“Tess Heiden, twenty years old, born in 1993. A difficult childhood. Mother a junkie. Like you, she had numerous stays in psychiatric institutions. Father unknown… At the age of ten, you were placed with a foster family, the Heidens, who adopted you officially two years later, despite your… unstable behaviour, to say the least. Your adoptive parents died in a car accident in 2010…”
With this report, young Tess Heiden is recruited for a highly unusual, supremely secretive organization – the T.I.M.E. (Tachyon Insertion in Major Event) Organization. She must agree to work for the organization without knowing too much about them or what it will entail. To her surprise, she is teleported into the future and her ‘essence’ is placed in a new receptacle (human body). There she meets other recruits, brought in from other eras, other times, and perhaps from other worlds (it’s hard to tell since they are all placed in current bodies). They must train together and learn to become a cohesive team – appreciating and relying on each others’ skills. They train with a timer because once they are sent to a new time, they will be brought back either upon completion of their mission, once their host is killed, or when the time has run out.
Once ready, the team is sent to the past to rectify an error. Once time travel was made possible, changes were inadvertently being created in the timeline and Tess was now part of a group trying to correct the mistakes. Or so they claimed. The more missions she takes the more Tess realizes that there are many others using time travel and all she has is the word of her organization that she and her team are doing ‘right.’
I didn’t realize it until I started writing this review, but this book is apparently based on a board game. I am not familiar with the game so I can’t say how well it fits or defines the game, but it does explain the episodic nature of the book. The team head off on a mission, it probably has to be done more than once, and then off to another mission. There is only the slightest story holding this together and that’s the sort of story that is offered up in a board game theme.
I enjoyed the adventures/missions and these would have made some nice short stories. But without a better connecting story and seeing how these missions relate to bigger whole, this pretty much fell flat.
Fun, but not recommended.
Looking for a good book? T.I.M.E. Stories: The Heiden Files by Christopher Lambert has some interesting stories to tell but they need to be bound together with a stronger purpose.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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T.I.M.E. Stories; The Heiden File
author: Christopher Lambert
publisher: Angry Robot
paperback, 344 pages