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You Don't Belong Here Kindle Edition
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Daniel Faint, the protagonist of Tim Major's You Don't Belong Here, should have heeded my warnings. You see Daniel is not just a dabbler in time travel; he is a thief who stole a time machine and decided to take a job as a house sitter in a remote Cumbrian village while he figures out how to use the machine.
However he faces a few problems, the time machine can only work in a forward time direction, and every time he uses it he suffers a blackout, people start recognising him who he doesn't now, and someone seems to be watching him from the shadows. Can Daniel get his life back on track and rest his personal timeline, so he has the life he wants.
Time Travel stories are to science fiction as Haunted House stories are to horror. Almost everyone has done one, and in the vast majority of cases, nothing new is ever said or explored in any great depth. They may be well written, but once you have read the keynote texts in the genre, there is in general very little to be gained from reading yet another one.
While You Don't Belong Here may contain many of the elements that are prevalent in time travel stories Major has crafted a fresh and intriguing novel that brings something new to this well-worn genre trope.Read more ›
Daniel Faint is an intriguing character. You very quickly realise he is barely holding his life together. He has dug himself into a hole and you can almost guarantee that each action he takes is going to be the wrong one, and only ends up making things worse. Watching him come apart at the seams is captivating stuff. I quickly found myself pitying him. I genuinely believe Daniel is not an evil person but each choice he makes takes him one step further down a dark road that has distinctly dire outcome on the horizon.
Most of the action takes place in an isolated manor house, and I couldn’t help but feel that this was exactly the wrong environment for Daniel to be in. Thinking about it though, I guess that is kind of the point. Daniel is left rattling about alone in this large building most of the time, and this only adds additional stresses to his already fragile mental state. I ask you, have we learned nothing from the debacle at The Overlook Hotel? Caretaking a deserted spooky old empty building is always guaranteed to end badly!
I always worry a bit about any book that contains time travel as an element. Will the author be able to produce a compelling story that fits within the confines of the rules they have created? In the case of You Don’t Belong Here, the answer is an emphatic yes. Major’s interpretation of time travel is sneakily ingenious, but also devastatingly simple. Consider me suitably impressed.Read more ›
The problem with time travel novels is that you seldom find anything original or fresh in them, because authors tend to recycle familiar elements too much. This is not actually a big problem, because many time travel novels are entertaining and worth reading, but sometimes you just want to read something that has not been written dozens and dozens of times over and over again. I'm not an expert on time travel novels, but in my opinion You Don't Belong Here feels delightfully different from the time travel novels that have been published recently, because it has freshness and it's fluently written entertainment.
I admit that I'm difficult to please when it comes to time travel novels, because I've been disappointed with a few novels and haven't liked the authors' way of handling time travel elements, because they've paid attention to wrong things. Fortunately, You Don't Belong Here was an intriguing and pleasant surprise for me, because I found myself enjoying the gradually unfolding story and wanted to know what happens to the protagonist. It's nice that the author has managed to write a story that is entertaining and sufficiently mysterious.
Here's a bit of information about the story:
Daniel Faint has stolen a time machine from a laboratory in Oxford and is putting as much distance between him and the lab as possible. He is worried that something will happen to the time machine, so he is driving slowly and feels a bit paranoid about speed cameras taking pictures.Read more ›