Review – Time Travelers Never Die

Time Travelers Never Die

By Jack McDevitt

Ace Books

ISBN: 9780441017638

3 stars

Science fiction is a genre I’ve fall out with, not intentionally, it somehow just happened over the years.  Lately I’ve wanted to get reacquainted and this was my first foray back into science fiction.

After Michael Shelbourne, a well-known physicist, goes missing, his son Shel finds out he developed and successfully used a time machine.  Concerned his father may be stuck in another time without means to get home, he convinces his friend Dave Dryden, to help him search for his father.

The story was good enough but it felt sort of, well, it was a lot less complicated than I thought the story would be especially for a time travel story.  His father goes missing and Shel, rightfully distraught, goes to find him and along the way there are several interesting adventures but it felt like there was no urgency to the story.  Shel and Dave do land in a few messes which is expected when time traveling but they all too easily get out of it simply by setting one of the devices to go back and put together a rescue.  Poof, they get out of trouble, no harm done.  There is a time paradox that comes into play but neither Shel nor Dave seemed all that concerned about it so I wasn’t either.  However, I wanted the whole time travel aspect to be more complicated but all of it started to feel a little vacationy to me — the two take trips to party with Voltaire and watch plays in Ancient Greece and while it’s fun, there just doesn’t feel like there’s enough conflict.

This isn’t a negative review though.  McDevitt is a fun writer and while this book wasn’t a total score for me, it made me wonder about some of his other books so I think I’ll be giving him another opportunity to impress me.


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