Review of Where or When by Steven Utley

18586183Elizabeth Hazel and Lewis Alisdair are time travellers. It seems Lewis has travelled with the mysterious John a few times previously, but that Elizabeth is a new-comer to the endeavour. The book opens as the pair find themselves NOT where they are meant to be. Instead of at the Crystal Palace in London, 1851, they find themselves in bushes. And soon after, gunfire surrounds them. They attempt to escape the apparent battle by wading downriver and then land up in another stand of trees, where another time traveller (not John) finds them. They discover that they’re in Virginia in the first week of May, 1864.

I think I missed something in this story. It was a nice enough read, insofar as gun battles and raging fires go, but… a few connections seem to be missing. Yes, there was no mention of the method of time travel. I realise that the battle in question is related to the American Civil War. But that’s about as far as I get. I clearly just don’t get it.

4/5 rating

My fellow time travelling readers are:

Timothy C. Ward (on hiatus)
H.M. Jones
DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape)

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About Laurel C Kriegler

A born and bred South African, I was educated at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, where I graduated with an Honours Degree (post-graduate) in Economics at the end of 2001. After spending several years gaining work experience in the UK, I returned to South Africa to get married. It was during the ensuing period that my pursuits of writing and editing took hold.
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3 Responses to Review of Where or When by Steven Utley

  1. I just finished reading this this morning, and I’ll post my review on Saturday – but I think I missed something too. There is definitely a connection somewhere in the story that went over my head or that I just didn’t see, because the ending was pretty bland. I found myself wondering what the point of the story was?

    As you said, it was an enjoyable read, but at the end, with the whole “cops” and Lewis’ reflection on the guy who wants Yankees burning, I understood it, but I didn’t get how it had any real impact with the story, or how it was supposed to tie things up… if that makes sense?

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  2. I agree with both of you in that the ending was bland, but I think the point was that it’s supposed to show readers that the romanticization of the past is silly. That the past, like the present, has its own dangers. That’s what I got out of it, anyway. I agree that it was, again, time travel lite. I think the idea is that some people just have the ability to travel through time, but I’d have liked to know how.

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