Book Review – Time Salvager by Wesley Chu

The future’s not bright… the future’s not orange…

time-salvager-publication-coverIn this review I cover Wesley Chu’s novel Time Salvager. Set in a dystopian future, well let’s face it most people’s visions of the future is not Gene Roddenberry’s utopian “Star Trek”. In Time Salvager we meet the inhabitants of Earth of the not too distant future.

The story centres on James Mars-Griffin a ChronMan (a time traveller) and his handler Smitt. In this era time travellers are not Doctor Who, they are more like highly adaptable and aggressive thieves whose sole purpose is to salvage whatever resources they can from the past and bring them back to the present in mankind’s desperate race for survival.

Mankind of the future lived up to its nature and continued the destruction of natural resources and failed to make any significant advances either in technology, science or space travel. The human race of the 26th century have not even left the confines of the solar system due to human greed and folly.

The whole nature of time travel has become a pseudo-religion where strict laws of time have to be obeyed. Governed by the Auditors and the Directors of ChronoCom the organisation acts as the sole guardians of safeguarding the stream of time.

When James is assigned to what is meant to be a simple “smash and grab” operation in the late 21st century for a large corporation things start to unravel for James when he makes a decision that will affect not only himself but place others in danger around him.

Without giving too much away I enjoyed the plot twists along with the reveal. James was a character I could relate to and root for. His companion Elise made for an interesting foil to James’ stoic unmoving character providing him with a reason for living and a sense of purpose to his existence.

If there was anything I could gripe about it was the ending. Let’s not forget that this is the future and all of the earth has gone straight to hell in an environmental handbasket. In some ways James’ actions mirror those of Sumner Kagan from A.A.Attansio’s Radix. While I can understand and sympathise with James’ motives towards the end it is not the ending you are looking for.

But don’t let that put you off reading this great book because I mean it is really good and I like the ideas that Wesley Chu puts forward for what mankind may well become in the future if it fails to look after the present.