Time travel romance usually goes like this: a man or woman, through some mechanism, magic or device, travels back in time or into the future. Once they get there, they usually stay there for the duration of the book, learning to deal with their new circumstances and falling in love with someone from that time period along the way.
TIME'S ENEMY is not your typical time travel romance. It takes this general premise and gives it a science fiction edge, taking the reader on a page turning journey. Put it this way, if you take THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT, mix in THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE and sprinkle it with SOMEWHERE IN TIME, you'll get this amazing book.
Time Travel Paradox
Powell uses this principle with deft skill and it's the thing that makes this story shine. Any change in history, no matter how minor, can have dire consequences in the present/future. Every time Tony goes back in time, he does something (often unintentional) to alter history and when he returns, his present is altered because of it. It's when he goes back in time to deliberately change the past that the Saturn Society steps in. He broke the rules and he must be stopped. Now he finds himself on the run, in the present and the past.
Not Your Typical Romance
Most romances have the hero and heroine meet within the first couple of chapters of the book. Not so here. The romance between Tony and Charlotte doesn't even get started until the middle of the book. That's a long time to wait in romance-land, but experiencing Tony's journey getting there was well worth it. I love how the author portrays his confusion and desperation when he starts time traveling. He doesn't understand what's happening, he's scared and disoriented, and has no control over where and when he goes (at least in the beginning).
Not Perfect, but Close
As I said before, I thought this was a page turner of a book. But it's not without its flaws. There are a few points in the middle where the pacing drags in comparison to the fast paced beginning and ending; one chapter makes use of short, choppy scene breaks which bothered me; and the author has an affinity for using parentheses throughout the narrative, which was a bit jarring. I use them a lot myself (as you can tell), just not in my fiction writing. But these flaws were minor, and didn't diminish the enjoyment of the book.
What Makes This A Perfect Indie Book
I'm pretty sure I know why this book didn't sell to the NY Big 6. It's a mix of romance, sci-fi, and paranormal fiction. I'm guessing editors and agents loved it, but just didn't know how to market it. Like many indie books, this one didn't fit in the tidy NY box, but it's definitely one you don't want to miss.