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REVIEW: “Paradox Lost ” by Libby Drew


Time-travel tour guide Reegan McNamara’s job—taking eager tourists to whenever they want to go—is usually a breeze. A trip back to 2020 to watch a world-changing speech seems no different, until a woman runs away from his tour group before the jump home. Now her tycoon husband is demanding her safe return—or Reegan will lose more than just his job.

P.I. Saul Kildare’s business is running on borrowed time. Due to a messy break with the police, he can’t get a referral to save his life. When an enigmatic stranger bangs on his door one night and promises a windfall for a missing-person case, it seems too good to be true. But the two men have an immediate connection, and Saul can’t pass up the chance to spend more time with Reegan, even if he’s clearly hiding something.

Saul knows he shouldn’t trust Reegan, and Reegan knows he can’t get involved with Saul. But as their attraction evolves into feelings neither can deny, will they have the strength to take a leap of faith—together?


I was dead set on loving this book. I mean, time travel, right? Beyond the excitement of being able to witness events firsthand and gawk at past heroes, how seducing it is to think of the past as just somewhen else and not as something dead, exciting certainly, but inanimate and gone forever. Still, thumbing one’s nose at mortality can’t be that easy, and I love all the circumvoluted possibilities that are bound to make my head spin.

The author got that in the beginning. She plotted an interesting setting for her story and spinned a tangled web for her characters. I was so headed for loving this book! You’ve read the blurb: Reegan is a historian who gets to visit the past he is fascinated with in exchange of shepherding time-travelling tourists and bring them back safe and sound. A dream job if there is one, except when things turn wrong and a sheep takes off. Reegan is aware of interacting with ghosts who are not ghosts anymore. Or not yet. Or… Whatever. Despite his knowledge as a historian, he is marvelling and gawking because it’s alive, it’s real, it’s familiar and foreign at the same time. That would throw me too. Now, there’s a catch because time has rules you can’t bend. What happens when someone does forget that the past is not strictly just somewhere else? What happens when you start interacting with ghosts people? You’re engaged in a deadly race against the clock, while fighting villains and falling in love with Saul who is not of your time. This is what happens.

Exciting, uh? And that’s what my 3 stars are all for. I didn’t love this book. I was excited by the premises, I didn’t hate it, but I ended up dispassionate about the development and Saul’s and Reegan’s trials. What  happened? I have several hypotheses:

a) My focus needs some workout

b) I am numbed to damaged characters and insensitive

c) The book suffers from a bad casting

d) Tension (in the broad sense) is overrated and I didn’t get the memo

e) It should have ended badly (kidding. Although…)

Overall, I blame Reegan and Saul. I simply didn’t connect with them, individually or together. I can describe them to you, but I find myself unable to talk about them, they’re not someone to me. They sure bring a lot of baggage in the mix, but for lack of other distinctive traits, the mandatory troubled past, guilt and inner turmoil didn’t add depth, only a sense of déjà vu. As for their relationship, they obviously don’t believe in sexual tension, but it could have worked past the first sex scene, because there was still an impending doom to angst over, still an urgency to play with. Still, they didn’t catch my attention, therefore I didn’t pay much attention to them and I handled their moments together as timeouts in the grand scheme of time-travel catastrophe. In short, they diluted the tension for lack of charisma and their romance didn’t match the surrounding urgency.

Romance is a tricky genre. The tacit agreement that everything will end well makes it difficult to hold people spellbound and all we’ve got to be swept off our feet besides our empathy with the characters are the hows and whens. The author had to loosen her knots in order to reach the HEA, but since the plot lines weren’t particularly tense anymore, they didn’t snap-and-slap for the final, and flopped. The hows didn’t work for me and the whens were not a surprise.

In the end, the interesting setting remained an attractive premise, the race to save the lost sheep was okay, the (banal) romance took over, followed its independent romance course and bent the story to its liking and not entirely to mine.

Disappointing but not baaad. You might love it if you are not particularly attached to d), and you might even disagree with c) if you are not afflicted by a) and b).

One last thing : when else would you go to?



18760474Title: Paradox Lost
Author: Libby Drew
Publisher: Carina Press
Pages: 228 pages
Release Date: January 27th 2014
Purchase Links: Carina Press, ARe, Amazon

4 comments on “REVIEW: “Paradox Lost ” by Libby Drew

  1. ingrid2009
    February 11, 2014

    I had same issues as you. I loved the premises of this story but in the end it left me underwhelmed. It wasn’t bad but not as good as some of her other books.


    • ilhem3606
      February 11, 2014

      It started so well! You give me hope when you say that it’s not as good as her other books. I’ll try something else by her.


      • ingrid2009
        February 11, 2014

        I can recommend State of mind and 40 souls to keep. I liked those much better.


        • ilhem3606
          February 11, 2014

          I’ll check them out, thanks!


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This entry was posted on February 11, 2014 by in Mystery / Suspense, Reviewer: Ilhem and tagged , , , .

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