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Simon Hawk -- Time Wars

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:03 pm
by mondu_the_fat
I just recently finished the first two books of the series -- Ivanhoe Gambit and Timekeeper Conspiracy.

wikipedia entry

Timewars is about the timecorp branch of the US government in the 27th century. Their goal is a bit nebulous, but what they do is "to prevent wars in the present, all wars are done in the past". Basically, if you're a soldier, you get sent back in time to fight under the command of a historical figure. As far as I can understand it, it isn't exactly explained how. There are talks of "referees" and "point spreads", and generally the entire management of time travel is expressed in sports terms.

In the first book, the main characters are tasked to do an "adjustment". That is, a rogue referee with a time machine is trying to change history, and the protagonists are there to kill him. Second book is largeley the same. The setting of the first is Robin Hood. _fictional_ Robin Hood (the main character takes the identity of Ivanhoe). The second is Three Musketeers. In fact, the books in the series aren't so much as time-travelling as it is travelling into works of fiction.

They're fanfics, kinda like reading how an OC joins the Fellowship of the Rings.

The books aren't bad, but very... pulpy. Don't expect plot holes to be fixed. One major one, for instance, is the threat of "time splits", which is what the antagonists are trying to achieve, often in a round-about, GI Joe Cobra Commander level of cartoon complexity. Time splits supposedly can occur if the events in history are changed... but numerous events in the story point out that history CAN'T be changed, no matter how you avoid it. In the first book, for instance, Hooker sees his own strangled body and panics. Then the protagonists go "he can't avoid his future, he's gonna die, even if we have to do it ourselves." The main characters have no problems mowing down bad guys with grenades, machine guns, and in the second book, laser guns and guys hovering over Paris in jetpacks. You'd think that someone witnessing a curbstomp like that (as well as killing all those people and presumably whoever their descedants are) would change history drastically, but it doesn't. One of the main characters is from the 12century but gets bounced around time without the protagonists thinking "whoa, this person might have descendants and maybe we shouldn't be doing this." Another goes about treating cancer, and he's been doing in for over a decade in the 16th century. You'd think that the lives he saves would change history, or that his name as a miracle worker would be remembered.