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Sojourn by Jana G. Oliver
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834209,082 (4.08)5



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A Muddled Mash Up


I found Sojourn (Time Rovers Book 1) by Jana Oliver very hard to get into initially. I've given a 3-Star "Good" rating based on the passable writing and research. In terms of my enjoyment of the story, I'd rate it as barely average, which really surprised me, given my love of time travel tales, Victoriana and Ripperology.

This is a very complicated storyline of many parts. I counted 12 plots and subplots and there were still more threads as well. I felt the author had been undisciplined in throwing together all these disparate ideas. She didn't succeed in forming a smooth narrative from all these pieces.

I didn't enjoy the Transitive (shape shifter) part and felt it added unnecessary complications that might have been better told in a separate novel.

The characterizations were flat and two dimensional to me and I didn't feel any emotional attachment to any of the principals. There were many Mary Sue moments when the always sought after Jacynda one moment mourns her 2057 lover's death while concurrently entertains romantic notions of her two vying suitors.

The world building also fell lacking in providing adequate background both for the Transitive plotline and the mechanics of Time Travel.

Also, the novel is tiresome and keeps rolling along long after it might have been wound up.

One late addition character seemed to be added solely for the purpose of luring the reader on to a sequel.

Finally, too many tired tropes about Victorian society, nothing fresh was added.

Unfortunately, Sojourn didn't satisfy this reader, but it wasn't a terrible fantasy either. ( )
  Zumbanista | Feb 14, 2016 |
When I had the opportunity to read Jana Oliver's Sojourn, I jumped at the opportunity -even before I had any idea what the book was about. Aside from the fact that I just love books, I also have recently fallen in love with Oliver's Demon Trappers series, so it's hard for me to say no to any of her other work. However, I'm always careful when it comes to delving into an author's past titles. While such an expedition can turn up unexpected gems, it can also turn up some titles that were just not as good.

Fortunately, I'd say Sojourn is one of these unexpected gems.

Sojourn straddles two different worlds: a futuristic world where an organization openly allows time travel, and time "tourists" are somewhat common, all policed by the time rovers -and the dark world of late 19th century England on the eve of the Jack the Ripper murders. Jacynda, also known as Cynda, is given the mission of retrieving an overdue tourist who has gone missing just before the murders begin. Cynda quickly finds that her mission isn't as easy as it seems, and that she must unravel the secrets of one of London's most famous serial killers, and how he is connected to the time rover organization.

While I must admit that I wasn't completely expecting something like this from Oliver (especially with such a strong Dr. Who vibe!), but I still found it enjoyable to read. Oliver does an excellent job of painting an accurate and well-constructed picture of 19th century London that is incredibly well-researched and tightly woven. Oddly enough, the futuristic setting wasn't as vivid or as well put together, and at times was very hazy for me, so I desperately wanted to get back to London and back into the fascinating webs of the Whitechapel underground.

Though Sojourn isn't quite as polished as the Demon Trappers series, it's a wonderful, creative series that's a fun adventure that fans of Oliver's other novels will enjoy. ( )
  BookAddictDiary | Oct 30, 2011 |
I really enjoyed this story -- time travel, talking spiders, shape shifters and Jack the Ripper. How can that not be cool? ( )
  RhondaParrish | Mar 15, 2010 |
A truly excellent book. The characters are great, their dialogue reads true. The descriptions are detailed and fully immerse you into the Victorian era. A very well crafted novel. One so good I stayed up till 2:00 some nights while reading it. This is a book I would reccomend with out any hesitation to anyone who enjoys a good mystery, a strong heroine, and a damn good book. ( )
  ldyanduril | Nov 21, 2007 |
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