Linear Shift
Paul B. Kohler

No one said time travel would be easy.

Peter Cooper, a widowed father of two whose life is crumbling around him—until a bizarre encounter with a desperate Army general launches him on a risky mission: to go back to 1942 and change a moment in time. The repercussions will almost certainly alter the conclusion of World War II. But will the ripple effects stop there? And what kind of life will Peter return to?

Unknown Consequences:

A successful mission may not have the success he had intended.

Linear Shift book cover

I had echoes of Michael J. Sullivan‘s Hollow world with this book, but there were a few issues…
First, whether there were 7 or 8 days to go to the event, the author couldn’t quite make up his mind. Then there were a handful of cludges, such as:
“moonlight cascaded through the partially open drapes, saving Peter from utter obscurity.” It’s dark, but is it really utter obscurity?
“he began to feel remorse for how he had acted. Regurgitating the information from Applegate, he…” Regurgitating? It can mean to repeat, yes, but there are plenty of other words.
“He smiled internally.” He’s alone, he can surely just smile? There’s nobody to see!
The quotes in chapter 9 mysteriously revert to straights, not smarts, just for a bit.
On the second visit underground this guy decides not to use a map. he gets lost, so uses the map after all. The map was available to start with, there’s no rationale given for him not using it.
“As he and Julie sat privately waltzing with the possibilities” is such an odd, odd phrase. I’m a man for metaphor,but to a point…
“It was the quintessential impulse purchase, but with so much going on with the mission, he’d felt he needed to record some of his thoughts.” You can’t have this both ways: either he bought it on an impulse, or thought about it beforehand.
The girl says “maybe.” He rejoins, “Only if you promise.” How on earth does that work?
Manstein’s English is very good, until the author gives him a very erratic German accent. Weird.
There’s a countdown; but it doesn’t start at 10, or 5, or whatever. it starts… at 8.
A cow “churns” its cud. Every other cow I know chews.
“Dr. Epson passed him on the left, a look of passion and fear etched through his eyebrows, on his lips.” Just, WTF?
And, a US military general uses a tape recorder to liberally edit an interview debriefing. In 2013. Seriously?

So if you can set all that aside, what you actually have here is one of those twiddle something in the Second World War and history changes stories. However, everything we are trying to affect corkscrews around a single character and nothing is done to show us any benefits the changes he’s going for would have. Nor is any remotely plausible attempt made to tell us how the science works, or indeed why this guy is involved. there’s an insanely idiotic subplot about pennies, gratuitous sex, considerable historical license and if the French is as bad as the English in some parts, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Published by Sean Randall

I am an avid reader, technologist and disability advocate living in the middle of England with my wife, daughter and pets.

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