Time Salvager: a fast-paced time travel adventure from Wesley Chu, the award-winning author of The Lives of Tao.
Convicted criminal James Griffin-Mars is no one's hero. In his time, Earth is a toxic, abandoned world and humans have fled into the outer solar system to survive, eking out a fragile, doomed existence among the other planets and their moons. Those responsible for delaying humanity's demise believe time travel holds the key, and they have identified James, troubled though he is, as one of a select and expendable few ideally suited for the most dangerous job in history.
James is a chronman, undertaking missions into Earth's past to recover resources and treasure without altering the timeline. The laws governing use of time travel are absolute; break any one of them and, one way or another, your life is over. Most chronmen never reach old age; the stress of each jump through time, compounded by the risk to themselves and to the future, means that many chronmen rapidly reach their breaking point, and James Griffin-Mars is nearing his. On a final mission that is to secure his retirement, James meets Elise Kim, an intriguing scientist from a previous century, who is fated to die during the destruction of an oceanic rig. Against his training and his common sense, and in violation of the chronmen's highest law, James brings Elise back to the future with him, saving her life, but turning them both into fugitives. Remaining free means losing themselves in the wild and poisonous wastes of Earth, somehow finding allies, and perhaps discovering what hope may yet remain for humanity's home world.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The popular thing to do these days is for authors to write trilogies. The major downfall of Time Salvager is this could have been a very good stand alone book. Instead, one third is readable and the other two thirds are filler that does nothing to propel the story. The first part of the book was exciting and the character development was moving along nicely. The book hit a wall of absolute boredom in the middle. It was painfully slow. It was very repetitious. I think I read the same sentences in different parts of the book. The last third consisted of a never ending cartoonish fight scene. The book had strong potential that fails to deliver. I will not purchase the next book. If it is a ploy by the publisher to think that readers will just buy the books without substance, they are wrong. If authors are writing books so they can be movies, that saddens me as well. Of course Time Traveler has been sold to a movie studio. So I won't read the rest of the books and I won't...
I've been a fan of Wesley Chu's books since I first read his The Lives of Tao. Time Salvager definitely has a darker, more gritty vibe than the Tao books. The future is not the nice, shiny golden age that we all expect. Humanity is barely hanging on. They may be able to travel through space and they've colonized many planets and moons, but they've lost a lot of their technological advancement because of wars and other things. Earth, itself, is a toxic dump that everyone with any means left a long time ago. In order for humanity to survive, they have to send people back in time to salvage resources they need. It is not a great time to live in. This book was the sci-fi/dystopian/thriller mashup that I never knew I wanted. I loved it! It had everything I love about science fiction! What enthralled me from the start was the dark and depressing take on time travel. I don't know about you but I've gotten sick of time travel books and movies that emphasize the time paradox where you go back...
NOTE: Wesley Chu won the John W. Campbell Best New Writer Award during the release of TIME SALVAGER. After reading the book, I can see why he received that honor.
This novel was a 'level up' for author Wesley Chu. I enjoyed his Tao series - fun, relate-able, and the type of novel that you would feel good reading over a vacation. TIME SALVAGER still had those elements but the character building and world Chu crafted were much more in-depth. I stopped several times and reflected on how easy and enjoyable it was to slip into the world Chu created.
Everything I like in a well-paced novel. Complex worldbuilding done right - smooth and intriguing throughout. Excellent characters and pace. My favorite kind of book is one where I simply don't know what will happen next and the author keeps me guessing. Chu's writing in TIME SALVAGER delivered exactly that type of read.
It's a trilogy and I simply don't know where it is going...
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