Medallion Press was kind enough to send me the advanced reading copy of Eric M. Bosarce's
newest novel The Time Train. Obviously there is a lot of Time Travel in this novel, which would certainly be classified as Science Fiction. The primary goal of most of the characters is to try to prevent an alien invasion that happens a hundred years or so in most of their future's, but during the lif
e times of many of the characters.
One of the main characters, and the book's anti-hero, Reginald has tried to change history again and again. But no changes appear to be able to stop the alien invasion. He will kill someone who contacts them only to find that he created changes that led to the aliens being contacted earlier. The novel begins when he finds Amos as a child and let's him know that his future descendant will be the one that contacts the aliens and destroys the human race. Reginald lets it slip that he had killed him in the future, but because Amos will become a war hero, it only makes the future worse.
More characters are introduced while more time paradoxes are discovered. The aliens are terrible creatures and rage over any humans they find. During any encounter, there is little hope for human survival. The novel takes the reader to many different times and situations. We discover the people who birth the characters that help create the future horror. We experience the horror from several people first hand. We learn about who contacted the aliens and even follow survivors that attempt to colonize a far flung world.
Downsides for me might include how long the chapters were. I know this was an advanced copy, but there were no breaks. The characters would go from fighting aliens to eating a burger the next paragraph. I'm not sure about anyone else, but breaks are usually added while I write in my first draft. Other things like dialog without quotations slowed the flow for me a little. I get a lot of advanced reading novels. I overlook typos, but flow is another issue. The book also becomes muddled in places. Some ideas were a little hard to follow. It could just be me, but since I read a lot, I also have a lot of novels to compare things to. I also took a half star off because out of an entire wilderness for a plane to crash in, it happened to randomly hit right where they were. That is just silly.
Bosarce took on a huge project with this book. He drew in the loose ends together, which for a time travel novel of this scope, is no easy task. Lovers of Time Travel will get a huge kick from this book. He takes risks and digs into the subject, daring to explore new aspects of the genre.