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Time Siege by Wesley Chu

Time Siege

by Wesley Chu

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ARGH! Cannot stand books which are part of a series but the author deems it unnecessary to explain anything that happened in the earlier books. Started reading this figuring that at some point some of the back-story would be filled in. Or some of the concepts in this new age would be explained. Not.

Forget reading this one if you don't have a pretty good recall for what happened in the rest of the series. As for me, I'll not read the author again. ( )
  Mooose | Dec 21, 2016 |
In the toxic wasteland of Earth, Elise still clings to her hope that she can cure the plague and make Earth liveable again. But that hope seems more and more as they – and their tribe – constantly have to flee from attacks from Chronocon and the Valta corporation.

But she isn’t alone, James, while struggling with his own issues, has put together a powerful alliance of brilliant minds to help them. Elise is putting together her own alliance – determined to create something better.

I love how this book portrays the dystopian world – because it’s clearly grim and awful in many many ways, but we portray this through daily existence, how everyone lives and survives every day. There’s no need for pages upon pages upon pages of melodramatic awfulness and description – because it’s portrayed by people’s experiences and what they’re used to. It doesn’t make a lot of sense for characters who are used to the world they live in to spend an excessive long time moping about it.

Because this is a book about time travel (though the focus is very much on the book’s present in this book) there is a large amount of the setting’s history present. There’s a lot of excellent references to this created history, to wars, to the conflicts between the core planets and the outer rims and the very different standards of living and histories of both regions. This leads to interesting resource conflicts – with the outer-rim planets being the most modern and luxurious but with time salvaging being the source of the most precious resources, the core planets, especially broken, diseased Earth, is the motherlode.

Securitate Kuo’s thought processes does give us some insight into the views of the villain who, like most villains, does think of herself as the good guy. In some ways it’s very well done but in others it’s just a little overdone, almost cartoonishly. She is a loyal follower of the corporations and their capitalism = everything motto. And in this dystopian solar system of dwindling resources, she doesn’t just see capitalism as the most profitable but literally the way to save humanity. She knows there’s few resources and she firmly believes in the ruthlessness of obliterating waste – including wasteful people – so that humanity may go forwards

But even through her own eyes we see that the corporations are repeating the same mistakes as the governments and non-profits she disdains so as well as seeing flaws unique to the corporations –like their inability to plan for the long term.

This is, somewhat, the underlying conflict of the books. The megacorporation have co-opted the Time Agency, they have the power and the control. They’re ruthless, devastating and view people as resources to exploit, use and dispose of. They’re cruel, they’re ruthless, they care about the bottom line only – they may be efficient, but it’s a selfish efficiency that is only focused on their own gain.

Then you have Elise and her vision. She’s kind and compassionate and her kindness and willing to share manages to win her massive loyalty from the beleaguered tribes. People coming together in common cause as they’re shown equal respect, share resources and training and expertise to form a much more respectful, honest and greater whole that, in term, is looking forward to the betterment of them all

Yet even with this we see James and many others fretting over the fact they simply don’t have the resources for this generosity, let alone to achieve their long term goals. Without the ability to jump into the past for resources, technology, weapons and even experts, the whole society would collapse over night (though, equally, it has to be noted time salvaging is a major resource for the corporations as well). The equal respect of people and voices means a thousand confusing titles and names, endless arguments and jockeying and a general slowness that leaves Elise conflicted between the principle of all voices being heard and the practicality of everything being so much easier when everyone does as they’re told.

It’s the core conflict of the books and showcases the underlying themes so well.

This book contains a large amount of exploration of James‘s alcoholism which is both horrible and painful reading while at the same time being so very accurate which is what it makes so hard to read. It is hard to see one of the protagonists of a book completely ruin his life and the plot. It’s hard to read a character do things and just sit there and scream “nooo nooo don’t do this! Don’t do this!” It’s not fun to read. It’s not easy to read. But the subject matter is neither fun nor easy either. It was portrayed as difficult and as destructive and hard as it really should be.

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  FangsfortheFantasy | Sep 15, 2016 |
I loved the first book in this series so was anxiously awaiting this one which comes out on July 12. The story started out great pulling me right back into this world. Then I hit the middle section. Which dragged for me. I also started yelling at the characters. A lot. The last section though redeemed the story as the plot and pace really picked up. I didn't know going in there was going to be another book but there sure better be after that ending! Overall it was still a strong story which I hope wraps up nicely in the next book. The author does do a nice job filling in enough of the plot from the first book that this one could be read alone, but I recommend reading Time Salvager first. Scifi fans will enjoy this Summer read. ( )
  JJbooklvr | May 26, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765377543, Hardcover)

Time Siege, a fast-paced time-travel adventure from award-winning author Wesley Chu

Having been haunted by the past and enslaved by the present, James Griffin-Mars is taking control of the future.

Earth is a toxic, sparsely inhabited wasteland--the perfect hiding place for a fugitive ex-chronman to hide from the authorities.

James has allies, scientists he rescued from previous centuries: Elise Kim, who believes she can renew Earth, given time; Grace Priestly, the venerated inventor of time travel herself; Levin, James's mentor and former pursuer, now disgraced; and the Elfreth, a population of downtrodden humans who want desperately to believe that James and his friends will heal their ailing home world.

James also has enemies. They include the full military might of benighted solar system ruled by corporate greed and a desperate fear of what James will do next. At the forefront of their efforts to stop him is Kuo, the ruthless security head, who wants James's head on a pike and will stop at nothing to obtain it.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 01 Mar 2016 22:30:50 -0500)

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