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The Last Sunset by Bob Atkinson
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The Last Sunset

by Bob Atkinson

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Set in the Scottish Highlands, this book explores what might happen if 3 disparate groups of people come together during a pivotal time in Scottish history to 'change the past,' and presumably thereby alter the course of the future, filled with a sense of multiple genres, (romance, history, action, to name but three), the book suffers only in its predictability.

Depending on how they're handled, books involving time travel can be incredibly difficult to balance correctly. At the beginning of the novel I think it did struggle under that curse, with short sections introducing the sets of travelers that didn't really give much of a chance to get to know or care about any of them. In that regard the story strengthened as it went along, giving the reader better chance to identify with the characters and wish well for them, however I fear there was still much left that could have been expanded upon to give an even better reading experience.

The action was fast pace, sometimes at the expense of detail or explanation, so though it was a quick read, I found myself often re-reading sections just to be sure I hadn't missed anything, which I found somewhat frustrating. In other places, however the descriptive passages give the reader a real sense of 'presence' in the Highlands of Scotland, and at those points it excels. Aside from the sense of internal inconsistency in writing, the only other point of contention I have with the novel was that the ending failed to provide closure on many issues, and the denouement of the story seemed to have been left with too many loose ends. Perhaps Atkinson was planning a sequel? ( )
  cedargrove | Sep 29, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Tried to read this one a few times came back to it again and again. The subject matter sounds like it would be right up my alley as I usually enjoy Time Travel stories. I usually like historical fiction.

But this one just seemed slow and ponderous and never got up on its feet.
  magicians_nephew | Aug 13, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book through the Early Reviewers program. Honestly, I'd had it for such a time before I read it that I had quite forgotten what to expect. I found it to be an enjoyable historical fiction novel with a twist of sci-fi thrown in. It was a pretty quick read for me, and I'd be interested in reading more of the author's works to see if I like them as much. ( )
  bunkie68 | Mar 4, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Glen Laragain is an abandoned valley in the Western Highlands of Scotland where no one has lived since the last cottage was abandoned during the First World War. On the anniversary of the most fateful event in its history, a massacre of the local inhabitants which took place on the 21st April 1746 in the closing stages of the Jacobite rebellion, people of different eras find their way to the valley. In 1916 Alastair and Colin Cameron build a cairn to commemorate the recent death of their father. In 1976 Corporal Andy MacMillan leads a small party of soldiers on a training exercise. And in 2026 Shawnee (with her somewhat reluctant partner Sam in tow) explores the abandoned valley which her great-grandfather left to emigrate to the U.S.. All see a vision of what only Sam and Shawnee see in reality: the red, rolling fireball that heralds the start of a nuclear war. And having seen that vision all find themselves back on the eve of the massacre in 1746. But with the Earth ruined by global warming and now nuclear conflict, the usual concerns of time travellers not to change history seem a little less important.

A reasonable book this, if you like time travel and historical fiction, not great literature but a pleasant way to pass a few hours. I had a few gripes: I found the phonetically spelled accents of the twentieth century soldiers rather irritating after a while and it seemed a little over the top given how the eighteenth century highlanders speech was portrayed. And the changes caused by global warming that had taken place by the year 2026 seem extremely rapid: only thirteen years and the highlands had become a place of dried-up stream beds and dead vegetation. After nearly the wettest year on record that seems unlikely. And I don't really subscribe to the romantic myth of Bonnie Prince Charlie. While supporting and then losing the Jacobite rebellion was definitely a bad thing for the Highlands of Scotland, I'm not at all convinced that the U.K. in general, or Scotland in particular would have been better off if the rebellion had succeeded. And in the main the clearances of Scotland were carried out for profit by the descendants of the very clan chiefs who are romanticised in the traditional version of the story, being only indirectly a result of the Jacobite rebellion. But these are fairly minor gripes and I felt the book succeeded reasonably well with what it set out to do. ( )
  SandDune | Jan 19, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Well I received the book as part of the early reviewers program. I have had trouble with it on my device since it is an e-book. It is not the fault of the author. I am getting another device in the next few weeks so I will be able to adequately write a review about the book. I am very sorry for the delay. ( )
  annesion | Dec 21, 2012 |
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