Tag Archives: time travel

Review: The Ruby Brooch by Katherine Lowry Logan

2 Stars

As the sole survivor of a car accident that took the lives of her parents and best friend, Kit MacKlenna struggles with survivor guilt.  This is especially hard for Kit because as an EMT, she was trained to save lives and she feels that she failed to save her loved ones.  She comes home to her family seat, a sweeping horse ranch, only to learn that the life she knew was built on a lie.  In a letter from her father, he reveals that she was abandoned as a baby 160 years earlier and the only clues to her identity are a blood-splattered shawl, a portrait of a 19th century man and a Celtic ruby brooch, which her father claims has magical powers.  Kit decides to continue her father’s search for her true identity and solve her birth parents’ murder.

Kit travels back to 1852 and arrives in Independence, where she meets Cullen Montgomery.  He is a San Francisco bound lawyer who is leading a wagon train over the Oregon Trail.  Against his better judgement, he helps Kit join his wagon train.  She passes herself off as a widow and makes fast friends with one of the families on the train as she hires their son as a driver.  But Cullen doesn’t believe Kit is who she says she is and he is determined to find out why she’s lying and what she’s hiding.  Especially after a series of accidents and miraculous survivals show Kit to be more than a simple widow.

As someone who has read a lot of fantasy novels, it’s not too hard for me to suspend belief and accept the supernatural and unusual.  But The Ruby Brooch wants me to not only to accept the existence of magic and time-travel, it also wants me to ignore basic science and common-sense.  I just couldn’t do it.  I could accept that Kit took her iPod and a solar charger with her and could listen to music, it might just be possible to do so.  But to be able to watch YouTube?!  Also, people were far too accepting of Kit’s behavior.  They just shrugged it off instead of being distrustful of her.  The only person who even has a hint of distrust is Cullen but he tempers that against his growing feelings toward her.

I had a lot of high hopes for this book.  I was really hooked by the description and the first few chapters did have me looking forward to Kit’s adventures.  I did appreciate that the author made Kit a fairly strong female lead and not a typical damsel in distress, though she does seem to find herself in trouble more often than not along the trail.  Unfortunately almost all of the characters followed a typical stereotype.  You had the crusty but heart-of-gold sidekick, the ever-faithful and strong mother, the little girl that reminded Kit of herself, and of course the dashing hero.

The romance between Cullen and Kit was more annoying than interesting.  At times I wanted to just scream at both of them.  Granted, I think most novels with a romance angle have many readers doing the same thing as we get frustrated with the characters lack of common sense!

The writing wasn’t bad and it was a quick read.  I just couldn’t get interested in Kit and Cullen the way that many other readers have been able to.  There wasn’t a connection for me.  There are other books in this series, but I’m not sure I’ll be checking them out.

 

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Filed under Fantasy, Romance

Review: A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain

1 Star

Kendra Donovan is a rising star in the FBI, her team has finally tracked down one of the FBI’s most wanted and she’s there for the takedown.  But everything goes wrong and her team is ambushed and half her team is murdered as she discovers a traitor.  Kendra barely survives after being shot several times but vows revenge against the man responsible for the deaths of her team members.  She ‘goes rogue’ and travels to England to put her plan into motion.

While preparing her assassination attempt, Kendra is surprised by an unexpected complication and ends up needing to flee for her life through the back passages of Aldrich Castle but when she stumbles out of the passageway, she’s faced with an impossible sight.  She is still in Aldrich Castle, but she’s in a different time.  She’s in 1815 and in the presence of the current Duke.  She is mistaken for a maid, hired to help with weekend guests.  Kendra is forced to adapt to the time period until she can figure out how to get out of there and back to her own time.

The body of a young woman is discovered on the grounds of the estate and Kendra can’t help but get involved.  She was a profiler back in her time and she knows she can put her knowledge to use in helping solve the mystery of how this young woman died.  She has none of her 21st century tools at her disposal but must rely on her own wits and extensive knowledge of crime and criminals.

As unbelievable as the premise sounds, I was intrigued.  I’ve read the Outlander series, so I can learn to suspend belief and buy into time travel.  I’ve seen time travel done very well and I’ve seen it done very poorly.  Unfortunately, this was in the latter category.  Kendra is supposed to be a woman of incredible intelligence, someone who was genetically pre-disposed to be a genius and everything in her background seems to confirm this.  So how does someone so smart act so unbelievably stupid?

Kendra constantly uses phrases and words that would have absolutely no meaning to anyone from the 19th century and instead of everyone looking at her like she belongs in an asylum, they just shake their heads and let her continue.  And how does a woman (one posing as a maid no less) somehow become the lead investigator of a murder case?  She can’t explain how she knows what she knows, and everyone is content to just leave it at that?  And the romance angle?  Give me a break.

It’s not often that I give a book 1 Star, but I just couldn’t justify giving any more.  The characters were not believable.  The main character was annoying.  The entire situation was ludicrous.  And the ending?  Atrocious.  Apparently there are going to be more Kendra Donovan books, but not for this reader.

 

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Filed under Mystery/Suspense/Thriller