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08/24/2004 Entry: "TIME SCOUT Robert Asprin and Linda Evans -- Rebekah liked it"

Time Scout

Kit Carson is a time scout enjoying his retirement when an unknown granddaughter suddenly appears and demands to be trained as the first female time scout. Time travel has become possible, though unpredictable, because of a not-really-talked-about global disaster. Time scouts are people who go through unknown and unstable gates, a gate that can open into any time in the past and may or may not open back to current time. It's darn hard to be prepared for all possibilities.

The book deals with time travel paradox in an interesting way--by basically saying it can't happen. That the Universe or whatever won't allow it. For example, if you tried to go back and assasinate a young Hitler, your gun would jam, you'd be discovered, you'd get caught in traffic, something which would thwart any attempt to alter history in any significant way. And since you can't really know what is significant--if that thug in the back alley is the great-grandfather of Lincoln--you have to tread very lightly. And if you miscalculated and exist in two times at once, you go *poof*. People who go back in time then are more in danger themselves than anything else. But this doesn't stop time travel from becoming a huge tourist industry! The tourists go through the known gates with guides and tour groups and a whole industry grows up around prepping and chauffering these tourists. The book also deals in a real and pragmatic way with the problems of being a female time traveler throughout most of human history, especially if you're going through an unexplored time gate.

So...after all all that explanation, what is the book actually about? It's about Margo (the granddaughter) trying to get Kit to train her as the first female time scout and her trying to prove herself. At first, it seemed like the romance might be between the grandfather and granddaughter (ick), but it's between Margo and another time scout. Margo comes across as really irritating at first, but she's never as stupid or foolhardy as the back blurb makes her sound. There's a mysterious deadline pressure to her training that drives most of her actions. While it's eventually explained, it's sort of an offhand conclusion. Then again, there are three more books in the series (though Margo isn't the main character in the others) and it might deal with it more later.

I enjoyed TIME SCOUT though it got pretty heavy in historical detail at times. Lots of info dumps. Still, a good romance and exciting action. Margo grew on me and I liked Malcom (her love interest).--Rebekah

--TIME SCOUT at Amazon (1995, Baen)

Replies: 1 Comment

This one was good... I liked the second one (Wagers of Sin) better though.

Posted by S @ 08/25/2004 01:02 PM ET

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