The Time Train
by Eric M. Bosarge
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Medallion Press Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781942546115
Date: 12 July 2016 List Price $14.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Time travel makes a mess of everything. Changing the past changes the future, creating loops that contradict. In some cases no matter what is attempted, the same thing happens. The time frame may change, but in the end the event happens.
A future alien invasion by the Kind leaves only a few pockets of surviving humans. A few of the survivors find a secret base. The base holds a train that can travel through time. The survivors go to the past to find a way to save the future.
Amos runs away from home and his life changes forever. He saves a woman from being kidnapped and a series of events is started that will bring the end of the human race. He comes in contact with the time travelers who seem to have it in for him. But over time the two begin to work together.
This is a solo novel that deals with the twists and turns of time travel. There are no particular knowledge barriers to this story. Readers do not need any historical base to appreciate the action of the story. The story is often told from the first person perspective and the main character is identified in each perspective shift.
I am a fan of time travel tales. I like the thought exercises in following actions to a reasonable conclusion. The job of an author is made more difficult as they need to track the myriad of cause and effect actions for each characters as they move through the timelines. The actions of the main characters have a greater effect than those of serial time traveler Doctor Who. The train is an interesting time machine, harkening to the end of Back to the Future III.
The conclusion of the story is not a surprise. I won't ruin the twist, but note that it mixes many common plot elements from the genre. The voyage to that final page is entertaining, and fans of time travel tales will find something to like here.
There are numerous time travel tales, this one reminded me a bit of All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill and in some respects even Stephen Kings' 11/22/63 as they both deal with multiple loops. I was also reminded a little of Written in Time by Jerry and Sherry Ahern, but that was more due the consequences of time travel than a similarity of plot.