In which giving people the ability to time travel goes as well as you would expect. Alice Payne is a highway-person in 1788, using her girlfriend’s clockwork robot to assist in her robberies. Meanwhile, Prudence Zuniga is in 1889, trying to stop the first in a series of events that will lead to a War across time and history. It is not going well. Every time she interferes, the events in history play out anyway. She clearly is getting more desperate, and seems to develop a crazy scheme (with a back up plan) to change the course of history forever.
Alice’s girlfriend Jane, only get involved in trying to save the world at the end of the story, and both Alice and Prudence should have involved her from the beginning because she is clearly the smartest person in the story. And much more thoughtful and less impulsive than you would think people would be where their actions can muck up history even more.
One of the chapters is titled Shit Gets Weird, as it often does when time gets rearranged. Prudence, interestingly, seems much stiffer and more polite and formal than Alice, who was born much earlier in time. The book ends abruptly as Prudence’s efforts to save time have gone badly and Jane is about to step in to try to save the day. I am very much looking forward to seeing where this goes. The groundwork for a really excellent story is there. It was very short though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if both stories put together are sold soon. The writing is crisp and enjoyable, and while there is a MacGuffin with an invited technology, but it does not take the reader out of the story. It ends with the most recent draft of history, so it will be fun to see if the next book ends the same way and what changes. This series is two books. The lower rating is only for the veeeery abrupt ending, and I will definitely read the next one.