Oh look, I read another book. It’s really kind of strange how that happens, I went for months and months not having time to read and, truth be told, I didn’t miss it. But then I picked up a book again and now I want to read a lot. I can’t say I understand it but I’m not at all sad that it happened.
This time I take a look at Destroyer, the second in the series of time travel adventures by Brett Battles. I reviewed the first book in the series here and really loved it. So will this be as good as the first? Let’s find out.
Destroyer picks up right after the end of Rewinder, with Denny Younger, trying to adjust to his new life in a new reality with his girlfriend Iffy and his sister. The rest of the rewinders are dead, or so Denny thinks, but when he starts feeling like he’s being followed, his paranoia starts to kick in and maybe, just maybe, his perfect world isn’t as perfect, or safe, as he thought. What if his greatest enemy isn’t truly gone, but has been plotting his downfall all along?
Now I loved how Battles wrote the previous book, his simplistic style fit perfectly the character of Denny Younger and he treated time travel exactly as I thought it should be treated. The tone is still there, the feeling is still there, but unfortunately, this time around, Denny spends almost half of the book being dragged around through time, not having a clue what’s going on, and because this leads into a third book, the reader spends the whole time confused as well.
Destroyer suffers from second-movie syndrome, where they spend the whole thing setting up for the end of the trilogy, forgetting that the book (or movie) needs to stand on it’s own as well. It’s cool to leave some questions unanswered, but Battles doesn’t even try. He throws everything, including the kitchen sink, into the mix, and hopes that people will come back for the next book to see how he wraps it all up.
If I wasn’t already invested in the character of Denny Younger, I don’t know that I’d come back. He spends so much time waving his arms around, yelling “isn’t this cool?” and doesn’t spend enough time actually making it cool. He could have slowed down the pace, not stuffed so many questions into the book, and actually explained something along the way. Now, nobody has any clue what’s actually happened and we have to trust Battles to come through in the end. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he’ll come through, but I shouldn’t have to. I should be able to read the book and have the book be relatively self-contained, which simply wasn’t the case here.
The third book, Survivor, is already out and I’ll be getting it, just to see how things shake out. Hopefully, all questions will be answered, even though I wish he wasn’t handling the mysteries this way. I know it brings readers back, but if you’re just writing good books, it shouldn’t be necessary.