Friday, August 11, 2017
Dakota Bell and the Wastes of Time by Brian Olsen
Synopsis From Publisher:
Dakota Bell had a difficult summer - her boss turned evil, her roommates took off, and her girlfriend wanted a break. She hoped her birthday might turn things around, but the gang of identical gunmen crashing the party had other ideas. Dakota and her friends flee for their lives through a mysterious portal, leaving them stranded in their own childhoods. She'll need to save the past before she can save the future, but the present holds dangers all its own. A madman hunts her across the years, monsters wait for her beneath the earth, and Dakota's out of time...
It seems like it's been decades since I read the first three books in this series, but it's only been about a year, so I'm not feeling too guilty. What I am feeling is annoyed that I didn't get to this one sooner. I got it at the same time I got the previous two books, but for whatever reason I got distracted, and forgot about it. And before I get started on the review, I have to say how much I love this title and the way it not only plays with word meanings, but with the actual concept of time as well. Frickin brilliant.
Like the first three books, this is a mashup of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and social commentary. This time it's blended together into a hilariously violent game of cat and mouse played through space and time. Of course you can't have time travel without paradoxes coming into play, and I like the simplistic approach the author took. If a paradox occures, the universe manufactures whatever it needs to keep it from destroying the time line.
Character wise, I'm in love with this cast of characters even more than I was in the beginning. They all get their moments to shine, even though this book centers around Dakota. Alan is still my favorite. What he goes through in this book, makes what happened to him in the first book look like child's play. Whether it's having to confront a truly horrific episode from the past, or having to deal with yet another issue of the heart, he rises above it, and shows a huge amount of maturity at the end. Caitlin is still Caitlin, and she has to deal with where her life is heading, and what she pictures the end goal to be. Mark makes the most selfish decision he could in this book, and I applaud him for it. I can't imagine having to face the choices he had to make, or the sacrifices he chose in order to save the world. Dakota has to deal with choices made in her childhood that were not only beyond her control, but about as paradoxical as can be. And that leaves us with the evil boss. I still adore him, I still understand where he was coming from, I'm heart broken at the betrayals he has had to contend with, but I stI'll think what he did is truly horrific. He made choices that are almost impossible to defend, even if his heart was in the right place. I wish he could have been saved or redeemed, and I still cringe when I think about his ultimate fate. Since this series played with science fiction constructs, maybe there will be a fifth book that serves as his path to salvation. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.
Other Books in the Series:
Alan Lennox and the Temp Job of Doom
Caitlin Ross and the Commute from Hell
Mark Park and the Flume of Destiny