent vacation to England, I was forced by necessity (a wedding) to establish a vacation base for the majority of my stay in the Devon countryside. Since I was so near, I dropped into Bath for a few days, before spending my last night in London (because trains aren’t always reliable, and getting the train to the airport on the same day I needed to fly out just seemed too risky).

Despite the distractions of exploring the outdoors, meeting up with old friends, touring tangible history, and watching British TV in hotel bedrooms, I managed to get some reading done – and to put together a list of ideal books to read to set the tone of travels to these places.

Turn the page for my guide to reading for Devon, Bath, and London.

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“The Time Roads” that lead nowhere

Time Roads - Dominick Saponaro

The Time Roads by Beth Bernovich
Tor Books: October 14th, 2014 (Steampunk / Science Fiction)*

My rating: False start – did not finish (1/5)

Éire is one of the most powerful empires in the world. The Anglian Dependencies are a dusty backwater filled with resentful colonial subjects, Europe is a disjointed mess, and many look to Éire for stability and peace. In a series of braided stories, Beth Bernobich has created a tale about the brilliant Éireann scientists who have already bent the laws of nature for Man’s benefit. And who now are striving to conquer the nature of time.

I included the published synopsis instead of writing my own because of the biggest problem I had with this book – I couldn’t figure out what was going on. How does time travel actually work? What happened to the mathematician that supposedly discovered time travel? Who are the other mathematicians who figured it out? Which timeline is it, really? The disparate plot arcs and storylines feel like the “time fractures” that the mathematicians in the know describe. Chapters jump from one narrator to another, and possibly one from one timeline to another. First, we follow the crown princess of Éire, who, as a young girl, watches a fascinating scientist prove that time travel is possible. Then, the princess has become queen, and there’s some unrest and conspiracy plotting. The next narrator is a young student at the local university who is kind of going crazy over esoteric mathematical problems. After that, suddenly the Queen’s servant – Constabulary investigator, royal adviser, and spy, is in Vienna hunting traitors. Fractured and disconnected, I couldn’t figure out which timeline was which, because it’s never explained. From each of the characters we get a feeling of déjà vu or missing time, but never any explanation of how that fits into the whole timeframe(s). (more…)

Dreaming about time travel, romance, and adventure in “The Dreamer”

dreamerThe Dreamer: The Consequence of Nathan Hale by Lora Innes
IDW Publishing 2009-2014 (Graphic Novels / SciFi-Fantasy / YA)

My rating: Outstanding Adventure! I’m going to go back again and again and again.

Like Alice down the rabbit hole, I fell right into this webcomic, and right into the Revolutionary War in 1776. And I can’t wait to get my hands on copies of the graphic novels.

Beatrice Whaley (Bea) is a young high schooler in Boston who suddenly starts reliving the Revolutionary War in her dreams. She “wakes up” in the past, just as she’s being rescued from a British ship by a handsome and daring revolutionary officer named Alan Warren. She can’t remember her past, or her recent captivity – just her own life as a modern-day high schooler. She and Alan have a romantic history in the past (untangle that one, if you can!), which she also does not remember. While she’s asleep in the modern world, she rescues Alan from lobsterbacks, gets caught in an ambush, retreats with Alan’s regiment, and generally gets in the army’s way… finally learning her history – firsthand! While she’s awake in the modern world, she’s a talented thespian with a crush on a football player/thespian, and not a very dedicated student.

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A chaotic race through time in The Flight of the Silvers

silvers2The Flight of the Silvers by Daniel Price
Blue Rider Press, 4 February 2014 (Science Fiction)*

My rating: I’d go there again!

A roller coaster ride describes this book pretty accurately. Fast-paced, twisty-and-turny, with some peaks and lulls, and ultimately extremely difficult to put down until the very last page. I’ve never read any story quite like it.

The Silvers are six seemingly ordinary people with extraordinary talents, which they only discover after being magically transported from our world to another Earth by a mysterious trio of dangerous characters. The most important aspect of the new world they find themselves in is that, due to the Cataclysm, a natural (?) disaster that occurred in New York City in the early twentieth century, time travel is possible. Not just time travel – there are several ways to manipulate time, which everyone can access through technology, but which a select group of people carry innately within themselves. The Silvers are some of these.

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