MANY WATERS by Madeline L’Engle: A Review

Published in 1986       Takes place sometime after the Wrinkle in Time Trilogy

Sandy and Dennys Murry, twin brothers of Meg and Calvin Wallace Murry (from A Wrinkle in Time) are the “dull,” “ordinary” ones in the family until they interrupt their physicist dad’s computer experiment.  Then, they are in trouble, not just with their dad, but in cosmos-changing trouble.  Many waters were coming soon to the dessert oasis where they “landed”, and stories their mother told them as small children from the Bible, as well as many mythologies and folktales of a world-wide flood come rushing to their minds.

Unknown to them, their dad was experimenting with time travel, and the Genesis (from the Bible) people’s reaction to them, as well as their reaction to the people of “this other place” is the premise for the story.  Unicorns, mammoths (miniature size ones), seraphims, and nephils all appear in this book. Both boys, young teens, fall for the same girl, Yalith, and for the first time, the twins do not tell each other “everything.” Will they get themselves home in time to avoid the “many waters?”/The Great Flood? Will they get home, period? L’Engle’s philosophy shines through as the boys engage in conflicts both on a personal level and on a universal level.

The writing, plot, and characterization are brilliant. This is one of my favorite authors whether she is writing YA novels, memoirs and philosophy, or anything. I highly recommend this book.

Just One Damned Thing After Another: A Review

The title comes from the quote (source unknown) “Love is just one damned thing after another,” and Jodi Taylor, the author adapts the quote at the front to, “History is just one damned thing after another” in her first book in the “Chronicles of St. Mary’s” series dealing with romance and time travel. My first note I wrote about this novel is “I want to read the sequel”, which I knew had been published summer of 2016.

The cover of One Damned Thing …describes it as “A carnival ride through laughter and tears, with a bit of time travel thrown in for spice” (Publishers Weekly), an accurate description. St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research has an unassuming exterior, but inside, the researchers, historians, and technicians don’t time travel but “investigate major historical events in contemporary time.”

Max, Madeline Maxwell, PhD is the main character, best described as “a disaster magnet.”and her team go here and there in time, first on training missions, then back to the time of the dinosaurs, where the action really gets hairy as the team encounters other time travelers, not all of them good guys.   All of the characters are well drawn, and the twists of plot satisfy even this reader who is so fond of them. There is plenty of action as witnessed in this quote from the book describing a raptor attack on some time travelers:

“I watched as the first two (raptors) leaped in a pincer movement… and it’s true, they don’t wait until their prey  is dead before eating.  I watched them rip and tear…I watched them snarl and growl and gobble.” This is the most violent and most graphic scene, I have read, fully worthy of any Jurassic Park movie.

The book series, “St. Mary’s,” would make a great TV series.

Tuesday Teaser

Tuesday Teaser is a meme I first heard about on sjhigbee’s blog Brainfluff.  I’m not sure if she started it or got involved through someone else’s blog, but it’s lots of fun, and I have adapted it here for PWR members and their friends.

Take a book you’re currently reading and randomly copy a couple of sentences or a paragraph, being sure not to include any spoilers. The idea is to tempt us to read the same book you’re reading, so do not forget to list the title and author as well.

Here is mine for this Tuesday from One Damned Thing After Another, the first book in a time  travel series, “The Chronicles of St. Mary’s”, recommended by the aforementioned sjhigbee in her blog:

“She stepped outside, and I closed the door behind her.  Alone now, the familiar pod smell wrapped itself around me, the electrics, wet carpet, the toilet, the incinerator, a faint whiff of cabbage; awakening memories as painful as lemon juice in a paper cut.  Eau de pod; the most evocative smell in the world.

I eased myself into the seat and checked the console.  Everything seemed OK.

‘Initiate jump.’ And the world went white.”

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