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An Inadequate Third Book After A Good First Two In The Trilogy
on 21 July 2009
The book ended the Linda Buckley-Archer time travel trilogy - the first book being Gideon The Cutpurse (a compelling read), followed by The Tar Man (a ripping yarn). I believe that this final book was originally due to be entitled Lord Luxon but this title was changed, and publication was delayed - I feel a mistake was made here, whatever the cause of the delay and title-change. At a youngster's level the story remains fairly lively and absorbing, if a little too 'fussy' (I won't spoil the ending!). For mature readers who have read the first two books in this series, 'Time Quake' will almost certainly disappoint. The plot is thin; being far too heavily dependent upon a single historical counterfactual that is vaguely interesting but is itself thin and woefully unconvincing. The characters have not matured properly and have, in fact, regressed to being rather two-dimensional and not so readily believable. LB-A has further damaged the trilogy by effecting a hurried-looking and contrived ending (that could have been written at any point in the pages of any of the three books). Having read this book again before ammending my initial (kinder!) review I would have to say that the author has not written with the same authenticity as she achieved in the first two novels and LB-A therefore has not produced a satisfying read or convincing conclusion to her three-work. If LB-A wrote more then I'd probably still be tempted to buy - as she proved in the first two books that she had the knack of bringing a historical period to life by introducing you to some seductive characters - but she has not achieved this feat in Time Quake. The characters were so strongly written in the first two books that the plotline was rendered almost redundant - but here if the plot had been strong and convincing it might have rescued the story - but it wasn't and it didn't. Time Quake seemed to lack the same sure-footed writer-signature and quality that the first two books possessed. I feel that LB-A has rather let her readership down with this effort. After successful books one and two, number three definitely fell short of LB-A's earlier, higher standard.