Fiction Review: Andy Gavin’s “Untimed”

I sometimes liken libraries, be they your physical building, or online collections such as GoodReads or NetGalley, to open-air markets, where you are free to browse about until something catches your eye, and then you can take a step closer, greet the stall proprietor and ask a little more about their wares. Such an experience brought me this book. I was passing by, and became intrigued by the genre, the cover art, and teaser blurb – I just had to know what was going on inside.

I got all the way to the author bio in the final pages of the book without initially realizing who Mr. Gavin was. I am a huge fan of the Jak and Daxter series, and Crash Bandicoot was my first introduction to console gaming. Finally putting two and two together was just the colorful sprinkles needed to complete a great read.

And what a read! The premise and plot of this work are fantastic, and the story very well written. The scenes are vivid and complete immersion, yet there is just enough haze lingering in each page that you get a feel firsthand for Charlie’s confusion at his new life, new adventure, and new identity. The historical aspects of the plot, the “lynchpins of history” as it were, were masterfully written. The reader is given just enough to care about the outcome, to understand the significance of what is happening in the scene and how the choices of the characters could impact the future, yet not so much that it clogs the progression of the plot. The author’s twists on the historical events and people are believable, and each further twist is done in stages, building upon the last, so that the reader stays with Charlie each step, in complete suspension of disbelief.

My only hesitation with this book came from scenes I felt did not have any real merit to moving the plot, felt like filler, and also made me question the audience intended. Charlie is introduced to us as a young man in highschool, dealing with typical highschool worries, such as bullies, teachers, and tests. I therefore question the sexual content upon his meeting of Yvaine. I understand she is portrayed correctly for her time, but Charlie’s attitudes and actions did not seem to line up with how he is first introduced to us. Also, the sexual content is quite explicit at times, compared to the surrounding plot, and makes me leery to recommend this work to the younger teenage audiences.

We are left at a cliff-hanger, so I can only hope there are more to come in this series! I will be waiting with anticipation!

I recieved a review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley

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