Saturday, April 3, 2010

24. Blackout

By:  Connie Willis
Rated: 4 Stars
From:  Library

If I had not read several of Connie Willis's books before I would have given up on this book within the first 50 pages.  It got off to a very slow start.  There was way to much dithering about the preparations for the characters drop into war time England. But once the story moved on it started sucking me in.  It bothered me a little that there was so much confusion and inefficiency concerning the characters inability to communicate with the agency who were responsible for their safety but then I remembered that they were dealing with a bureaucracy and I decided that it wasn't as implausible as I first thought. *sigh*

The actual adventures of the characters were exciting and believable and Willis did a wonderful job of creating the atmosphere of war time london and some excellent secondary characters. My only serious criticism is that it's the first part of a 2 part novel.  My advice is that if you intend to read this book wait until October because the second part will be released in November 2010.

Three young historians travel from 2060 to early 1940s Britain for firsthand research. As Eileen handles a measles outbreak during the children's evacuation and Polly struggles to work as a London shopgirl, hints of trouble with the time-travel equipment barely register on their radar. Historians aren't supposed to be able to change the course of history, but Mike's actions at Dunkirk may disrupt both the past and the future. Willis uses detail and period language exquisitely well, creating an engaging, exciting tale that cuts off abruptly on the last page. Readers allergic to cliffhangers may want to wait until the second volume comes out in November 2010.