Thursday, July 9, 2015
Time Salvager is the story of a man, James Griffin- Mars, who goes back in time to recover resources from prior eras. He lives in the twenty- sixth century and is a chronman, or time operative. The Earth is a wasteland, the oceans are sludge and anyone who can afford to lives offworld. ChronoCom is the time travel agency that regulates the chronmen, and handles all the time jumps. Resources are brought to the present as technology has atrophied to the point where civilization can barely function. James has been doing this for a long time, and is burnt out- the jumps take a toll on mind and body, and he just wants out, When he is offered a job that will get him out, he takes it, even though it seems to good to be true.
James goes back to retrieve items from an ocean platform in the twenty- first century, but something about the job is off. When it all falls apart, he barely escapes- but commits the crime of bringing someone back with him. Elise, a scientist from the platform is about to die, and he brings her back- setting in motion a chain of events that will rock the world. They become fugitives and have to find a way to survive in the wastelands of Earth, as the time agency- and a powerful megacorporation pulling their strings- hunt them down. Bringing back someone from the past is a serious crime- but now the corporation wants Elise. She has something they want...
This was a good book, with a lot of interesting ideas. I wasn't really into it until about a quarter of the way through- it wasn't bad, just didn't wow me. The action picks up though once James hits the platform and saves Elise- once they return to the present the story takes off. James and Elise have an interesting bond- they are both attracted but their situation doesn't lend to romance. Nevertheless they do grow closer together as time goes on- he has been scarred by past actions and regrets, and has a lot of remose over people that were lost in the past. She, for her part, deals with the transition to living in the era she finds herself in, where everything is different- and she is hunted. Together they begin to build a new life- and perhaps can rebuild a shattered Earth.
Characterization is good, especially for James. He starts out an antihero, and I didn't care for him that much to be honest in the beginning- he's obviously willing to kill to further his objectives, but as time goes on we learn why he is the way and how his grief and remorse have consumed him. Elise is a breath of fresh air, with her optimisitc viewpoint standing out in field of jaded, ruthless characters- she's not quite as well drawn but quickly becomes the heart of the story. There are themes of loyalty and regret here, and second chances- I became fully immersed in this by the halfway point and couldn't wait to see what happened.
I loved the end of this one. Just felt right given we learn about the characters. Well done.