“It doesn’t have to conform to whatever is usual. It doesn’t have to be kismet at once, or rhapsody by the third date. It just has to be. In time. In place. In spirit. It just has to be.” ― David Levithan
Author: Libby Drew
Publisher: Carina Press
Pages/Word Count: 228 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: Time travel tour guide Reegan McNamara’s job—taking eager tourists whenever they want to go—is usually a breeze. A trip back to 2020 to watch a world-changing speech seems no different, until a woman runs away from his tour group before the jump home. Now her tycoon husband is demanding her safe return—or Reegan will lose more than just his job.
PI Saul Kildare’s business is running on borrowed time. Due to a messy break with the police, he can’t get a referral to save his life. When an enigmatic stranger bangs on his door one night and promises a windfall for a missing-person case, it seems too good to be true. But the two men have an immediate connection, and Saul can’t pass up the chance to spend more time with Reegan, even if he is clearly hiding something.
Saul knows he shouldn’t trust Reegan, and Reegan knows he can’t get involved with Saul. But as their attraction evolves into feelings neither can deny, will they have the strength to take a leap of faith – together?
Review: There’s nothing I don’t love about the concept of travelling through time: the wonder, the consequences, the possibilities, the concept of bending and reshaping the immutable. It’s my favorite science fiction theme, and Libby Drew’s Paradox Lost is the absolute perfect storm of imagination.
This novel is a mind-twisting puzzle; a mystery and a romance between two leading men who meet in the wrong time for the worst reasons and yet somehow manage to form a bond that even time can’t fracture. Paradox Lost is an action packed thrill ride of suspense and danger, set in the year 2020, one-hundred-twenty-five years away from Dr. Reegan McNamara’s own time. It’s Reegan’s job to lead tour groups through short trips into history, but it’s a woman named Silvia who leads Reegan into a fight for his life as he’s forced to chase Silvia in the past, where she’s escaped and gone into hiding.
The author brings Reegan and Saul Kildare together through circumstance, as Reegan hires the down-on-his-luck Private Investigator to act as a tour guide of his own time, and to help find Silvia before she and Reegan both create an anomaly that could have serious consequences on the future. That is, if they’re able to survive long enough to get back to the time in which they belong, as not only are they being chased by men who’re determined to return Silvia to her husband but also because the structure of the universe doesn’t take kindly to being manipulated and will work to eliminate them if they overstay their welcome.
While the lust between Reegan and Saul is instantaneous and quickly obeyed, I love that there was no insta-love involved in this relationship. The author didn’t pull out any quick fixes or implausible solutions to the problem of them belonging to different centuries, nor did she ignore the fact that the secrets between them would place a huge obstacle in the way of their ability to trust each other. In short, I felt everything in this novel came together in a believable way, while at the same time it kept my mind working away at all the layers of its plot: the way time is always the same yet different, the way it continues to move forward from every given point even as it’s being bent and manipulated. This is a sci-fi drama wrapped in a mystery, cloaked in a seemingly hopeless romance and tied together with the threads of really great storytelling. The heroes aren’t perfect, neither of them, but they’re perfectly portrayed and worked well for me as a couple destined to be together in whatever way the impossible will allow.
Paradox Lost is an all-around winning bit of fiction in my book.