Friday, October 22, 2010
Title: Out of Time
Author: Monique Martin
Page Count: 390 pages
Genre: paranormal romance, time travel
Review copy received from the author
Review by: Darkeva (http://thedarkeva.com)
This novel begins with a bang right off the bat and draws you into the world right away. The first character we meet, Simon, predicts the death of another character, Elizabeth, through a startling nightmare, and apparently, it's not the first one of this kind that he's had. Their lives, as the novel goes on, are more interrelated than he could ever have imagined.
When we get to Elizabeth's point of view shortly thereafter, her portion starts out promisingly. Simon, aka Professor Cross, is an instructor of Occult Studies, which Elizabeth is thoroughly interested in. Her descriptions of how hypnotic his movements are, and how he enthrals the (mostly female) students are interesting, because it sets him up in a way that you wouldn't necessarily expect.
And who among us doesn't love a sexy English accent? (Spike or Bones, anyone?) ;-)
Cross' dialogue is effective, and his humour comes across naturally, as with when he says, "Purge Tom Cruise from your malleable little minds" about the misconceptions that vampires are overly sentimentalized in today's media. He's a funny guy with retorts that have shades of Giles and Blackadder, which was delightful to read ;-) However, despite the overall sexiness/humour, at times his dialogue did come off as a bit stilted, even for someone who's English (and he tends to overuse phrases such as "What in God's name..." and "What the devil...", etc). But his inherent prudishness was mostly a delight to read, especially when he conjugates the Latin verb "consummate" to take his mind off anything sexual.
Elizabeth's observations, too, are amusing when necessary, as she guesses that Professor Cross probably imported cobblestones from England to trip young Americans ;-)
Possibly because of the formatting, there are a few areas where the point of view shifts from Elizabeth to Simon that come off as jarring because there's no division, but once you figure out that there's been a switch, it's not such a big deal.
One of the best things about the book is that although it's classified as paranormal romance, it definitely doesn't focus just on the burgeoning love story between Cross and Elizabeth. It has a lot of interesting supernatural elements that will appeal to readers who enjoy rare relics that have strange, unclear significances.
The plot picks up within the first few chapters and establishes the book as a time travel story, which definitely heightens the excitement. They end up in 1920s New York, right before the stock market crash of 1929--also the era of prohibition and gangsters, which definitely makes this more dangerous.
And apart from Simon and Elizabeth's story, there's a subplot that focuses on a gangster, King, who is determined to control the machinations of fate not only for himself but for the city of New York, as well.
In terms of the love scenes, they're a good balance between being intense enough that the reader will savour them but not over-the-top or too explicit.
And actually, one of the things that I enjoyed most about the novel was the lack of vampires--until the latter chapters ;-) (kidding) It actually made sense, the vampire is a well-developed character, and it fit with the clever twist toward the end.
Overall, there are a lot of exciting twists and turns in this enjoyable and readable novel, and if you're a fan of time travel, 1920s gangsters, or just a fan of a compelling story, I encourage you to buy "Out of Time." You'll be pleasantly surprised at how good it is ;-)
Rating: 3 out of 4