I will confess that I hadn’t read a JB novel since He Died with a Felafel in His Hand way back in high school (late 90's). I liked that a lot, and follow him on Twitter where he regularly tweeted about writing this book so I was interested to give it a read once it was finished.
Now, how to do this without spoilers… The thing with JB is that he can write. We get it, you’re at the point where if you sit at your computer long enough you’ll end up with a book. But does he have any ideas worth writing about? As it turns out, he kinda does.
The pace it fast enough to keep you interested whilst taking enough time to build a relationship with the characters and the locations. The events take place in several different times (it is ultimately a time travel book after all) and it is apparent that the author has done at least enough research to make us feel some immersion in the period he is sketching out. The description of a Trump presidency is particularly interesting and chilling at times given more recent events.
Great to see a strong female protagonist, however, the author needs to be very careful to round out his character in a believable way - all humans are flawed, and we shouldn’t pretend otherwise. I hate it when authors portray the protagonists as being perfect and always knowing and doing what’s right as I don’t think anyone can relate to that.
Ultimately I have given this book 4 stars. I hope that Mr Birmingham won’t take issue with this as it is really quite a good score – I’m just a hard marker. I would be comfortable to recommend this as it is a nice easy, fun read and the first of a series. If you like it – great, there’ll probably be more. If you don’t then you haven’t wasted too much time and you can just get on with your life. I know that I for one will be giving the next one a read once it’s out.
- Luna xx