I just stumbled onto this book through a writing podcast and thought it sounded like an interesting idea so I gave it a shot. I’m not the biggest fan of time travel stories, they tend to either be a bit ridiculous or way too overly complicated. I guess that’s a bit silly because I used to be a huge fan of Simon Hawke’s Time Wars books back in the mid 80s, so what the heck do I know?
But anyhow, I figured what the heck, I’m running low on books anyhow and I’m really glad that I did. So let’s take a look at Rewinder and see if it’s a good… time.In an alternate future where the British Empire rules the world, Denny Younger, a brilliant boy from a low caste gets picked to be a Rewinder, researching history for wealthy families by actually going back in time. But while he knows that he’s to observe and not touch, when something goes wrong and he disrupts the entire timeline, he has to decide whether he should go back and fix it or stay in the new world.
I’m going to say something that is going to sound really weird here, but I assure you it’s a complement to the book’s author. The prose in Rewinder is simple. Very simple. And that’s a good thing. Far too many authors try to make their stories sound like a thesaurus exploded. They try to use as many big words as they can to make themselves look better as an author, but Brett Battles did nothing of the sort. He writes in clear, concise and simple to understand text that fits the character of Denny Younger perfectly. If feels like a kid from a lower socioeconomic class, albeit one that is very well read and has a good education, might write. The style fits the story and that’s something that I immediately enjoyed from the very first page.
The reason I really don’t tend to go for time travel stories, as I alluded to above, is because most people writing them either try to explain how it all works, which gets painful, or they’re not conscious of how someone who has time travel ought to operate. Battles handles both problems expertly. He never tries to explain how the Chasers operate. They just do. How is above your pay grade. And thinking back to how Simon Hawke handled a lot of his time travel stories, it just makes sense, there isn’t a lot of “hey, he could just go back in time and do X”. Battles clearly is thinking fourth dimensionally.
Luckily, this appears to be an ongoing series, with at least one more book out and I’m definitely going to grab that one because I really want to see where the story of Denny and Iffy goes from here. And I hope someone gets him a charger. ’nuff said.