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Time Spike [Hardcover]

Eric Flint
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.99
Price: 16.16 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 May 2008
Captain Mark Stephens was overseeing the change of shifts at the state of Illinois' maximum-security prison when the world outside was suddenly ripped. They thought it was an earthquake until they found that the Mississippi river had disappeared, along wi

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books (6 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416555382
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416555384
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 16.5 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,696,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Eric Flint's impressive first novel, "Mother of Demons" (Baen), was selected by "SF Chronicle" as one of the best novels of 1997. With David Drake he has written six popular novels in the Belisarius series, including the new novel "The Dance of Time," and with David Weber collaborated on "1633," a novel in the Ring of Fire series, and on "Crown of Slaves," a best of the year pick by "Publishers Weekly." Flint received his masters degree in history from UCLA and was for many years a labor union activist. He lives in East Chicago, IL, with his wife and is working on more books in the best-selling Ring ofFire series.Marilyn Kosmatka writes fiction. Some believe her stories come from a childhood littered with hookers, drug dealers, murderers, ex-mob members and a lone CIA agent. Others believe the stories come from her experiences as a nurse. She cared for the cast-off babies of drug addicts. She bandaged the elderly, beaten by their own children. Then she went to work on death row. Years have passed since she entered the maximum security prison system with its bars, concertina wire, and midnight executions. But when pressed, she will admit these are years that can haunt the pages of a writer's stories.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Prison Blues 10 Aug 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When the only artefact I can praise about a book is the excellent cover art, five stars is not an option. The basic premise is not original but I had hopes that the authors would make use of the diverse inhabitants of the time-periods they'd gathered. Unfortunately, all the imagination that should have gone into the plot was seemly used up by the initial premise. Most of the characters have a default setting of utterly virtuous or depraved evil, whilst the main villains of the piece are Spanish explorer's under Hernando de Soto whose fictional methods bare little resemblance to their real-life counterparts (see Spain in America, 1450-1580 by Edward Bourne). However, the sections dealing with survival and the development of a new culture in the final chapters were interesting.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable rubbish? 1 Sep 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a book which fits its cover perfectly. There is some interesting working out of the problems facing the characters and a good deal of harmless fun, especially at the expense of the Spanish visitors. If you're a fan of the genre and need a holiday read then this could be the one, but be careful to remove the dust-jacket before letting anyone else see it.

There are faults, for example the dual authorship is a little clumsy in execution, with some of the chapters inadequately integrated into the main flow of the novel.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  44 reviews
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good to Read.... 5 May 2008
By Claus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have the feeling that Flint has run into troubles with the complexity of changes cascading into alternate history in the Ring of Fire - it becomes more and more complex extrapolating the new history that resulted from the arrival of Grantville.
This book is set onto a smaller stage - it is more about the interaction of a small set of cultures being transposed into virgin time. 20th century knowledge does not have the devastating effect is had in middle age Germany.
The cultures - modern prisoners and prison guards, 1800's Cherokees, 1500's Conquistadores, and early (very early) American Indians are dropped way back in time before familiar plants and animals had evolved.
The book was a good page turner, well written. Much faster paced than "Bavarian Crisis". Flint seems to have found a good co-author.
The book though has the feel of the beginning of a series - I can almost taste the sequel that has already been written in draft form. This sense of incompleteness got it the four - rather than the five - stars from me. (Besides - to needs to keep authors humble.)
But go buy it - it is good.
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining 8 Jun 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
If you want a fast paced, well-written book with an interesting (if familiar) concept about time travel, you won't be disappointed with this book. The authors do a good job of postulating what would happen if people from four divergent time periods in southern Illinois were moved back in time to the age of the dinosaurs. One group is from the present, and are the guards and inmates of a maximum security prison. Another group are Cherokee Indians and their U.S. Army escorts from the Trail of Tears, in the mid-1800s. The third group are Spanish Conquistadors under Hernando deSoto. The last group are early aboriginal Indians, the Mounds Indians. The book is entertaining, and there are discussions by physicists who are trying to get to the bottom of what happened that provide enough basic science and physics to make a plausible explanation.

The book rated only thee stars for a variety of reasons. The editing was surprisingly bad. Misspellings were rampant, as were wrong words, omitted words, etc. Love at first sight was also rampant. This got rather tedious, and is more than a bit of a stretch. The cold-blooded murderer/arsonist/armed robber with the heart of gold was also overdone.

These were annoyances more than anything. There were two things that really intruded on the story, and hurt it significantly. The first was the ease and speed with which everyone accepted what happened to them and took it in stride. I found it literally incredible that a group of soldiers and Indians from the 1800s would not be bothered by being thrust back in time 150 million years. Their main concern seemed to be finding a replacement for beef fat in their pemmican. I might have had a few bigger concerns than that.

Finally, the authors should really stop preaching about the evils of "the current administration." Flint is a labor organizer and clearly a staunch Democrat. The authors hate Bush. We get it. Say it once and move on; don't rub our faces in it. What the evils of "the current administration" (the single most used phrase in the book) have to do with people sent back in time 150 million years is a bigger mystery than how they got there. The authors couldn't decide if they wanted to write a science fiction story or a political diatribe. They opted to do mostly the former, with a hefty dose of the latter. It didn't work. I sincerely hope they knock that off in the inevitable sequels. I'll read them, but they will be much better without the political preaching.
35 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weakest entry in a great series 5 Jun 2008
By Mrs. Tom - Published on Amazon.com
I've enjoyed the "Ring of Fire" series from the very first. I've given copies of _1632_ as gifts many, many times. Eric Flint is a creative person, and a great writer. Unfortunately, Marilyn Kosmatka is not in Eric's league. It takes a really seriously anti-talent to screw up an Eric Flint story. To do this amount of damage to an Eric Flint story beggars the imagination.

_Time Spike_ has done something I would have thought was impossible. For the first time in a long and varied reading lifetime, I could not find one single character I actually cared about.

There are so many amaturish mistakes, I can only presume _Time Spike_ was rushed into print to meet a hard deadline. Perhaps its true title should be "The Contractual Obligation Book"?

At the very least, _Time Spike_ could have been improved with even rudimentary proof-reading/editing. *Two* major characters named Geoffrey? Two *other* major and semi-major characters named Leffers and Luff? A baby born and not given the planned on name because "it's too important" and then is *never* named? Black characters whose 'homeboy' speech can't be sustained for three sentences in a row? These are mistakes high school students make in remedial writing classes.

Then there is the painfully bad subplot taking place "uptime" (in the present day). The few bits of "scientific" information presented in them could have been handled in a two-page or less prologue, as was done earlier in the series. As it stands, the uptime scenes detract from the action, and serve no purpose whatsoever other than allowing Kosmatka (presumably) to vent childishly petty remarks about the government. She even invents a ludicrous accusation of the government blaming Grantsville (_1632_)on "terrorists." If that's what floats your boat, go ahead and giggle along. But take it some place other than a book about the Ring of Fire. It serves no purpose and diminishes a really fine body of other people's works.

If I were Eric Flint, I'd ask to have my name removed from this book or sue Kosmatka. Preferably both.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two threads 27 April 2008
By John Testa - Published on Amazon.com
Timespike is a great read. It is another example of Eric Flint's ability to co-author another compelling story with an unknown author and make it work. The story is really a novel of survival and a short novel of discovery. The short novel tells of the reaction of our time line(OTL) to the event in southern Illinois and (from the 1632 novels and stories) Grantville West Virginia. The new time line(NTL)follows the coping of those dragged back to the past to their massive problems. As always, characterizations and interactions are what make the story work.

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting time killer...but pointless 7 July 2008
By Brandt Goetz - Published on Amazon.com
I am a big fan of time travel stories and this one showed promise - despite the fact that the publisher was asleep at the switch and got the name of the main character wrong.


The first few dozen pages were great, and the concept is good. The problem is that the author never seems to DO ANYTHING with it. The character's are mostly cardboard, except for "Our Hero" who is ALWAYS the stoic leading man type, The others are caricatures.

The plotline is choppy, switching from NOW to Then with two completely different groups, only the NOW portion (A groups of scientists, I think) goes nowhere except into a romance that goes nowhere. Though events are talked about they are never brought into focus and the ending just - well, ends.

If this is book one in a Series, well I will withold judgement, but if it is a stand alone... It is like 7-up without the LemonLime aftertaste.
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