*This post contains spoilers to the book Time Quake.*
The problem with being a writer, I’ve found, is that sometimes it’s a little harder to enjoy a mediocre book. Amazing books are amazing. Horrible books are horrible. It’s kinda in the name. But when it comes to mediocre ones, you can either just shrug and say it’s okay, or pull it apart and make it seem more like a horrible book when it’s not.
I just recently finished Time Quake and I felt that it was mediocre. I really liked the first book, and I can hardly remember the second book, so I don’t know what my thoughts were on that one.
This one had the potential. After all, it was about quakes in time, essentially pulling time—and the universe—apart. I loved how science was pulled into it, from the dark matter and dark energy that Dr. Dyer and Dr. Pirretti discussed, to Kate’s Law of Temporal Osmosis.
However, the ending was awful. The problem was, if I didn’t think about it much, the ending might have made sense. But if I really thought about it, it was confusing.
First, there was the past that Lord Luxon changed. He went and killed George Washington. Okay. Manhattan turned into an awful factory-ridden city, still under control of the British. Interesting. A part of me wonders what Los Angeles turned into, since I live near LA. Luxon makes a point that Alice, who helped him with changing time, no longer existed. If he changed something as important as making the American Revolution fail, then a lot of history would have changed.
So, perhaps there’s a chance that Peter and Kate would have never existed any more than Alice, right? Which means, they would never have used the antigravity machine in the first place, which means, in the end, Luxon would never have gotten it. But then, if he never had it, then he wouldn’t have changed history, which means Peter and Kate would have existed, which means….. Okay, it seems we have a bit of a paradox there.
But then there was the climax to the the story. I kinda wish that Kate’s disappearance had been a bigger deal. It was almost just like, “Oh no, Kate’s gone”, when it should have been, “Oh no! Kate’s gone! We have to fix time and save her!” Then, their solution to the entire thing was to go back to the future, somehow get all the way to Derbyshire, and stop Peter and Kate from going to Dr. Dyer’s office. The parallel worlds just suddenly winked out of existence because of that—which seems a little convenient—and yet, Gideon and the Tar Man are stuck in the future, which might be fine with Nathaniel, but what about poor Gideon? He’s lost. And, Dr. Pirretti still remembers everything. It just doesn’t quite make sense. If their solution to get rid of the parallel worlds worked, wouldn’t Nathaniel and Gideon go back to the past? Wouldn’t Dr. Pirretti have forgotten everything? And a part of me also thinks that it’s a shame to see Peter and Kate’s friendship suddenly disappear just like that.
If I wrote fan-fiction, I’d be tempted right now to re-write that ending to be more satisfying. However, I’ve never written a piece of fan-fiction in my life, so I have no clue how to do it properly. For all I know, I could write something even worse than this.
Maybe I’ll try to write one, anyway.