I received Time Travel: To The Edge Of History as an ARC. I requested this book as I thought the concept was a really good one. Imagine a father taking their early teen-aged daughter on a 30-day globe trotting adventure exploring the history of us, before history. I have made it to somewhere in Chapter 5, about 3 or so days into their actual journey and I currently cannot finish it. I do hope to get motivated to pick it up again in the future and give it another go, but for now, it will become a DNF.
Part of my issues with the work follows:
First, it’s a completely unbalanced organized work. It apparently has only 11 chapters. I have read 4 and ‘a half’ of the chapters and I am only 16% through the book. Being 41% finished by chapter math, but only 16% by reader math, well it messes with my psyche while reading. I believe that there should be more overall balance between chapters or the book should have been divided into parts. For example, part one of the book could have been “The Plan” or “The Idea” of the trip and part two could have been “The Journey” or “The Adventure” telling about the trip itself. In that way the chapters would feel more balanced, where the chapters of the planning part are short and quick and apparently, the travel chapters are much much longer. Another idea could have been that from Chapter 5 on-wards each day could have been a chapter, that would have made it easier to follow as I am not truly sure if I stopped 3 or 4 days into the trip.
Second, thus far, I also find the story-line part of the book to feel lacking and not genuine. I just really struggle with feeling like I am part of this father-daughter trip to explore human history. I don’t buy it. I do not connect with the characters. They feel shallow and forced. Their awe and emotion lack the verbage needed to give the reader something to feel. It seems fake. It seems like the author really is just literally making up a story as he goes along, instead of telling a story. Some details feel weird cause they are unnecessary and other details are completely missing that would add the needed depth to the story. The author maybe a great conversationalist whom is knowledgeable. But, storyteller he is not.
Third, I find the structure of the dialogue and the narration of the book to be somewhat stilted for a native reader. I do not know if this is done intentionally or if it is poor English translating. Either way it makes for a very disjointed read. There are certain phrases that sound strange to the ear. Additionally, there are misuses of words and phrases that have the reader tripping and or falling and stopping to reread and grasp and understand. This prevents the reader from just tagging along for the ride with this father and daughter.
I really wanted to like this book. I believe that we as a people need to be more curious about ourselves and our history. I believe that curiosity should be nurtured and encouraged and the author stated his desire to help inspire the curiosity to reignite within readers. In this we are both proponents, but unfortunately for me, I found myself more bored than inspired. I do hope that others do better with the book than I have. More importantly, I hope that no one loses their curious spark by struggling with the same issues that challenged me with this work.