The future. Millennia of scientific discovery have led to mankind’s greatest feat: the invention of time travel, a technology with a potential for learning and scientific advancement rivaled only by its potential catastrophic consequences. To prevent such outcomes, the world government has carefully restricted the technology, limiting its use and study to a selected few.
Dr. Amelia Lewis is a temporal historian charged with uncovering humanity’s greatest unsolved historical mysteries during her voyages into the timestream. It is on one of these missions that she witnesses something more terrifying than anything mankind has ever encountered—a monstrous entity that exists outside of time itself. Amelia’s journeys into the past have drawn its gaze, and now it seeks to devour her.
As she desperately seeks a way a to save herself, Amelia discovers that everyone she cares about is being erased from existence. The fabric of her life is beginning to unravel. Soon, there may not be anything to go back to.
Science Fiction involving time travel can get very complicated at times. Authors have to contend with paradoxes, time loops, and endless questions about what happens when they rev their engines past up to 88 miles per hour. Sometimes when a reader finishes a novel involving time travel, they wind up with more questions than answers. This was not the case with “The Chrononaut” written by Kyle Alexander Romines.
Romines does not get trapped in a paradox of plot holes and twists because, for the most part, the narrative is pretty linear. This is both good and bad.
There is a flaw in Amelia’s armor which ironically is also what she studies. The Past. Her past is not the only thing that haunts her. A malicious entity notices her misuse of the time stream and targets her and everyone she holds dear.
What I liked about the novel:
Romines is a pro when it comes to dialogue, story, description, and overall writing. Amelia, as well as another character, really jump off the page and they suck you into their plight. His use of time travel is a rather interesting concept and had me wondering about it even after I was finished reading it. You understand from the very beginning why Amelia is so stuck in the past and it reverberates with any reader that has a soul. I appreciated the two different endings, it reminded me of a choose your own adventure book when I was a child.
I loved the world Romines wrote.
What I did not like about the novel:
Remember at the beginning when I said that Romines did not allow himself to indulge in the paradox of plot holes? While this is sometimes a good thing because it does not trap readers with a complicated read, I think that every novel with a focus of time travel needs to discuss those staples of the genre. While I do not want to give anything away, Romines does mention one of these mechanics, but only briefly and only when it is convenient for him to tie up loose ends.
I was expecting some major twist at the end that revealed something about Amelia’s life. Again, without spoiling the plot I will not indulge in this further.
My biggest gripe was that it was over too suddenly, even with the two different endings. It seemed like once Romines arrived at the spot where the storyline divides into the good and the bad ending, he rushed the character getting to the end. There was too much summary and not enough action. To me, it seemed like he pressed the fast forward button. This is a shame because he is an excellent writer and I really wanted more.
I thought that the secondary characters were not fleshed out enough and that they really were only there to interact with Amelia. Again, I just wanted more from the novel. More character interaction between Amelia and her family, Amelia and her coworkers, simply just more.
I also was slightly disappointed with the nemesis of the novel. This is a minor spoiler so if you do not wish to know, then avert your eyes. For such a powerful and fearful entity, it was dispatched quite by luck rather than planning. Amelia is supposed to be a smart individual, but she decides to rush into enemy territory with plasma guns in a damaged suit hoping to take the nemesis down.
The last thing I was mildly disappointed in was that Romines never talked about whether or not they could travel into the future. Time travel was such a common thing in the setting of the novel that it must have already been handled, but the readers never really knew.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kyle's lifelong love of books began with childhood bedtime stories and was fostered by his parents and teachers. He grew up reading Calvin and Hobbes, RL Stine's Goosebumps series, and Harry Potter. His current list of favorites includes Justin Cronin's The Passage, Hard Country by Michael McGarrity, Red Rising by Pierce Brown, and Bone by Jeff Smith. The library is his friend.
Kyle discovered a passion for writing after graduating high school, which resulted in the completion of three novel length manuscripts before The Keeper of the Crows. These fledgling attempts at writing taught him a great deal, and since writing Keeper he has worked to continue honing his skills. He hopes to keep writing as long as he has stories to tell.
He has been known to give books away to followers.
To find out more, or to sign up to receive email updates, visit his website at http://www.kylealexanderromines.com