Excellent, but don’t try to read them all in a hurry…
Reviewing an anthology of short stories, and especially short stories by different authors, can be difficult, since it’s likely that there will be some stories that will work for some readers, and some stories that won’t. And it probably won’t be the same ones for any two people! In fact, as I think about it a little more, in any collection that is diverse enough, which this one is, it’s not just likely, but almost certain, that readers will find some stories that really click with them, and some that don’t.
So I’m not going to highlight any individual stories or authors that meshed with my personal tastes, but instead will comment on the collection overall, which I felt was very well put together. Each of the stories, except for one that I found very confusing, had a unique slant on the general theme of time-travel romance, as expressed by the tag line, “Tales of Time-Crossed Romance”. Although I do think “Romance” might not be quite the right word, since most of these have little resemblance to what is considered a romance story today. So I think “Tales of Time-Crossed Love” might have been a bit better description. In any case, some of the stories were tender and ended happily (or at least with hope), some were truly star-crossed and hard to bear, some had happy endings, and some tragic. All, except the one, were well-written, and I’ll remember several of them for a long time.
Overall, though, I’d call this more a collection of science-fiction stories, rather than a collection of romance tales. And therein lies my one issue with the book, which was that it was hard to read more than a couple of these at a time, because in each case, I had to learn – or figure out – a new world, a new method for the time-travel, new characters, etc. So, I kind of felt myself thinking, “okay, here we go again”, each time I would start a new story, until I figured out its basic parameters. (Not that the authors didn’t do a good job of getting us into their worlds, just that getting into several worlds in a row was challenging.) If I could have read this collection over a period of a week or two, just a few per day, I think that would have eliminated the issue. However, I received my review copy only a couple of days before the book came out, and so I had to read more quickly than would have been optimal. (And even then, I’m a couple of days late with the review.) But that’s not the book’s fault, and I didn’t lower my rating for that.
Overall, I think Someone in Time is an excellent anthology, and I picked up some new authors to keep an eye out for. And with only one story that really didn’t work for me, and just a couple that were a bit “meh”, out of sixteen total, I’m happy to give this five-stars. Just don’t try to read it in a hurry…
And my thanks to Rebellion/Solaris and NetGalley for the review copy!
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