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Blog Tour Review - Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Blog Tour Review - Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky To fix the world they first must break it further. Humanity is a dying breed, utterly reliant on artificial labor and service. When a domesticated robot gets a nasty little idea downloaded into their core programming, they murder their owner. The robot then discovers they can also do something else they never did before: run away. After fleeing the household, they enter a wider world they never knew existed, where the age-old hierarchy of humans at the top is disintegrating, and a robot ecosystem devoted to human wellbeing is finding a new purpose. There is so much to love in Service Model, but one of the things I most love about it is the peculiar blend of charming innocence and insightful cynicism. Uncharles the domestic robot is such a simple soul (though he would state that he has no soul and this is an inaccurate description). He approaches the end of the world with optimism and hope, or whatever equivalent to these emotions h

Blog Tour - Lost in Time by A.G Riddle

Blog Tour - Lost in Time by A.G Riddle


Control the Past.
Save the Future.

One morning, Dr. Sam Anderson wakes up to discover that the woman he loves has been murdered.
For Sam, the horror is only beginning. He and his daughter are accused of the crime. The evidence is ironclad. They will be convicted. And so, Sam does what he must: he confesses to the crime. But in the future, murderers aren’t sent to prison. They’re sent to the past. Two hundred million years into the past—to the age of the dinosaurs—to live out their lives alone, in exile from the human race.

Sam accepts his fate.
But his daughter doesn’t.

Adeline Anderson has already lost her mother to a deadly and unfair disease. She can’t bear to lose her father. She sets out on a quest to prove him innocent. And get him back. People around her insist that both are impossible tasks. But Adeline doesn’t give up. She only works harder. She soon learns that impossible tasks are her specialty. And that she is made of tougher stuff that she ever imagined. As she peels back the layers of the mystery that ripped her father from this world, Adeline finds more questions than answers. Everyone around her is hiding a secret. But which ones are connected to the murder that exiled her father? That mystery stretches across the past, present, and future–and leads to a revelation that will change everything.

Lost in Time is a really fascinating mystery crime thriller wrapped up in a time-travel science fiction novel, and it makes for a really interesting combination.

The setting feels very contemporary, with references to recent events like lockdowns, but with one significant scientific breakthrough we don't have, a machine that sends people on a one-way-trip to the distant past, a jump that splits off a splinter universe. Honestly, it's best not to think too much about the science, because I feel like it's at that level where if you start picking holes in it you'll only ruin the story for yourself. There was enough technical explanation to nod along and say "Yeah, sure, okay." without getting bogged down in mathematics and physics. The novel skirts over the moral implications of using this breakthrough as a punishment too, to a large extent. I felt like it accepted that there were moral questions raised by it, and clearly some of the characters take different stances on it, but there's very little time spent on actually examining the societal implications. Again, we're pretty much back to "This is here now, and it is a thing." So if you get Lost in Time looking for that level of analysis I don't think you'll find it.

There was also a lot less about Sam trying to survive two million years in the past than I was expecting. From the blurb I thought that would be the main focus of the story, a man against the dinosaurs tale of survival, and while it is definitely a part of it, it's actually a relatively minor one in the end. 

But enough about what this book isn't. Let's look at what it is.

What Lost in Time is, really, is a mystery thriller. Someone has been murdered, and an innocent man has been forced into confessing and been punished. Adeline and her brother are left surrounded by her father's colleagues who also happen to be the main suspects in both the murder and the frame job. She has nowhere to turn, in a company town built and owned by them, and knows it could be any, or all, of them responsible for this situation. While she begins to investigate, they all try to win over her trust, mostly by casting suspicion on the others in the group and promising to help her. It feels claustrophobic and tense and I found myself veering wildly from theory to theory.

Then everything takes another twist and everything I thought I knew, I didn't!

Lost in Time is like a puzzle, a jigsaw maybe, or to use on of its own constructs, a photomosaic. There's clearly a larger picture there, and as you fill in some of the pieces you might start to get a sense of what that is, but there are too many pieces missing for much of the book. And it is so satisfying when a large part of the puzzle reveals itself and you see where it fits in and how it helps make sense of other parts. Then by the very end you can see the whole picture in all of its cleverness and complexity. It's very cleverly written and was very enjoyable to read.

It was also quite moving too. There's a lot in here about grief and loss, about how we cope with losing the people we love and what moving on might look like. The way this is worked into the time travelling narrative is particularly genius. 

Stylistically, I really loved the use of metaphor and simile. There's a repeated use of juxtaposition, as a character literally adrift on the ocean is compared to a different character feeling pulled around by metaphorical tides and currents. Survival encounters trigger related memories and flashbacks. Parallel narratives are tied together by these kinds of shared experiences. It's a device that is used very cleverly to stop the narratives feeling too torn apart, and kept tied together thematically. 

Lost in Time is a clever, twisty time travelling thriller with a strong emotional core.


Lost in Time by A.G. Riddle is out now, published by Head of Zeus/Ad Astra Fiction.

I was given a review copy in return for an honest review and participation in this Black Crow PR blog tour.

Make sure you check out the rest of the stops on the tour!


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