Time Siege by Wesley Chu

Time SiegeTime Siege

by Wesley Chu
Series: Time Salvager, #2

Hardcover, 341 pg.
Tor Books, 2016

Read: August 15 – 16, 2016


This is, in a sense, one of the most pointless posts I’ve done. If you’ve read Time Salvager, then I can’t imagine you needing to be convinced to read Time Siege, maybe you need convincing to move it up on your TBR, or just a reminder that this is out there. If you haven’t read Time Salvager, you shouldn’t read Time Siege yet because it won’t make all that much sense. But I’ll try to say a little about the book.

This book really could just be the next chapters of Salvager. It’s just taking the story to the next step — yes, there are distinct plot and character arcs, but on the whole, it’s just what should come next. Making it hard for me to know what to say. Some things that I thought were pretty well resolved in Siege are dealt with again, and hopefully resolved (or closer to it) now. Some characters come back in ways that I couldn’t have expected, some in ways that were exactly what I expected.

One thing that’s crystal clear now — and has been evident all along, really — is that Wesley Chu can write a fight scene. Whether it’s single combat or larger forces, he delivers. The scenes are suspenseful, intense, and believable. He captures what I imagine both the chaos and order of a battle would be like for those involved and those behind the lines.

Somewhere along the line, I got the impression that this was a duology, not a trilogy. So I spent most of the book thinking that this could be a dark, yet satisfying ending. Definitely not an “Everybody Lives happily every after” ending, but one that wraps things up well. Then the satisfying part became untenable (possible, but not likely) . . . and thankfully, it quickly became clear that it was going to be a trilogy. That said, everything is hanging in the balance here at the end of Time Siege, and it’s going to take a lot of heroics for there to be even a chance for an ending that doesn’t involve the doom of humanity. Even with a lot of heroics, that’s a distinct possibility — part of me wants that to happen, just to see how Chu pulls it off.

I remember liking Salvager more than I did, but whatever — the sequel did everything it needed to do to push the story forward into the third book, with heightened action, more investment in the characters and what happens to them. Chu accomplished everything he needed to here and more. I could really use a time machine now to get my hands on the concluding volume.

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4 Stars

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Time Salvager by Wesley Chu

Time SalvagerTime Salvager

by Wesley Chu
Series: Time Salvager, #1
Hardcover, 380 pg.

Tor Books, 2015

Read: September 12 – 15, 2015


Guess I should start with this: there’s nothing in these pages that’ll remind you of Chu’s Tao books. They could be written by completely different authors. Which is a combination of good news and bad news. The good news is that the reader doesn’t get a deja vu feeling reading, Chu’s ability as a writer and worldbuilder is displayed, and we get to see that he’s not a one-trick pony. The bad news is, the Tao books were better.

Not that this is bad, it’s just not Tao.

Chu is really smart about the way that he introduces us to the world, to the concept of Time Laws, and ChronoCom and all the rest of the things that you can read about in the jacket copy (or at the link above). Maybe it shows that I read too much bad SF as a kid, but I’m still really impressed by SF writers who are able to blend things into dialogue and story rather than just resorting to info dumps.

This is a Time Travel story where the Time Travel’s not really all that important. It’s just a tool. Like a cell phone — something that people use, but don’t really understand. No one (well, one person) here understands how it works, but they can use it. Ditto for all the nifty future-gadgets. So it makes it easy for us to not worry about it, too, and just go with the flow.

When you clear away all the bells and whistles this is a pretty straight-forward story about corporate greed, ecological/societal collapse, and a few people trying to do the right thing with the cards stacked against them (even if that pits them against each other). The bells and whistles turn this into a SF/Time Travel/Dystopian Love Story.

Not the best thing I’ve ever read by Chu, but interesting enough to make me glad I read it, and I’ll be back for #2. Maybe with is he can do something to make the series something I can get excited about.

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3 Stars