Travel Glasses by Chess Desalls
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Travel Glasses (The Call to Search Everywhen Book 1)by Chess Desalls
For me this was a somewhat deceptive novel that managed to capture me within the offered sample even though it gave a slight difference of appearance than my usual fare.
When we first meet her, Calidora Winston lives in a resort community coming near the end of tourist season and she's contemplating back-to-school. She lives with her Uncle while her mother is off somewhere keeping busy. She is out for a run, because she has given up on making friends and has eschewed technology; since the time she befriended someone online who later began publishing lewd and hateful pictures and information about Calla and even though Calla had used a different name the person had somehow found and publisher her real name. So she spends her days running and this day something mysterious knocks her down; that's how she meets Valcas who assists her and asks her out to dinner.
So, yes, I thought pretty much a romance coming up here. But I'm glad I continued to read. Soon it appears that Valcas has saved her from some sort of attack and he appears to have to do so again while they are on the date, which he admits is not a date since he came to help her. This pushes her into a time travel nightmare that starts out almost romantic but quickly turns to something that sounds creepy and makes Valcas look mostly like a kidnapper. The story is vindicated when Calla starts feeling the same way and decides to be proactive. When Calla discovers that the time travel device is built into the strange glasses that Valcas wears everywhere, she plots to steal them and escape. But escape is not so easy, since the rules of time travel involve the need to focus on someone in history as your target point.
When Calla escapes she seeks out the creator of the Travel Glasses based on a rather suspect algorithm of what she would expect the creator to look like. Oddly she does manage to find a gentleman who claims to have created them and that Valcas had stolen them. The place where she finds the man is something straight out of Alice in Wonderland and it doesn't take long for this reader to decide that the turn this story is taking could easily be viewed as the resulting thought experiment conducted if Albert Einstein had met Lewis Carroll for an evening of tea and contemplation.
Aside from the ease with which she finds the creator of the glasses the time travel rules stay fairly tight and consistent. There was one minor possible quibble that comes with the mention of silhouettes, which perhaps I missed something or it might be better explained later as to who and how a time traveler becomes and is qualified as a silhouette. Otherwise I felt that for the story internally the time travel held it's consistency well. You will have to read the novel to see what I mean about those mentions above. There are even a clever set rules and regulations enforced by the TSTA Time and Space Travel Authority.
This novel took several twists and turns to get to the meat, which I felt was when Calla finally decides to confront her kidnapper and manages to do so in a timeline that is prior to the act. This allows her the possibility of seeing what lies behind the nature of Valcas and it allows the reader a chance to see more depth in Calla as she navigates through it all and begins to grow into a character that the reader can better relate to and understand.
The unveiling of Valcas possible motives and the discovery of the true Callas made this novel a gem and I'll be moving on to the second novel to see what happens next.
This is a rather unusual time travel tale that might be more comfortable in a paranormal classification, but still holds strong as SFF time travel. And it might be a bit less of a romance than it appears on the surface.
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