Published: July 12, 2016
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 432 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 4.0/5.0
Having been haunted by the past and enslaved by the present, James Griffin-Mars is taking control of the future.
Earth is a toxic, sparsely inhabited wastelandthe perfect hiding place for a fugitive exchronman to hide from the authorities.
James has allies, scientists he rescued from previous centuries: Elise Kim, who believes she can renew Earth, given time; Grace Priestly, the venerated inventor of time travel herself; Levin, James’s mentor and former pursuer, now disgraced; and the Elfreth, a population of downtrodden humans who want desperately to believe that James and his friends will heal their ailing home world.
James also has enemies. They include the full military might of benighted solar system ruled by corporate greed and a desperate fear of what James will do next. At the forefront of their efforts to stop him is Kuo, the ruthless security head, who wants James’s head on a pike and will stop at nothing to obtain it.
Ahhhh, Time Siege. A fine sequel if I ever saw one. I read Time Salvager earlier this year and just never got around to reviewing it, but I thought it was a unique premise so I’ll give you a brief overview. Hundreds of years into the future humans have populated planets throughout the solar system, but infrastructure and resources are scarce unless you’re with a corporation. Time salvagers, or Chronmen, work for ChronoCom and jump back into time to salvage technology, food, and other scarce resources. The one thing they never do is bring back people, or jump into a timeline that isn’t a dead end. That would violate the sacred Time Laws, written by Grace Priestly, the Mother of Time. James Griffin-Mars is a Chronman, a Tier 1 in fact, which means he’s the best of the salvagers in the field, until he breaks the Time Laws.
Time Siege continues the exploration of the repercussions of breaking the Time Laws by bringing Elise Kim, a biologist, and Grace Priestly into the future and going against the Valta Corporation and Chronocom. The Elfreth tribe has taken the fugitives in and they are all now on the run from Valta troops coming to kill the natives and kidnap Elise. This was an interesting and action-packed addition to the series and it was a strong second book.
I liked the additional tribes and locations that were explored in this installment, particularly the misty ominous land called the Mist Isle, formerly Manhattan. The island is covered by a dense, unnatural fog that blocks signals and contains strange creatures and hundreds of native tribes. The character development was spot on as well. James deals with his alcohol addiction and the impact it has on his family, friends, and associates which I found to be a surprisingly relevant statement to contemporary life. Sci-Fi and Fantasy generally deal with themes that are relevant, but rarely anything quite so down-to-earth as alcohol addiction. Elise is also growing into her role as leader to the Elfreth, learning to manage a host of mundane but important tasks and dealing with being in a distant and bleak future that is as foreign to her as a beautiful Earth is to James.
All in all, I thought Time Siege was satisfying, though not particularly memorable. It falls into the average, middle of the pack books though that doesn’t by any means it was bad or disappointing! I look forward to the next installment and seeing what happens after an ending that made me simultaneously cringe, shake my fist at the injustice, and face palm.