I honestly don’t remember how I came to buy Time Change by Alex Myers. Somewhere, on some blog, I must have read about it. Since it was a time travel book, and I hunt for time travel books, it was not hard to make the decision to buy after reading a few reviews and the free sample.
Jack Riggs is a nondescript teacher in Norfolk, Virginia in 2012. The relationship between him and his girlfriend is not going so well, when one night she picks him up and gives him a ride in her car. Outside is a violent thunderstorm with torrential rain and heavy lightning. They get into an argument. The girlfriend is driving too fast for the weather, fueled by her anger about him. They get into an accident. Lights off.
Jack wakes up in a meadow in bright sunshine in a place he does not recognize. He is largely unharmed. He recognizes nothing. He still has his iPhone. No bars. No GPS. Only the local apps still work. So he decides to get up and start walking. Eventually he finds a house.
He soon realizes something enormous has happened. He is outside of Norfolk in 1856, a few years before the Civil War.
Jack eventually realizes that there are hundreds of books on his iPhone that he can use for reference, and he quickly leverages his knowledge of science, history, nutrition and health. He becomes wealthy and famous and soon hobnobs with the luminaries of that time, including Abe Lincoln, Mark Twain, John Deere and many others.
As the story unraveled, I was a bit disappointed. I realized that it really wasn’t a time travel story per se, but a story of one man catapulted into the past without any way to get back, reminiscent of S.M. Stirling’s books like Island in the Sea of Time. The author explores what it would be like for a man with an iPhone to be thrown into the middle of the nineteenth century.
The writing seemed awkward at times; I felt like I was reading a book without really being captivated by the story and the dialog. Perhaps it was due to the author often telling the reader, rather than showing him. Nevertheless, even though it was not really a time travel story, I stuck with it. The story engaged me sufficiently to keep me interested. But I didn’t think I’d go get the sequel, book two, to read. I’d end it with book one and move on in my reading list.
Then there was a twist at the end that changed my mind, almost forced my hand. I closed book one and immediately downloaded book two – and started reading.
Nice job, Alex Myers. Good ending. You roped me in.
Rating: ** 1/2