Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic
howeird

A Flawed Endeavor

Endeavor In Time by Chris Hambleton was one of the free Kindle books I mentioned at BASFA as being free for a reason. It was one of the better ones. The basic idea is pretty good, I'll put more about it into a cut because he takes so long to get to the main story that anything I say would be a spoiler. The build-up to the event which sets the wheels in motion takes way too long, there is a lot of fluff which gets us familiar with characters we will never see or hear from again, and Hambleton also blows the chance to help us get familiar with someone who does become a major figure in the story later on.

There are two major things which made me want to throw my Kindle across the room early and often. First, it is peppered with grammatical errors, mis-used words and typos. Second, he is a born-again Christian and devotes huge chunks of pages to Bible excerpts and exposition which is both heavy-handed, and demonstrates  he has drunk the KoolAde with zero understanding of the context  from which the passages come. One glaring example is he refers to the Gospel of Luke as "the story of Luke" two or three times. Several times he has characters quote Luke's advice to grooms to make sure their wives come first in a marriage. Ironically, IRL Luke never married.

Hambleton's writing style is okay, and except for the proselytizing he makes you want to see the story through to the end. Which he does not do. He continuously skips crucial chapters in the protagonist's life, refers only obliquely to others, and ends the book several years before what should be its climax.

One thing he does brilliantly is set us up to read to the [premature] end with a teaser at the beginning which sets a lot of later plot twists in motion. He labels this "prologue" but it really ought to be the start of chapter 1.


The plot goes like this:
A senior software engineer at a stealth project in the desert has a vivid dream that he is on a plane, sitting next to an attractive woman named Melody, and watches the plane rip apart. Melody smiles, hand on her Bible, and says it will all be okay. IRL he does not know this person. In the waking world, the Endeavour had blown up on the launch pad right after the Challenger disaster, and he read a lot about the cause of the explosion. NASA was taken over by the DOD and downsized.

The 30-plus-year-old engineer changes to an even more secret project, and is sent to the now-classified archives at NASA to do research for the new project. After he returns, a software loop running some experimental hardware goes infinite and explodes, and he wakes up in his 19-year-old body back in his parents' house during college break.

The rest of the book is the story of how he convinces the NASA employee he met at the archives in the other timeline that he is from the future and to help him stop the Endeavour accident. And he of course meets Melody.


Worth $1 if you FF past the Bible crap.
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