|Arrows of Time is the second book by
Kim Falconer in the Quantum Enchantment series and incidentally Ms Falconers second
book; unfortunately, those are the most positive things I can say about the book. It is
very rare for me to feel so unforgiving to a book and its author, but this book manages
I dislike this book in so many ways I find it difficult to know where to start. When
I read a novel I expect a plot, and characters that should develop and be distinguishable.
For Ms Falconer this was too much. By the time I had read halfway through the book any
semblance of plot development had been ploughed under by: the extensive use of switched
scenes from one chapter to the next; character motivations being explained second-hand at
least three chapters later; and any moments of high drama occurring outside the story
the events happened, but the author didnt show the reader what happened. This
last device was used so often I reached the conclusion that the author hadnt worked
out how to get her characters out of the perilous situation into which she had written
them, so she used a story cut away to get around the problem.
As for the characters, central casting supplied two (whiny, indecisive man and
assertive, competent woman), who were worked to within a gutter margin of their lives.
Able support was given by a couple of sock puppets and some cardboard cut outs. The most
interesting character was a puppy (yes, a puppy had a speaking part in this book), and the
puppy was only a bit player who was later given sedatives by two of the male characters
because it had more sex appeal than they did.
What really set my teeth on edge, and in truth it was only because I reading this book
in public that it wasnt thrown the length of the train carriage, was the whole
hearted, full on use of every shibboleth in the New Age philosophy pantheon with a frisson
of faux quantum mechanics indeterminism to spice things up. I was unsure whether I was
reading a homeopathic cure for science fiction (most unsuccessful on this reader) or
unbleached tripe (without the onions). Both options were unpalatable.
With those features in mind, if you enjoy long, meandering stories that go nowhere,
have wafer thin characters that use powerful magic at will, and like astral projection,
mind reading, shape shifting, auras, astrology and cats, then this is the book for you.