Thursday, July 4, 2013

BEAT to a PULP: A Rip Through Time (Garnett Elliot, Chad Eagleton, Chris F. Holm, Charles A. Gramlich, authors; David Cranmer, editor)

BEAT to a PULP: A Rip Through Time
(The Rip Through Time series, Book 1)
Garnett Elliot, Chad Eagleton, Chris F. Holm, Charles A. Gramlich, authors; David Cranmer, editor
BEAT to a PULP
Fiction, Sci-Fi
** (Bad)


DESCRIPTION: It should have been Mankind's greatest achievement since it first crawled from the primordial ooze: the Baryon Core. In theory, it can allow one to peer into any moment of any time, laying bare the secrets of the Universe. Then the core's inventor, Doctor Berlin, goes rogue, smashing his way into the Company's labs and stealing his own device before disappearing into the timestream. Simon Rip, the Company's top time agent, and the seductive Doctor Serena Ludwig set out after him, but Berlin may not be the madman everyone thinks he is. The more Rip uncovers, the less certain he becomes... and the more danger he discovers, not just to himself but to the whole of human existence.
A Kindle-exclusive title.

REVIEW: Written as an homage to old-school pulp sci-fi adventures, A Rip Through Time succeeds in capturing the flavor of a bygone fictional era... not always for the best. The action comes thick and fast, almost managing to obscure the fact that the plot makes no sense whatsoever. Paradoxes, aliens, treachery, sapient computers, steampunk Aztecs, Ernest Hemingway, King Arthur... all these and more are thrown into the blender and spattered across the pages. Simon Rip excels at beating people up and being beaten up - and, of course, ogling Doctor Ludwig's ample curves. (I'd like to believe this was a deliberate wink at the sexism of older sci-fi, but unfortunately I can't be certain.) His associates quickly diverge into Good and Evil camps, and stay there for most of the story. The final chapter tries to set up tension for future installments, but makes such a change in mood and style that it threw me long before the hook was set. Then the last ten-odd percent of the book talks about time travel in popular fiction, with a peculiar emphasis on the production values of various movies. Why? I don't know, and by that point I no longer cared.

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Sky Coyote (Kage Baker) - My Review
Timeline (Michael Crichton) - My Review
The Time Machine - Amazon DVD Link

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