Paradox Bound by Peter Clines
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Eli Teague lives in Sanders, Maine, the town that time forgot. A chance encounter with a Model A Ford and its driver when he was a kid sets Eli on a collision course with all of America's history. That is, if the faceless men don't get him first...
Peter Clines impressed the shit out of me with The Fold and 14 so it was a no-brainer when Crown came knocking with an ARC of Paradox Bound.
Time travel stories are something that's hard to do well. Peter Clines takes an admirable stab at it in Paradox Bound. Instead of traveling through all of time and space, Eli and the searchers travel through American history, searching for the missing American dream.
Feeling more like a road book than a standard time travel story, Paradox Bound has a lot of innovative things about it. The faceless men, generic feds with no faces, protect the American dream until it is stolen and lost to history. Scores of people scour history looking for the American dream and the power to shape the country. Eli and Harry are just two such searchers, tooling around in a Model A and trying not to die.
The book maintains a pretty gripping pace. While I knew Eli wouldn't die, I wasn't sure about Harry or any of the other characters. Peter Clines did a great job with time paradoxes and keeping the proceedings logical while still being outlandish.
While I enjoyed this book, I didn't love it. I think Clines set the bar a little too high in 14 and The Fold. It had a less serious tone than either of those books. However, that wasn't the part that really rubbed me the wrong way. Eli makes a couple leaps in logic in the last 20% of the book that really didn't sit well with me. I can buy time, sorry, history travel, but I couldn't buy the conclusions Eli jumped to.
Paradox Bound is a fun book but I didn't think it was nearly as good as his previous two outings. Three out of five stars.
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