Image of Time Salvager


Image of Time Salvager

From its early pages, Time Salvager establishes itself as an utterly captivating time-travel adventure. To put it simply, Chu’s worldbuilding is extraordinary. There’s a grim believability in his vision of a decaying Earth, and the comm/atmos/exo bands make for vivid, easy-to-imagine tech. Plus, Chu neatly (and humorously) avoids getting bogged down in explanations of the physics of time travel. But even beyond all this, Chu explores the emotional truth of the pain and regret that haunts James as he gives the past — and its people — up for lost. The epilogue left me gutted.

For a brief time, Earth enjoyed a golden age of peace, scientific exploration and technological advancement. But by the 26th century, it’s become a dying world, devastated by war and destruction. James Griffin-Mars is a chronman — he’s sent back in time on various missions to salvage resources from Earth’s past in an attempt to stave off complete extinction. The time jumps aren’t without risk, but James knows how to avoid trouble: You don’t change history and you definitely don’t bring anyone from the past into the future. But when he meets scientist Elise Kim, world-weary James is drawn to her vitality and enthusiasm. And he can’t just let her die. Once they return to James’ time, James and Elise are quickly marked as fugitives, but in the struggle to survive, they may discover more hope for Earth than they’d imagined. (TOR, Jul., 384 pp., $25.99)

Reviewed by: 
Regina Small