I think these books are just too smart for me. I have zero understanding of the science behind it, and on occasion this just felt way too technical. I’ve never taken a physics class and thinking about time travel makes my brain hurt.
It didn’t help that I was expecting a direct continuation of the previous book One Word Kill. While this is another chapter in Nick’s story, it branches off on it’s own tangent, with other possible character’s from Nick’s future coming into play. While it isn’t totally out of left field, it just seemed weird not to be given more of Demus’s story and mission, and instead be fed this whole other separate side story. I was looking forward to getting more of that, seeing Nick and Mia finally together, and within the first chapter or two I realized that wasn’t going to happen.
There’s plenty of action and life or death moments, so the pacing isn’t slow, but my inability to connect with Nick as a character (and honestly just the 80s in general) left me feeling cold about them. I think the action scenes lose some of their impact while the threat of cancer looms large. These scenes also lost some of their impact for me with the introduction of the new characters. I was already invested in the old ones, and being given more to care about just felt like too much across a grand total of 400 pages. I almost wonder if they both wouldn’t have benefitted from more pages and more time for character development.
I did like the ending (although if I’m being honest, I didn’t understand parts of it, wtf is a time hammer?!). What I enjoyed was the choices Nick made and what ultimately happens to our villains.
I think I will finish the series out when Dispel Illusion comes out later this year. It’d be a shame not to find out what happens in the end. I did have some of the same struggles with book one though, so if you enjoyed that one, you might enjoy this more than I did.