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By Bob on 01-23-15
Poul Anderson's Time Patrol meets Jumper
Brett Battles seems to enjoy writing Thrillers, no matter the subgenre. In his latest standalone thriller, Rewinder, Battles gives time travel a go with solid results. Rewinder reads like a cross between Poul Anderson's Time Patrol stories, and Steven Jay Gould's Jumper series. It's not a particularly groundbreaking entry into the fray of time travel adventure, in fact, if anything, Battles quickly infuses the story with the feel of a pair of comfortable jeans. Instead of trying to create some clever new way to spin the genre, he puts his own spin onto time honored tropes. Like Jumper, Rewinder can work equally well as a Young Adult or Adult novel. While Battles main character Denny Younger is, well, younger, he doesn't instantly fall into the character trapping of many young adult protagonist. Battles offers some interesting sociological insights, yet does it as a plot point, where his goal isn't social commentary but just telling a damn good story. Battles creates a fast paced, exciting tale, with plenty of twists, that fans of old school time travel adventure novels will find perfect for an afternoon reading.
Narrating is more than just having a pleasant voice, and the ability to do character voices. A good narrator finds the right feel for a novel, and pushes the narrative in the right direction. Vikas Adams gives a strong textured performance, with a crisp reading that gives homage to the pulp nature of the tale. I have always admired Adams ability to handle both adult and children characters smoothly, something that isn't really easy to do. I like that Adams gave Denny a youthful feel, yet still acknowledged that he was an adult doing an adult job. He captures the right blend of coming of age naivete, with a hardened edge of young man who grew up in the fringes of his society. Rewinder isn't going to blow your mind, or have you rethink everything you knew about time travel, instead it will give you 8 hours of solid entertainment.
76 of 82 people found this review helpful
By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 02-21-15
Any additional comments?
This book was awesome!! I've never heard of any of the authors work but I have to say that is this is any indication, then I will have to check out more from him.
The world building was amazing! Denny lives in a world where class is measured by numbers, 1 being the best. Denny is an 8 which means he is among the lowest class. Everyone has to take a test when they come of age and that test will give them their jobs for life. Denny expects to do something mundane like his father but the day of the results dawn and Denny is informed that he must resit the test. From then on Dennys world changes forever!! He is offered a job on the spot, only catch is that he won't know what the job involves until he accepts it! He will also be promoted to a level 5. He accepts, of course, cause there has to be more to life than being a lowly 8!!
He finds out that he is a Rewinder and has the power to jump back to any date in time! His job is to take notes and keep hidden but when something accidentally happens to alter history and his world as he knows it, he struggles with whats the right thing to do, should he fix the past and bring back his world or leave it and keep the world as we know it?
Character wise, Denny is a worthy hero. He is studious, smart and kind. He is offered the job of a lifetime and immediately accepts. When he learns that he will be a Rewinder, a person that can travel into the past, he is so happy. History was always his favourite subject. Denny questions everything and has a strong sense of right and wrong. I loved his spirit!
Plot wise, it was so well thought out and executed! I was sucked in from the very first page and swept along in a breathtaking journey for the whole book. The Rewinders job is to go back in time and observe only!! Never to interfere and never to deviate. They mainly go back into a wealthy persons history and map it for them, but is that all they do?
The Rewinder aspect was fascinating. If you left yourself think to much about the intricacies of what they were doing then it would boggle the mind!! Denny first goes back into time with his instructor and while there there are about 5 or 6 other groups, with the same woman instructor. She says that she always brings the first timers here so each of them are her from a different time! I'm not making sense but when you read it it does!! Denny also sees himself in different times and can talk to himself. It's quite complex but the author nails it and at no stage was I confused!
In all, Rewinder was a fast paced and very exciting read. It's the type of book thats so hard to put down because you need to see what happens next. There are quite a few twists and you cant tell what is going to happen. It's a well written and thought out book and one you will devour. I loved everything about it and really hope we see more from Denny in the future.
I listened to the audio and once again Vikas Adam did an amazing job. He pulls you in and easily distinguishes each character. His tone and inflection are perfect. There are a few narrators that have made my favourite list and Vikas Adam is right up there at the top. He never fails to deliver!! Highly recommend the audio.
38 of 43 people found this review helpful