Sunday, November 06, 2011

Timecachers by Glenn R Petrucci - a book review and a giveaway too!

Sometimes in life, you just get lucky.... and I think that it's only fair that in those situations, you pass on the luck.

About a month ago, I happened across an online write up of a newly published novel that sounded right up my street.... I'm a geocacher, and I love both historical- and science-fiction.  So what's not to love about (gross over generalisation coming up.....) a story about time travelling cachers who visit the old Wild West?

This was the press release I had stumbled across, it was certainly enough to make me want to read the book:

It was breakthrough technology, but where would it lead them?

When Adam Hill of Overhill Engineering accepted the assignment to test the innovative device, he knew the project would be exciting, but this was far beyond his team’s expectations. A handheld navigation device with the ability to provide precise location information anywhere on earth—or anywhere in the universe—without the need of a supporting satellite system! “We’ve discovered some interesting anomalies that may actually enhance the unit’s functionality,” said Dr. Odan, the enigmatic inventor of the LANav device. “We need engineers who are familiar with hardware and software testing, as well as an aptitude for outdoor activities, such as backpacking, orienteering, and survival skills. They will also need practical knowledge of early American history.” As avid outdoorsmen and geocachers, Adam’s team was well suited to the project. Field testing the device would require them to travel to the remote mountains of northwest Georgia, where wilderness skills would understandably be required. But what possible need for knowledge of early American history could there be? They soon discover the device has the capability to lead them not only to any destination—but to any time—in this case May, 1838, the beginning of the Cherokee Indian Removal.

So off I skipped to, to find that they only have a Kindle version available :(  Boo!  I'm one of those strange old fashioned people who prefers to read actual books made of actual paper.

Then, as I said, I struck lucky!  I was able to make contact with the author, who generously sent me a review copy of the book, signed no less, so I was able to read it after all - hooooray!

And read it I did.  In fact, devour might be a better word.  I loved this book!

Now, I'm not sure how thoroughly I can review it without giving away too much of the plot.  But suffice to say that it ticked all my boxes:

  • there was lots of detail - I love detail!  both technical / jargon detail about the fictitious GPS-like invention that's central to the plot, and also historical detail about the time period in which the bulk of the book is set, and the daily lives of the Cherokee.
  • I really got to know - and care about - the characters.  In fact I had a good weep at one point when something not so good happens to one of them.  And that's always a good sign as it shows that the characters and story are completely believeable.
  • the insight the novel gave me relating to the major historical event that the story revolves around - the Cherokee Indian Removal of 1838 - was absolutely fascinating.
  • it was really refreshing to read a time travel story that wasn't obsessed with the whole paradox aspect, and the consequences for the future of making the tiniest change in the past.
  • I liked the way that the main characters in the book were able to split up to go and have their own adventures, so that the storyline could cut from one to the other.  It kept everything moving along at a perfect pace.
  • it's a long book - large format and 600 pages - but it was quick and easy to read.  If anything I wish it was a little longer as the ending felt almost unexpectedly sudden.  
  • you certainly don't need to be a geocacher to enjoy this novel, not at all - but the added twist of seeing my geeky hobby mentioned in print was fun for me
  • and it was left wide open for a sequel - and I am SO keen to read more!

But anyway, you don't have to take my word for it, as I said I'd pass on the luck, didn't I?

So I'm going to send this book, autographed by the author, on to another lucky UK reader.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning it is leave a comment on this blog post.

I will use a random number generator to choose the winner in one week - so that will be on Monday November 14th.  Please make sure I have a way to contact you if you win (eg. email address, a link to your own blog, your geocaching name if you cache, etc).

And please note, the draw is open to UK residents only.

Good luck!


It's now November 14th - so I'm announcing the winner!

*drumroll please..........*

The random number generator chose number 3:

And the third commenter was Ally - so congratulations Ally!

I will be in touch to get your postal address, and will pop the book in the post ASAP


Psychodiva said...

number one never comes up but I have to comment anyway- and say I am going to get the book no matter what! (and I have a kindle and still buy paper-books- I just get to carry a lot of them around in my pocket now :)

Sid said...

Most interesting review Flo, unusual too !! Would love to have chance to actually read it though !!

ally said...

Oh wow, as another person who loves the feel of books as aposed to kindle etc.

Sue said...

Ha I'm a book as opposed to Kindle person too:) that book sounds interesting!

Jacqui F said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simply Paul said...

Thanks for an interesting post - sounds like my kind of thing :)
If I'm lucky enough to win it I'll buy a copy and give the signed one away at the Geolympix Mega in Oxford next July ( - Fingers crossed and thanks for the chance!

JP said...

Not only am I a geocacher but also a huge SciFi fan. I do no even try and read off a screen....books are the only way to go.
Lets hope this is my Lucky day

Morti said...

Ooooh! That's gotta be a good one! I don't have a kindle (yet) but that would be a good reason to buy one.

Geocaching name is TheBromilows..... put me into the draw Missus!

frosty68 said...

seems an interesting read, and, like most people, there's nothing to beat the feel of flicking pages.

John (Pharisee) said...

Hi... I would like to enter the draw, please.

Dibbler69 said...

Sounds interesting

Anonymous said...

Would love a geocaching-ish book to read - but don't usually win things!


Jacqui F said...

I'm a geocacher (and a paperback and Kindle person) and would love to read this book! Will pass it on afterwards if I'm lucky enough to win it. (geocaching nick: Fianccetto)

Bobbinz said...

Looks good, there should be more Geocaching books.

Anonymous said...

Saw the post on the GC forums. Sounds like the kind of book I like, so fingers crossed!


Anonymous said...

I'd love to be entered into the draw as "advertised" on the GC forums. Caching name - Teuchters.

Anonymous said...

Would love to be entered in your draw for the book.

Anonymous said...

this sound just my type of book, would love to be entered into the draw.

Bideford v

Anonymous said...

Sounds great . . . I'm all for paper based books, and also like to pass them on and spread the joy . . . not just because we don't have room for anymore ;) Saw the link on the geocaching forums. Please put geocacher nasogastric in the draw.

Anonymous said...

Hi, sounds right up my street. tossing my hat into the ring! :-D

Cheers, Cache! Eh?

Croesgadwr said...

My name is Croesgadwr, and I'm an Alc.... oh sorry, wrong forum!! I'm a Geo-cacher, and I have been known to 'poke me nose between the pages' every now and again. I, like the others, would be grateful for the opportunity to have a look at the words of wisdom currently in your possession. Thanks for the chance to have a read of it.
Regards, Croesgadwr.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good book.
and it has given me a new blog to follow as well :)

Ratcliffe on geocachign said...

It sounds like a good book, so could I be put in the draw please ? I'd love to read that.

Anonymous said...

I am a geocacher and SF reader, this sounds interesting. I will also pass it on when finished if I win.
Grizzly Pair (Glen)

rhomany said...

Sounds really good. Shame it's only available for kindle or I'd have bought it myself.

bonjen3 said...

I have a friend who would love this type of book, if I win I'll pass it on to her :) thanks

Anonymous said...

My name is Bendos and I'd love to have a copy. Then I could put a big sticker on it.

JohnStead said...

Brilliant - I remember a police type thriller set in the Peak District some time ago and that included a real Geocache but have forgotten now what it called and put it in as a raffle prize at a caching event so cannot look now.
I cache as John Stead and often use as my address.

Kat said...

That sounds a really interesting book, Sarah!! :) Haven't managed the caching yet and it will have to wait a bit longer until the girls are a bit older me thinks. But would LOVE to have the copy of the book! :D