Thursday, October 18, 2012
Out of Time: A Time Travel Mystery (Gangster Vampire, go the hell away)
This book opens up with a great romance setup. Stodgy professor and his friendly assistant. They're both interested in one another, but given their current situations, age and status, neither is willing to make a move. The perfect solution? A frolick through time courtesy of Simon's grandfather's watch. Hurrah! Now stuck in a different time period, all those pesky problems melt away and they can finally bone! Except for the gangster vampire. What is UP with the gangster vampire. Where a simple gangster would've worked just as effectively, he was a vampire as well which was a whole bushel of unnecessary. Oh I'm brooding and tormented and eternal, wah. And Simon happens to be a professor of the occult! How perfect! In all seriousness, because the vampire reveal was left for the second half of the book, it felt hokey and out of place. Had the paranormal been present from the start, it wouldn't have muddled my reader expectations, but man, midway through the book and he's just a pain in the ass.
Simon and Elizabeth's Self Made Hurdle #1: While they're adjusting to the times, Simon and Elizabeth both struggle with mutual attraction. Because it bubbled under the surface when they were in modern day times, this new environment that forces them to be together also forces up some of the pent up feelings they've both hidden. Things are progressing well in the romance department...*gasp* sharing a bed! Secret touches! Until Elizabeth gets a job working as a waitress in a bar. BUT during Prohibition which makes it more dangerous. Of course Simon's hidden all the prophetic dreams about her death, so he just seems like he's being a controlling ass and of course it pushes her straight into the job and further from him.
Simon and Elizabeth's Self Made Hurdle #2: As soon as it seems they've made up and the romance is heating up again, they kiss which ruins everything. Simon opens his mouth again and tells her it was all a lie. Her being upset is very understandable since all she's wanted from the beginning of the book is a relationship with Simon. And Simon continues creating his own problems by not telling her about the prophetic dreams until the breaking point when they finally air their grievances, realize they love one another (duh) and make sweet sweet love.
Simon and Elizabeth's Self Made Hurdle #3: So it seems like the only hurdle now is Simon's doom dreams, but a gangster, King, takes a liking to Elizabeth. Now, a head gangster taking a shine to a lady is trouble enough, but he's a vampire too. (Still don't know why) Elizabeth so far has been fairly independent and intelligent, but once King becomes involved in the picture it's like the vamp drained her brain and is going back for blood. The logical thing to do when a mob boss takes a liking to you is quit said job and move away. Especially since they're planning on heading home in a couple of weeks and it doesn't really matter where they are. No. She decides to stick around which gives King time to fall for her and kidnap her.
This all leads to the end of the book where Simon runs into Time Travel Grandpa and they fight King the Vamp together to get Elizabeth back. Big explosions, King has a magical change of heart and saves Elizabeth. Simon and Elizabeth return to the future, make googly eyes, the end. Not bad, I mean the story kept my interest, but while the romantic tension fueled the beginning half of the book, the latter part with King the vampire just got silly. My vote is to cast the vampire off the island and just enjoy the time traveling romp through the 1920s.