Lost In Time, a review by Joanna

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Lost in Time

AG Riddle

Head of Zeus

416 pages

Published on September 1st, 2022


This is a stand-alone soft sci-fi/murder mystery mash-up, set in the near future. I’d enjoyed one of the author’s previous books p, so was keen to try this, and while I struggled with the premise in the first half, something then happens which changes the whole nature of the book,and from then on I was hooked. I strongly recommend avoiding spoilers for this one to get the most out of it, and keeping going even if you’re thinking, as I did, “that’s ridiculous, why would they do that?”

In the near future, Sam Anderson is part of a group of scientists who have created a time travel machine called Absolom, which has solved one of society’s biggest problems – what to do with the very worst criminals – by sending them back millions of years through time to an alternate universe where they can fend for themselves. Then Sam’s new partner is murdered, and he and his daughter Adeline are framed for the crime, so to save her, he confesses – and is himself exiled to the Jurassic era. Adeline vows to do whatever it takes to get him back, but how can she change the past without destroying the present?
This is not a book for serious sci-fi fans, or physicists, but if you like nonsensical Doctor Who-style timey-wimey shenanigans with clever twists, give this one a go. As mentioned previously, the idea that a government would use all that energy and cost to get rid of people they could just execute – since the outcome is the same, stopped me from engaging fully here in the first part. I’ve also decided I’m not a fan of split timelines or character perspectives in alternating chapters, as I find it too distracting. However after the first big twist, I was all in, and raced to the end to find out what on earth was going on – and was not disappointed!
As in The Extinction Trials, this has a range of likeable characters, with believable flaws but mostly good intentions, minimal violence (apart from some brutal dinosaur on dinosaur attacks that is), no sex and no swearing. The writing won’t win any prizes but that’s not what you look for in this kind of book, and more importantly it’s well paced and plotted with a denouement that hangs together if you don’t think too hard about the science. This was a fun read and I plan to check out more of his earlier books. Thanks to NetGalley and Head of Zeus for the ARC.

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