Time Salvager: a fast-paced time travel adventure from Wesley Chu, the award-winning author of The Lives of Tao.
Convicted criminal James Griffin-Mars is no one's hero. In his time, Earth is a toxic, abandoned world, and humans have fled into the outer solar system to survive, eking out a fragile, doomed existence among the other planets and their moons. Those responsible for delaying humanity's demise believe time travel holds the key, and they have identified James, troubled though he is, as one of a select and expendable few ideally suited for the most dangerous job in history.
James is a chronman, undertaking missions into Earth's past to recover resources and treasure without altering the timeline. The laws governing use of time travel are absolute; break any one of them and, one way or another, your life is over. Most chronmen never reach old age; the stress of each jump through time, compounded by the risk to themselves and to the future, means that many chronmen rapidly reach their breaking points, and James Griffin-Mars is nearing his.
On a final mission that is to secure his retirement, James meets Elise Kim, an intriguing scientist from a previous century who is fated to die during the destruction of an oceanic rig. Against his training and his common sense, and in violation of the chronmen's highest law, James brings Elise back to the future with him, saving her life but turning them both into fugitives. Remaining free means losing themselves in the wild and poisonous wastes of Earth, somehow finding allies, and perhaps discovering what hope may yet remain for humanity's home world.
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Grew on me like a beard.
Good story almost ruined by narration
For the most part a good story that ends on a cliffhanger. Most of the characters were good, unfortunately one of the main characters was a little on the lame side. When I got immersed in the story ---which was easy to do in many parts, I could ignore the narrator.
I realize everybody has different tastes about narration, but for me he detracted from the story.
Anyone who did not use the fake, forced, breathless style for the narrative parts in main character.
I cannot say that I wanted to listen to it in all one sitting because of the narrator. However I listen to these books while I commute, and admit there were a few times when I continued to listen to the story when I got home because the story at that point was that good.
Chu has potential, and I look forward do the rest of the books in the series. I wish he had gotten a head start on them.