Book Review (some spoilers)

Book Review (some spoilers)
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya / Unsplash

In 1978 I was in the Army, stationed in Germany. In that year I visited England and stayed with an English friend. That is when I first saw Doctor Who. Oh, my! To this day, anything (especially fantasy) having to do with Time Travel immediately catches my attention. Just the title of Terry Willey and Carol Baker's book, Time Travel for Fun and Prophet, made me smile! I immediately began reading it when it arrived in the mail, and much to my joy, the narration (in my head) was done by none other than Matt Smith, the tenth iteration of Doctor Who. That was entertaining.

So, Matt (in my head) tells the story of an unsuspecting time jumper, Dan, who for some reason is chosen by the Time Stream to randomly move through time and space without any fore-knowledge of any of this. Happily, his first jump brings him in contact with time jumper Freddie, who, due to circumstances, has been stuck in Shakespeare's England for 27 years! Dan needs help learning to navigate and Freddie needs help getting out of where she's been for 27 years so they become companions - and eventually (spoilers) more than that. Together they move through various strange and not-so-strange places. NYC in the '40's, Chicago in the 20's, a space station sometime between 2411 and 2437, Yosemite before there was a Half Dome! Throughout their adventures they have entertaining banter about themselves, their current situation, and life in general. And their banter is charismatic. I like them.

Of course there is a villain, there always must be a villain. And this villain is Chantelle who is trying to figure out why Dan's tachyon levels (which has to do with time jumping - read the book and it'll all be explained to you) is so different from the average time jumper. OH, Chantelle has a special space station on which jumpers can go to recharge, rest, and have conversations with fellow jumpers; and on this station, she has laboratories from which she does her experiments. She is not very nice. According to Freddie, Chantelle has lost a lot of her humanity over the millennia she has been jumping, so experimenting on others doesn't bother her. No empathy.

She does a rude experiment on Dan, gets caught in a jump with Freddie and Dan and they all end up on a Zombie planet. I won't give any more than that because I am hoping there will be another book taking the Freddie-Dan-Chantelle saga to another stage.

As much as I enjoyed this book, I think the "for Prophet" part of the title is a bit lost. There is a couple of blurbs about how time jumping can be for prophet, but not enough to satisfy. I think this is a great introductory book for the characters and the universe they live in and future books would be great to fill out relationships, and tell deeper stories on different worlds and in different ages. This book jumps from one place to another, which was fun, but I want more of each world. It would be much more satisfying.

I do wholeheartedly recommend this read. It is fun. It will take your mind off the tragic 24/7 news cycle we live in. For a short time you can smile and leave reality behind you.

P.S. Something I truly enjoy about the book is the lack of "woke". The characters talk like people who are people talk. The narrator, in my head it's Matt Smith, mentions this a couple of times, explaining how (usually Dan) is using terms or having thoughts that aren't up to what a person "should" be using or thinking or saying. It's explained. It's not "excused". It's adjusted for. It's a leaning curve. Stop melting and just have fun!

~ Palla O'Neal-Jimentel