Review: Black Tuesday (Area 51: Time Patrol) by Bob Mayer

 

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Publisher: 47 North

Publishing Date: August 2015

ISBN: 9781503946637

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 2.2/5

Publisher Description: When a mysterious force known only as the Shadow infiltrates history, it has a suspicious target: the date October 29 in six different years spanning 999 to 1980. The Time Patrol must send its highly skilled members into the past with only twenty-four hours to stop the destruction each time.

Review: This read like an old Doc Savage novel where you have 7 eclectic personalities, uniquely qualified to execute a planned strategy while being adaptable enough to overcome and improvise in any situation. Fug. Their banter is reminiscent of having been through many tough missions together but because of a lack of character development and story line, you feel like an outsider looking in.  The funniest thing about the plot is that not one of these operatives know what the fug to do in the past. Should they stop whatever may happen or simply expedite what transpired in history to keep the status quo? How are they figuring that out? Gut feeling? Sense of smell? Following the goodness of their hearts? Every time they ask their leader, Dane, what to do he says “…Again, we don’t know. We have projected several possibilities….” Really? 

Another big hole in the plot was the unexplained acceptance of the time traveler. Are they taking over a resident body? Or is it that when they appear, the timeline has already adjusted for their presence? Who are the operatives in history and how do they know that a traveler from the future is coming? Since they are already there, why don’t they do the heavy lifting? How are they coincidentally there at pivotal moments? The “Time Palace” is never adequately explained to the characters or the reader. Its a “place” where people work on moments in history within their specific timeline. This also happens to be where they jump to the past, but never into the future. Why? Got me. There are Krakens, and Yetis and Nazi’s, OH MY!  Every chapter has this annoying recap in history with the ending tag, “Some things change; some don’t.” Wow, mind blown.

The characters lacked development and relied on the emotional and snarky for depth. While the movement was good, the characters continued to be shallow with patterned emotional responses. The story line has been over done and could have used a creative infusion. What we got was history that is not history and the meandering of characters stumbling over a confused story line.  Jen Talty more than likely edited this one.

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