Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Arrows Of Time Arrows Of Time
by Kim Falconer
Harper Voyager

Supplied for review by Harper Collins New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

Arrows of Time is the second book by Kim Falconer in the Quantum Enchantment series and incidentally Ms Falconer’s 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 it.

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 didn’t show the reader what happened. This last device was used so often I reached the conclusion that the author hadn’t 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 wasn’t 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.

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