The Navigators – a review

Time for another review and this time, a novel about time travel.


The Navigators

by Dan Alatorre (Goodreads Author), Allison Maruska (Goodreads Author)(Editor)

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.

Review 5*

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

T is for Technology


T is for Technology: In the world of Gossamer Steel the resource-hungry technology of the 20th century has been forced to give way to low impact technologies with innovations that lean towards steampunk, solarpunk and greenpunk.

Wikipedia says, “Technology (from Greek τέχνη, techne, “art, skill, cunning of hand”; and -λογία, -logia) is the making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, and methods of organization, in order to solve a problem, improve a pre-existing solution to a problem, achieve a goal, handle an applied input/output relation or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, including machinery, modifications, arrangements and procedures. Technologies significantly affect human as well as other animal species’ ability to control and adapt to their natural environments…”

From the wheel to cybernetics, technology has been used for both the positive advancement of society, and for the exploitation of people and destruction of the environment. Most of these technological advances have been since the Industrial Revolution in the 18th Century, although prior to that there were some pivotal advances made in many parts of the world. However, the rapid advance in technological progress has depleted many precious finite resources. With the growing threat of global warming, another approach is needed and humanity already holds the knowledge to apply beneficial technology, like alternative energy sources, to advance forwards. [See also E is for Energy & M is for Mojave]

Printing press from 1811. ~ Photographed in Deutsches Museum Munich, Germany

Printing press from 1811. ~ Photographed in Deutsches Museum Munich, Germany

T is also for Tamil, the inhabitants of the southern areas of Bhārata (India sub-continent), and followers of the Dravidian League.


A is for Array ~ B is for the Blood-Marked ~ C is for Corylus Avellana ~ D is for Duskweald ~ E is for Energy ~ F is for Feeniks ~ G is for Garuda ~ H is for Herders ~ I is for Ithaka ~ J is for Junk ~ K is for Kitsune ~ L is for Lorelei ~ M is for Mojave ~ N is for Native~ O is for Outcasts  ~ P is for Punk ~ Q is for Quisling ~ R is for Ragnarök ~ S is for Seiðr


The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behaviour.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. Please visit other challenge writers.

My theme is ‘The World of Gossamer Steel, the SF-fantasy setting for a series of short stories and novellas that portray the tales behind the MMORPG that is central to my crime novel ‘Wyrm Bait’.

A2Z-BADGE-000 [2014] (1)