Book Review: Hazards of Time Travel

Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oates

An ingenious, dystopian novel of one young woman’s resistance against the constraints of an oppressive society, from the inventive imagination of Joyce Carol Oates

“Time travel” — and its hazards—are made literal in this astonishing new novel in which a recklessly idealistic girl dares to test the perimeters of her tightly controlled (future) world and is punished by being sent back in time to a region of North America — “Wainscotia, Wisconsin”—that existed eighty years before.  Cast adrift in time in this idyllic Midwestern town she is set upon a course of “rehabilitation”—but cannot resist falling in love with a fellow exile and questioning the constrains of the Wainscotia world with results that are both devastating and liberating.

Arresting and visionary, Hazards of Time Travel  is both a novel of harrowing discovery and an exquisitely wrought love story that may be Joyce Carol Oates’s most unexpected novel so far.

I absolutely loved the premise of this book — that in a dystopian future a young woman gets sent back in time to the 1950s as a punishment for free speech. There is definitely a bit of a cautionary tale about where politics is going…
I did enjoy the book after she is sent back, but not nearly as much. She has to learn how to make her way in this foreign time, scared that she is being monitored and deciding who to trust.
Overall, Hazards of Time Travel turned out to be a cute read and didn’t live up to it’s early potential.
Thank you to Edelweiss+ for a review copy of this book.
Share this:

Book Review: How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

How to Stop Time

by Matt Haig, illustrated by Chris Riddell

“The first rule is that you don’t fall in love, ‘ he said… ‘There are other rules too, but that is the main one. No falling in love. No staying in love. No daydreaming of love. If you stick to this you will just about be okay.'”

A love story across the ages – and for the ages – about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history–performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life.

So Tom moves back to London, his old home, to become a high school history teacher–the perfect job for someone who has witnessed the city’s history first hand. Better yet, a captivating French teacher at his school seems fascinated by him. But the Albatross Society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom, has one rule: never fall in love. As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the Society’s watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can’t have just happens to be the one thing that might save him. Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present.

How to Stop Time is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.

How to Stop Time is one of those cozy weekend reads full of interesting storytelling and thoughtful takes on love and life. This, combined with the amazing illustrations by Chris Riddell, make the book a real treat (I bought the illustrated version — well worth it!).


I love how Haig uses the character of Tom, a man who ages extremely slowly, to explore themes about what it means to really live and the value of love, things like the difference between existing and living, and is it worth loving someone if you will inevitably watch them age and die while you don’t. These are great questions to explore and Haig does it in a way that doesn’t seem “heavy”.


Tom was an interesting character — he’d seen amazing things and met influential people in his long life, but he lived in fear of being exposed and this influenced his every action and thought. The one criticism I have of this book is that sometimes Tom gets a bit dragged down in his thoughts and fears and it slows the book down and feels repetitive at times.


However, the ending more than made up for this and I would recommend this book for a thoughtful read, complete with historic adventures.


And, something new, here’s my review turned into a video! I’d love to know what you think.


Subscribe to my occasional newsletter

* indicates required

Email Format

Share this:

Author Interview: Marco Marek

Today I am happy to welcome Marco Marek to my blog.

marcoTell us about your book(s). Is there one in particular you are promoting right now? What is it about?

Hyperearth is my first book, it is the one I promoting most, I have another book, a short story with title Angels are with me, and from the title you can imagine it talks about Angels and something happened to me with mix of fantasy. Hyperearth is about two teenagers who have discover a portal in the castle near their city. This portal called Khenon is connected through another dimension, let’s say parallel to our earth, so for this is called Hyperearth. Once there the girls have found another world full to discover and they make friendship with locals inhabitants who are fighting and evil sorcerer, Will they solve the quest and make it out in time? Or will they remain in Hyperearth forever?

What genre(s) do you write in? Who is your audience?

My genre is Fantasy, my audience is young adult/children but I think also adults can appreciate my books. Read more

Share this:

Author Interview: Beth Hammond

Hello Beth, it is great to have you here today.

beth hWhat inspires you to write? My inspiration to write came from my inability to find a book with the exact plot, characters, and genre I was looking for. I read so many wonderful books, but gave up trying to find the exact book I wanted to read and decided it was time to write the book myself.

What book are you promoting right now? My YA fantasy The Sound of the Stones came out this past September. It’s a story with a book inside a book that shatters space and time.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story? I grew up on 80’s fantasy. Movies like Legend, The Dark Crystal, and The Never Ending Story shaped my taste in fantasy. You will see nods from that era in my writing. But it was my fascination with theoretical physics, specifically M-theory that spurned my story. The idea that a whole world could be just a breath away in a parallel universe opened my creative mind. Read more

Share this: