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Book Review: A Pocket in Time

The present is in peril.

The Human race has changed. Evolved. Many people now possess powers including telepathy, telekinesis, and of course time travel. And not everyone is happy with the way history turned out. That’s where Time Weavers’ Inc. comes in.. Their mission: To preserve the present. But they’re up against those who want to sow chaos or manipulate events to suit their own needs. These Disrupters, as they’re known, will do anything to advance their plans. Which means that TWI has to do the same.

Enter Katz Almira. A natural thief, she’s one of the best agents TWI has. Even better, she’s not the type to let anyone get close… a definite perk when having to travel to the past. But this time, the case hits close to home. When she’s dispatched to 1815 to prevent Napoleon from winning the Battle of Waterloo, she’s thrust into the heart of a pickpocket gang run by a disabled former soldier, Lord John Byron. No, not that one. But this one is almost as dashing, although not nearly as poetic. Katz finds herself coming to care for her fellow pickpockets – a motley crew of boys from a varied backgrounds – and worse, falling for the handsome lord.

Can Katz save the future when her heart is becoming inexorably attached to the past?

This is the second book in the Time Weavers series and you do not need to read the first book to understand what’s going on, although I’m certain it would add to the enjoyment. Firmly set on the sci-fi spectrum of time-travel romance, this story uses both mutation and quantum physics to explain how the universe works. And it’s interesting how they’re handling the various alternate universes and the repercussions of changing the past. This is not a Peggy-Sue got married type of time travel.

I enjoyed the characters. While at times Katz, our heroine, seemed a little closed off, it made sense in the characterization. She shied away from her own past which meant that we, as readers, were given her history in drips and drabs – sparing us from both navel-gazing or infodump. She’s competent, but not infallible. And she’s both hard and soft in the way that only someone who has suffered a lot of childhood trauma can be.

I really liked John, our hero. While he was very rooted in the social mores of his age, he wasn’t insufferable. I didn’t mind his over-protectiveness towards the heroine because it also extended to the pickpockets in his care. His disability was plot relevant and wasn’t ever forgotten and even better, it wasn’t magically cured, which as someone who has a disability caused by an injury it was good to see. Both the hero and heroine suffer from PTSD and it does manifest in the story. It’s handled well, and I appreciate the inclusion.

The pickpocket gang were for the most part well developed although at least one of them could have been cut entirely with very few repercussions. Pip, Hum, and Covey were my faves and they were definitely the most utilized. The other members of TWI were referenced frequently which helped ground the story and keep the series connected. I don’t know who the next book is going to feature, but I am really looking forward to reading about Mouse.

The plot was tight and well woven through the romance. I was kept guessing just like the characters as to who the antagonist was, and I was pleased to note that the thing that identified them was something I myself pinpointed as an anachronism. It was a nice feature for those who know their history, but not so out there to be completely esoteric. I also liked that the majority of the action wasn’t set in the glittering ballrooms of the Ton but in the seamy underbelly of London.

Which because it’s set there, you should know that there’s going to be a lot of topics that may be triggering for some. Trigger warning for those who need it: cw: period appropriate sexism, cw: attempted rape (not by any of the mains), cw: medical trauma (war wounds), cw: PTSD, cw: prior child abuse, cw: prior child neglect, cw: domestic abuse. All of these are well handled and appropriate both for the story and the characters. But for those who would be triggered, it is good to know this going in.

All in all, I enjoyed this novel,. and I’ve already gone and checked out the first book from the library. So because of that, I’m going to give this:

Five Stars

If this is up your alley, you can get it here!

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I received an ARC via NetGalley.

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