Time travel... but where are you while travelling from
yesterday to tomorrow? What if you could be pulled into the
very streams of time itself? A place that was nowhen, as opposed
to nowhere? This is something that Air Force pilot Fletcher
Taylor has to come to grips with when he's torn from his F15
over the Middle Eastern deserts, and pulled into such a place.
Trapped in nowhen, he starts to unravel the mystery that centres
around the place hidden within called Twilight, and
its elite mission force charged with the dangerous and necessary
task of fixing injustices in time. It is here, out of time
and space, that he must come to grips with his own inner demons,
and his unexplained ties to his place, all while a very real
and dangerous menace looms... with the ability to unravel
the very fabric of time itself...
things first. If you had a problem working out how Marty McFly
was able to be in the same place and time on more than one
occasion during the Back to the Future trilogy, then
Twilight is not the novel for you. However, if you
like having your mind messed with, then you'll be in your
Air Force pilot Taylor's world is thrown into turmoil when
he is recruited by the good folk at Twilight - a group of
humans that exist outside of time as we understand it. Their
mission, to jump back and forth in time saving people in a
bid to make the World a better place. However, this is strictly
controlled by a supercomputer that ensures that the space
time continuum is never altered drastically - so there is
no mending Hitler's ways before he goes wacko, or trying to
persuade Abraham Lincoln that the production of Our American
Cousin at Ford's Theatre is overrated and that he should
spend a nice quiet night in instead.
first three quarters of the book are fairly well paced, following
Taylor's training, love interest and eventually appointment
as a full time skimmer, but it is the final quarter of the
book that caught me off guard. Suddenly, the action was thick
and fast and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
are problems with the book, be they minor ones. For a start
when Fletcher skims into a modern day London there is a soupy
smog covering most of the familiar landmarks. Nah! Sorry that
stopped happening once Jack the Ripper disappeared. And the
regional Cockney accent equally draws it's inspiration from
Victorian imagery. In fact, apart from Dick Van Dyke in Mary
Poppins, I don't think anyone has ever said: "I n-never
even saw her, govn'r."
a lot of the events don't stand up to close scrutiny. When
Fletcher changes the time line he still remembers events,
and people are still in his timestream that shouldn't be.
While this is explained as Twilight time protecting them,
it seems to be a law that doesn't always ring true. But to
be fair, the writer does try to explain the reason for most
of these events as they occur.
problem is that everyone knows all our lives are intertwined,
so by change the events of one person, as small as they may
seem, can dramatically change the future. For example, Fletcher
stops an old man from being mugged. The old man is mugged
by his grandson who, when he realises who he has mugged, commits
suicide. Now that he doesn't do this he is free to have children
that wouldn't have otherwise be born and one of these could
discover a cure for cancer, or create a new form of deadly
weapon... you get my point? Okay, I know the computer is monitoring
such events and only chooses the ones that won't affect the
future, but the smallest change can and will do so.
ignore those very slight moans and the book is extremely engaging.
S. Stember's writing style is very visual,
without being too focused on over describing every detail.
You can almost see - and this is not meant to be an insult
- the words "Hollywood blockbuster" written all
those of us that grew up loving the Back to the Future
movies, Twilight represents a story of equal merit
to a 30 something age group.
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