I really enjoyed Alex Woolf’s Fiction Express book Soul Shadows and I was keen to read more by him. Today is the publication date for the second book in his Chronosphere series – Malfunction so I thought I’d do another mini review post for both that and the first book Time Out of Time
Book 1 – Time Out of Time.
I was hooked within the first page of this book, mainly because it was set during a hoverbike race. The mere mention of a hoverbike left me excited to get stuck into the book and discover the world within it. The plot is interesting straight away, Raffi is on the cusp of adulthood so buys a year in the Chronosphere – time works differently here so that a year lasts only a minute in the real world. It seems like a perfect situation, he can put off growing up for another year but no one will ever know he was gone. Very quickly however he starts to realise that this perfect world isn’t quite so perfect, there are darker things going on and very quickly Raffi gets caught up in them.
Raffi’s a great leading character, I think teens and adults alike will be able to identify with his wish to put off growing up a little longer. I certainly found myself rooting for him from the start, and worrying about what was going to happen to him at various points throughout the book. The group of friends he makes within the Chronosphere are an interesting group, I liked the way we got to know them a little bit and then the rug was pulled from us as a few secrets were revealed. I finished the book looking forward to finding out more about them all.
The world created in this book is fascinating, the technological developments are all really exciting though there are points where the technology becomes quite scary. I liked the way that the science behind the time bending aspects of the book is included, there was a risk this could have been confusing but for me it was balanced just right.
Book 2 – Malfunction.
This second book in the series begins with a brief but comprehensive recap of Time Out of Time before jumping straight into a fast and gripping plot. Since we left the characters behind at the end of the last book their lives have been quiet and idyllic but this peaceful state is about to come to an end. The Malfunction happens and everything starts to go wrong. The temp-al chambers have stopped working so no one can leave or enter the Chronosphere. The temp-al ducts are also not working meaning that the supply chain is broken. Very quickly services start to fail, and then the technology starts to act very strangely. Within a few chapters this magical place to get away from it all is starting to look like a living nightmare.
All of the characters we got to know in Time Out of Time return in this book, we again tag along primarily with Raffi. This book allows us to get to know the characters even better, and by the end of the book many of the questions I brought with me were answered. I particularly liked the way we got to understand some of the “baddies” better, I always like it when characters’ motivations are understandable rather than a character being bad just because s/he is.
I loved this book, and really liked the way we got to understand more about the Chronosphere, both how it works and why it exists. I also liked the examination of the society within the Chronosphere, I always find accounts of societies disintegrating interesting – particularly the way people try to survive.
At the end of the book there is a sneak peak for Book 3 – Ex Tempora. Whilst it is merely 3 pages long it has already got my interest, I shall certainly be looking forward to reading it! Both of these books are interesting and exciting reads, I thoroughly enjoyed them both.
Time Out of Time and Malfunction are published in paperback by Scribo Books in the UK priced £6.99. Whilst I was provided with a review copy of the books all of the opinions expressed are my own.