Ethan Day, MLR Press

A Token of Time by Ethan Day

Some sure signs that I’m entirely in love with a book:

• Dinner rule – if you can’t nuke it or pour it in a bowl with milk, you might have to go hungry.
• Conversation rule – if you’re not hemorrhaging, regurgitating, or on fire, I am off limits.
• Note: the breakage of the above rule may induce Linda Blair-like head spinning and much colorful verbiage to spew forth like pea soup.
• I will call you by the characters’ names. (It’s happened.)
• I forget to pack your lunch. (See: it’s happened.)
• I make you miss the school bus because I’ve lost all track of time. (Reference the thing above about it happening.)

Okay, now I’m just starting to make myself look really bad, but you get the point. This is how much I adored A Token of Time, a book that has proven to me that different is better. Well, maybe not necessarily better, but at least equal and awfully damn good.

This is a story unlike any I’ve ever read before from Ethan Day. Oh, there’s still a good bit of humor sprinkled into it, to be sure, and there’s the same richly populated narrative that I’ve come to know and love from him, but the muchness of the romance and the tragedy and the tragic romance in this book is just so very muchy that there were times I wanted to skip to the end and take maybe a wee peek because I couldn’t wait to see what would come of it, yet I didn’t want it to end and I kept trying to convince myself to read slower. The slower thing didn’t really work out so well, though.

Zachary Hamilton is a young man with a gift (or curse, depending upon how you look at it) that has been passed down through the generations of Hamilton women—until Zachary, that is—which turns him and his boyfriend, Nick Williams, into fugitives, on the run from Zachary’s family and a sister who is madness personified and means to do Zachary harm in order to obtain his power for herself. Danger looms no matter where the boys go, and there doesn’t seem to be any corner of the world small or remote enough for them to hide from the evil that’s hounding them. And sadly, it eventually catches up to them.

With a blend of Egyptian mythology and Native American folklore and the unknown and inexplicable, it becomes possible for Zachary to travel through time to a past and a man who, after Zachary loses Nick, becomes the great love of Zachary’s life. Marc Castle was a movie star in the heyday of old Hollywood glamour, and he is an influence in both the present and past tense of Zachary’s life, just as Zachary himself is an influence on the continuum of future events. Zachary’s trip to a time before he existed exacts some positive changes, exposes a killer and saves a few lives, but when you’re borrowing time and time is fleeting and everything hinges on the stone dangling from a chain around your neck, time is also fragile.

A Token of Time fractures the laws of forward motion. It makes time an illusion and reality malleable. It’s a “love will always find a way” romance, heartbreaking and hopeful, and it left me wishing for nothing less than a bit more of that illusive and elusive time with these characters. If you’ve ever in your life wished it were possible to be able to go back in time and do something differently or to influence a change in history, then Token might speak to something in you that you know is impossible but won’t stop the wanting of it anyway.

Buy A Token of Time HERE.

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