WEST by Lizzy Ford


History Interrupted
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Josie finds herself embroiled in a time-travel mystery in Ford’s (Black Moon Draw, 2014, etc.) latest series.

Josie’s visiting Tombstone, Arizona, with her aunt and uncle when she decides to take a quick survey for a $50 gift card—and the chance to talk to Carter, the attractive young man conducting the survey. The questions are unusual: “If you could go back in time to prevent atrocities such as the Trail of Tears experienced by the Native Americans...would you?” She agrees that she’d time travel to save lives in an instant, thinking nothing of it. But over drinks, Carter claims he’s got the power to actually do it: he can send her to 1842, where she could make one change to stop a million deaths. Tipsy, Josie goes along with the joke, letting Carter compare her with a Doctor Who companion and acting impressed when Carter tells her he could plant microchips in her brain that would give her access to historical data and the ability to speak all languages. She doesn’t suspect he’s telling the truth until she wakes up in the Wild West and is directed to find a Choctaw named Running Bear and another man named Taylor Hansen. On September 24, Carter says, one of them will start a war between settlers and Native Americans, and it’s up to Josie to stop it. Of course, Josie has no idea how to do this. Soon, she discovers that Carter’s microchip gives her access to the emotions and memories of those around her, living and dead. She realizes that she’s not the first person he sent back in time—and that the ones who came before her were murdered. Now she has to save herself, too. Josie describes herself as resembling “the perfect blond haired, blue eyed, bubbly cheerleader,” and there’s not much more to her character. Without Carter’s help and that of her convenient empathic abilities, she’d be helpless. And her romance with Taylor feels forced; he’s handsome, she trusts him for no reason, they have sex to fulfill the requirements of the genre. The premise is interesting, however, and hints of Carter’s mysterious agenda give the series something to explore in future installments.

Confusing sci-fi elements within an unconvincing romance.

Pub Date: Nov. 20th, 2014
Page count: 306pp
Publisher: Guerrilla Wordfare
Program: Kirkus Indie
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