Friday, October 17, 2014

Justice for all Time (Kit Cole)

Justice for all Time
Kit Cole
Kit Cole Books
Fiction, Romance/Sci-Fi
*+ (Terrible/Bad)

DESCRIPTION: FBI agent Cassandra Becker wakes in a dark cave with no badge, no gun, and no memory of where she is or how she got there. Crawling outside, she finds herself in a scene straight out of a Western, watching a stagecoach being attacked by Native American warriors. Somehow, she's fallen through time from 2013 to 1853, traveling from Washington,DC to Sacramento, California. This isn't a time or a place for an independent woman law enforcement officer, but somehow she has to survive long enough to figure out what happened, and if she can get home.
Sheriff Brendan Taylor knows there's something not quite right about the petite brunette from the moment he sets eyes on her - deftly demonstrating unladylike marksmanship while saving his kid brother deputy from an Indian. She has to be a criminal, to handle a gun like that... and how is it that, of all the people on that stage, only she walked away alive? Mostly, though, he'd like her to stay out of his way, yet somehow she keeps turning up in the heart of trouble. If Cassie weren't such a confounding annoyance, he could almost come to like her. It's just as well that she'll probably be leaving as soon as she regains her memory, because the last thing either of them needs is an unwanted romance. Unfortunately, time and fate seem to have other plans...
A Kindle-exclusive title.

REVIEW: Sometimes, when I'm exploring an idea or killing time practicing writing, I'll come up with a story-starter and a character and just run with it, letting random events crop up as I feel my way around. Once in a while, they take on lives of their own, but even then, the end result is never a cohesive story worth sharing with the world, full of inconsistencies and randomness and often lacking a binding plot - the sort of problems that only serious, focused revisions and rewrites could fix. Justice for all Time reminds me of those spitballing practice sessions in the raw. I constantly felt as though the author was half a chapter ahead of me, hastily scribbling in scenery I was about to arrive at, discovering the story only moments before I got there. Characters lack consistency, save supporting-cast stereotypes, and the settings never rise beyond flat backdrops. The storyline wanders with only a weak main arc binding events together, and even that ends by the halfway point, leaving the rest to sputter along to the end on fresh problems seemingly invented solely to extend the page count. Though billed as a romance, I got very little sense of chemistry between anyone. The narrative drifts between characters and locations, as though Cole randomly decided to switch points of view as an experiment rather than for a specific purpose. Errors glare, particularly mistaken words ("prostate" is not remotely the same thing as "prostrate," and at one point a group of soldiers help townsfolk repair "damns" in wet weather) and a mid-1800's law enforcement officer being familiar with the term "serial killer," which dates from the 1930's at the absolute earliest (1970's in America.) The logic of time travel in Cole's universe is vague, but even those rules are violated by the ending, which implies a potential series. The whole thing just feels unpolished, like a rough draft that was prematurely published. Very disappointing, even as a freebie title.

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The Time Keeper (Barbara Bartholomew) - My Review
Outlander (Diana Gabaldon) - My Review
Surcease of Sorrow (Matt Inglima) - My Review

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