Published by Crooked Lane Books on February 12, 2019
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Perfect for fans of Naomi Alderman's The Power and Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures comes The Psychology of Time Travel, a mind-bending, time-travel debut.
In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history.
Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?
Traversing the decades and told from alternating perspectives, The Psychology of Time Travel introduces a fabulous new voice in fiction and a new must-read for fans of speculative fiction and women’s fiction alike.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I was intrigued by the premise of The Psychology of Time Travel. Time travel itself has always fascinated me, and I loved the idea of it being a group of women pioneers who actually made that leap for the first time. Also, the author herself is a psychologist, which I think lent a special depth to the characterization and some aspects of the story (notably mental health issues).
Within the first couple of chapters we are introduced to one of the main characters, Ruby, as she changes the oil in her motorcycle, and I was SOLD. I’m hopeless when it comes to mechanical things myself, but I love seeing women mow down that stereotype. Also motorcycles are just awesome. I miss ours…but I digress.
The characters – and there are MANY – are from various walks of life, various sexualites, various cultures. I enjoyed all the diversity but the constant perspective hopping became exhausting rather quickly. Especially since even after the book was halfway over, there were STILL new characters being introduced! I almost went cross-eyed trying to keep them all straight. That said, the friendships developed through the book are really what MADE the story. Not the romance – which was a little hard to believe – but the friendships.
I struggled some to connect with the characters, sadly, and only really felt invested in two. The others I didn’t really care that much about, they were interesting but if they lived or died I was just…meh.
Yes, all caps, because the amount of thought put into just how time travel would work – really, actually, maybe work – was very much evident. Unlike a lot of books with time travel elements, there are no dire consequences if your younger or older self sees you as a time traveler (no time-turner woes here), it’s just an accepted part of society and life for those travel. There is new slang and jargon for time travel and the occurrences that go along with it – even down to terms for sex with one’s older or younger self! The story also probes into thedisregard for death that most time travelers either already have, or develop through their career. After all, if someone they love dies, they can just travel back in time and see them again. Despite that…they aren’t actually able to change the past. It’s all very mind-bending.
There’s a behind-a-locked-door murder mystery plotline as well, and it was quite interesting. However, that is definitely not the main draw for the story.
Overall, 3.5/5 stars. The Psychology of Time Travel is a very intriguing story, especially if you like seeing things from many different viewpoints and angles.
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