Thursday, October 23, 2014

REVIEW: The Time Roads by Beth Bernobich

My Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

The Time Roads is an intriguing collection of related steampunk era stories that tie together into a larger, more complex picture. Ireland, referred to by it's ancient name of Éire, is the stronghold of Europe here, instead of England. Mathematical scientists of the time have discovered ways to access alternate realities by traveling what they call the Time Roads. These time roads later prove quite invaluable for Queen Áine and the livelihood of the Éire kingdom, which is under threat from Anglia (England) and the Prussian Empire, to name but a few.

The first and fourth stories, the longest of the four, are both told in the first person point of view from Queen Áine of Éire. The second and third stories shift to third person point-of-view and focus on different characters which are still related to the overall picture. I actually liked the first and fourth stories best, feeling more of a connection with Queen Áine. But at the end of the first story, I did find the shift to an entirely new set of characters whom we hadn't yet been introduced to, a bit unsettling at first, and I honestly didn't like that story as much as the others. Once I realized how it tied into the overall story however, I was a bit more tolerant. :)

I also longed for a pronunciation guide throughout. The spelling and pronunciation of the many Celtic names were difficult to master, and without it, I had a harder time remembering and recalling names since I couldn't sound them out in my head as I came across them. My Kindle came in quite useful in this regard as I could highlight and search for previous mentions of that particular name, but if I had to read this one in traditional book format, it would've bugged me quite a bit more.

Overall, the stories were quite thought-provoking, with some better than others as already mentioned. The character development was decent and the world building was great as I truly felt immersed in the time in which these stories took place. I look forward to reading further works from Beth Bernobich.

Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Books for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.