Saturday, September 01, 2012

Review: _Out of Time_ by Lynn Abbey

A woman lives the quiet life of a university librarian in a small town when it starts to unravel after helping a battered young woman. She is thrust into a world of magic and curses, which she does not like or want a part of. Out of Time by Lynn Abbey is an Urban Fantasy and the first in a series. Readers will find the book entertaining due to a realistic character, interesting setting and action plot.

A realistic character gets the reader hooked quickly into the book. Emma Merrigan is an acquisitions librarian for a university library. Fifty years old, she lives a quiet, routine life until strange events begin. She is forced to confront a past highlighted by abandonment by her mother and discovering a strange fate has been set out for her. This brings out a strong sense of rebellion to her circumstances. Peripheral characters help or hinder Emma, but she is the main focus of the book. Ms. Abbey creates a believable character in the strong woman Emma.

Next, the interesting setting gives the book a strong sense of place and helps create suspense. The small university town with its environs is described vividly, bringing it to life. This is juxtaposed with the strange setting of the Wasteland where time flows differently and curses haunt the landscape. When Emma jumps between the two worlds, readers gain new insights from the character’s growth. Through the author’s vivid descriptions, the setting moves the plot along in interesting directions.

Finally, the action plot moves the book along at a fast pace that keeps reader wanting more. The action starts when Emma discovers Jenny hiding from her boyfriend Bran in the library. Jenny had been beaten by Bran the night before inexplicably. This draws Emma into their problems and sets off weird supernatural phenomena. When this happens, Emma discovers a box with a letter and things left by her mother. This dredges up old resentments for Emma. Also, she does not want her life to change because of these powers. Trying to help the young couple only makes matters worse. Then, Emma’s past comes back to add more stress to her problems. Emma’s coping with curses, her powers and the past are deftly woven together my Ms. Abbey into a tight story, which is a pager turner.

Out of Time by Lynn Abbey is an entertaining book with a realistic character, interesting settings and action plot. The author combines these elements into a tightly woven story that hooks readers from the beginning and takes them on a memorable journey. The first book of the Orion’s Children series ends with a small cliffhanger that promises more excitement and suspense in the next book. This is an good book for summer reading.

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