Friday, August 31, 2012

Book Review: Erasing Time - by: C. J. Hill

This ARC was courtesy of Katherine Tegen Books.

Erasing Time is a young adult dystopian done right. And I do believe I can say this with a bit of authority since right now there are a truck load of dystopian sci-fi books out there, and very few of them are good. No, Erasing Time presents a plausible future that is not only a platform for environmental awareness. Perhaps best of all is the fact that this novel has time traveling.

Erasing Time is a story about two identical twins, Sheridan and Taylor--who aren’t alike at all (I know, I know)--that get taken into the year 2447 by way of a futuristic machine. There, they are plunged into a foreign society where no one speaks their language and the only one who will help them is a boy named Echo, a historian who had plenty of damage. Things quickly turn for the worst and the twins are forced to leave the city, but how and who can they trust?

Now, I know my little blurb sounded a bit cliché in parts, but trust me Erasing Time takes these clichés and puts them on their head, though I did have a small problem with the romance. Perhaps my favorite part of this novel was the world building, which is very rare in the case of dystopian stories.

C. J. Hill takes time to develop this new world of city-states. This story takes many sci-fi elements and gives them meaning that are quite clear to the reader and seem to have a realistic progression through history. My favorite element of this story though, and one of the reasons I loved this book, was how the English language progressed. This something I have not seen done in my limited experience in sci-fi. C. J. Hill masterfully takes the language we know and adds realistic characteristics that could naturally progress with time. One of the best lines in the story was when Echo explains to Sheridan that people of his time (2447) trying to understand her English was like if she talked to someone from Shakespeare’s time. I just really enjoyed how natural this element seemed, making the story both foreign and domestic at the same time.

Another thing I enjoyed about this book was indeed the plot. I appreciated how all of the action had a meaning beneath it and nothing progressed too fast or too slow. I do have to say though; there is some deus ex machina in there that proved to be a bit jarring. For the most part though, the plot progressed at a steady and eventful pace. However, there were two or three big plot twists in Erasing Time that threw me and made the ride really enjoyable throughout this book. This book kept me guessing in ways that most young adult books don’t.

Now, on to the characters. The characters in Erasing Time could have come across as cliché, and in some ways they did (the misunderstood and secretly smart twin, the super genius twin, the mysterious boy). But C. J. Hill added enough to personality to these characters that I was able to overlook some of that. For instance, Echo, the angsty mysterious boy, actually has a serious reason to be upset and is not brooding for no reason. In fact, he actually turned out to be surprisingly proactive, which broke up a lot of the cliché of a mysterious guy. The romance between the two characters in the story though did come off as a bit whirlwind at first, but fortunately evened out some more towards the end.

On a short note, I just want to say that the ending to Erasing Time was very well done and I enjoyed it greatly. For once, in a young adult series I actually cannot wait for the sequel because of how this book ended. Seriously, it was great. C. J. Hill did a wonderful job of setting down a ton of groundwork for future installments.

Check out C. J. Hill’s website here.

-Language: None.
-Violence: Some, but never very graphic.
-Sexuality: None.
-I recommend this for ages 12-13 and up.

My Rating:



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