Time for another review and this time, a novel about time travel.
A freak landslide at a remote mine site uncovers a strange machine to Barry’s group of palaeontology students. Wary of corrupt school officials, his team takes the machine home to study it in secret, reaching only one realistic – and unbelievable – conclusion: It was designed to bridge the time-space continuum. It’s a time machine.
Testing delivers disastrous results, sending one team member to the hospital and nearly killing another. When word leaks about the discovery, the ultimate power struggle ensues: the university wants it for funding, the power company wants its energy regenerating abilities kept under wraps, and a rival group wants to steal it for themselves. No one cares if Barry’s team comes out alive.
Fleeing for their lives, the students must fight the school, the police, and each other if they want to learn the truth about what they’ve discovered – a truth with more severe consequences than any of them can predict.
An intriguing opening chapter propelled me into the lives of Barry’s group of palaeontology students in Dan Alatorre’s The Navigators. The characterisation built my interest and quickly established the personalities and group conflicts – conflicts that cleverly fed the plot.
These conflicts emerged in such human ways, that I sensed that everyone should watch out – as the blurb implies. Everyone was creating situations that could have those ‘severe consequences’. As the plotlines unravelled, I was telling the characters to watch out – to no avail. Would I have listened? Not when I was their age.
Their reactions were believable. Plus some good observations on the paradoxes of time and the tough choices it poses. In The Navigators’, time travel tests everyone and loyalties are stretched by the discovery of the machine. I kept asking questions – some of which the friends forgot to ask’
Who do you trust? What are other people’s motivations? What is the way out of this situation?
Maybe not the answers that Dan Alatorre came up with, but they worked and I had to keep reading. I expected some comeuppance but I was ready to be surprised as the intentions came unravelled. That’s life. As with the best books, there were some good morals in the story, such as – lying is never the best answer; shortcuts rarely work (even with a time machine); beauty is more than looks. The latter prompted me to highlight the following dialogue:
“… ‘A beautiful woman’s breasts will eventually sag and her hair will turn gray. What will you be married to then? If you choose wisely, you will be married to a beautiful personality and a curious mind that loves your children and who would do anything for you.’ That is true beauty.”
And where better to put the punchline – at the very end. Now that makes me grin and recommend this novel.
Story – five stars
Setting/World-building – five stars
Structure – five stars
Readability – five stars
Editing – five stars
Style – five stars