Sunday, September 20, 2015

Review: The Last Sunset by Bob Atkinson

I received this Kindle version of an Early Reviewer book from LibraryThing.  I've had it for a while, and finally got around to reading it in the last couple of months.  I actually finished it on August 30, after taking over a month to read it.  And it was fairly short.  I'm not sure exactly what the problem was - me?  Things going on in my life?  The book?  But it took me quite a while to get through it and now quite a while to review it.

The book is billed as a time travel romance, although I don't think there was that much romance to it.  It's not a romance novel, per se.  There are some romantic relationshps in it, but not really any sex, and not a deep exploration of any of the relationships in play.  The book deals with several different groups of people, from several different times in history, all transported back to 18th century Scotland - just before the battle of Culloden.  There is an American couple from some time in the future (from our present time); several Vietnam-era British soldiers; two Scottish brothers from WWI; and the book also focuses on many of the Culloden-era people all of these time travelers meet.

The story focuses on whether all of these folks can band together to save the valley they landed in.  It's never spelled out explicitly, but what I took from the book was that a nuclear explosion which basically ended the world during the time of the Americans was the same event that somehow transported all the people back in time.  Not really sure about the physics of that...nothing was really explained, which may account for some of why I was less than impressed with this book.  Anyway, they are all somehow transported to Inverlaragain in Scotland, a few days before, historically, the British army drove everyone out of that valley and slaughtered those left behind.  It mostly focuses on the stand these newcomers make with the valley dwellers.

For me, this book was just okay.  There was too much military stuff at the beginning.  Everyone's names were too similar and there wasn't enough character development for me to be able to tell those similarly-named military guys apart.  As stated above, I never really understood how everyone got to Inverlaragain to begin with.  And I found the way that the (Scottish) author wrote the American dialect to be very distracting.  Do we sound like that to Scots?  Maybe we do, but I had a hard time reading it.  It got better towards the middle, once everyone was in Inverlaragain and had figured out that they had traveled through time, but, in my opinion, the beginning was quite confusing and the author took way too long to reveal to the reader what exactly was going on.  I felt like all the characters held me at arm's length, too, so I didn't really care what happened to any of them during the big battle scene.

Two out of five Whatevers.  It wasn't horrible, but I wouldn't read it again, and I won't be searching out anything else by this author.  Maybe recommended for those who like military fiction (it felt more like that than a romance), or maybe for people REALLY into speculative fiction/time travel novels, or...I'm out of people to recommend this to.  It just wasn't that great.


I'm taking a bit of a break from books to catch up on my magazine reading.  I'm way behind, given my slow reading of this book, but also some of that is due to our moving from one rental to another at the end of June, getting the house put together, and then, recently, the discovery of black mold in our current rental home.  (Actually, since we've been in a hotel for the last three and a half weeks, I've gotten a LOT of reading done here, since I have no household chores to do!)  Stressful times the last few months (and that is on top of me starting a new job at the beginning of June), so some days it's all I have the energy to do to come home, eat dinner, get ready for bed, and pass out.  My next book is going to be Still Waters, the sequel to Blackbird, which I read a few months ago while I was unemployed.