restitution road 

Restitution Road

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by Marc Everitt

 

 

Marc Everitt takes the time travel genre into new territory, weaving an enjoyable story about a man who is given a second chance at life and is asked to change history.  Daniel Lewis, at the end of his rope, decides to end it all.  He wakes up, however, much to his surprise, where a well-dressed gentleman is waiting for him.  Daniel can either remain dead, or he can perform three tasks that need to be done in order to make sure history unfolds in a certain way.  If he does this, he will be reunited with his son, who was taken away when he and his wife divorced.

 Daniel is a rather likable character, but not for his character traits.  In fact, he is egotistical, stubborn, block-headed, cowardly, rather dumb—the list goes on.  But the author gives him a sense of almost flippant irreverency that strikes a chord.  Despite his flaws, he is someone with whom a reader can connect.

 Overall, the tone of the book works quite well.  The author has a unique style and rhythm that imparts a rather tasty flavor to the entire work. 

 There were issues with the book, though, that detracted from the overall enjoyment.  Most of these can be attributed directly to poor copy editing.

 First, punctuation is haphazard and confusing.  The comma is almost forgotten.  As the author tends to long, rambling sentences, the use of commas would have greatly assisted in comprehension.   Capitalization is also random, and while that does not interfere with comprehension, using “Officer” and “officer” or “Sergeant” and “sergeant” in the same sentence indicates a lack of attention to detail.  There were also incorrect word choices, such as “less and less people.”

 POV shifts also tended to be haphazardly done.  One moment the reader is reading about Daniel, then it shifts into the POV of another character without warning.  It takes further reading to realize this, making the reader go back to get things into perspective.

 More annoying were the continuous errors of fact.  I started keeping a list of them.  I will only highlight a few here.

 Daniel is first sent back to the year 562 BC.  In what is now the UK, there are churches, and the people speak modern English instead of Common Brythonic (no modern English speaker would be able to understand that—although the “fix” for this would have been easy given that Daniel was given increased abilities by his handler).  This era was also described as “Medieval England.”

 The Battle of Waterloo is of importance to the story.  At first, when Daniel recounted that Lord Nelson defeated Napoleon, I thought that was just because Daniel was not the brightest guy around.  But later, he researches the battle, and it is still Admiral Nelson instead of the Duke of Wellington. 

 Daniel is also sent to the Battle of the Somme.  In this section, he has soldiers eating and preparing oil-boiled potatoes, something that probably never happened (Bully Beef and biscuits were the staples in the trenches, and if potatoes were ever cooked, they would never have been boiled in oil.)  People are put under with “sleeper holds” where they stay out for 13 hours (and this can be somehow calculated.”  A folding knife with a seven inch blade can be thrown effectively, and not only does it strike the target, but it pierces bone and runs completely through the shoulder and out the back.  Crows use their feet to kill and carry off rats.  A person can “nerve pinch” another while quickly passing, and that person will be unconscious for hours.

 The errors like this piled up.  There were a few other concerns, though, but those require a bit of a spoiler.

 

SPOILER ALERT

 

Two issues stand out to me.  The first is that in this novel, God, angels, Lucifer, and demons cannot directly interfere with what humans do, hence the need for Daniel.  However, both in 562 BC England and in the Battle of the Somme, angels take direct action against Daniel.

 Lucifer arrives a few moments too late to stop Uriel from assisting Daniel.  However, with Lucifer’s ability to travel through time, couldn’t he just adjust this travel by a few minutes?  And with his ability, despite what Daniel does, he could just got back and redo what was “fixed.”

 

END OF SPOILER ALERT

 

Part of the problem with writing time travel books is accounting for the paradoxes and the “science” of it.  I think the author did a pretty good job at taking care of these.  Some explanations were stronger than others, but there has to be some literary license given to enable a storyline to develop.

 Overall, this is a very enjoyable book.  With better editing, I think this could be right at the top of the genre.  I still recommend it as a new perspective of time travel.  

 

For more reviews or to buy this book from Amazon.com, click here.

 

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