Thursday, April 18, 2013

Review: Paradox Resolution by K. A. Bedford

Paradox Resolution (published by Canadian publisher Edge ) is the sequel to Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait (my review of it is here).

Aloysius "Spider" Webb and his artist ex-wife, Molly, (at least she will be his ex-wife as soon as he signs the divorce papers) are back from the horrors of End of Time. Free of the influence and manipulations of his previous (and now vanished) boss, Dickhead McMahon, Spider's life is back to normal. He is still working at Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait, now taken over by an Indian company, where the new state of the art equipment might have made going to work pleasant if he didn't hate time machines and the stupidity of the average time traveller. To make things worse, the time machine repair business is declining as time machines evolve and the world descends into economic chaos.

In his private life little has changed. He and police inspector Iris Street remain friends. He is still living in a capsule hotel and performing household tasks for Molly, while at work, when not otherwise occupied, he tinkers with training the coffee droid (a much higher functioning one than that in the previous book) in search of the perfect cup of coffee.That is until he opens the break room fridge one morning and makes an horrific discovery. This is soon the least of his worries as he finds his new boss has plans for him that are way beyond his job description.

Paradox Resolution is somewhat more bleak than Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait although the author's light touch leavens the darker elements. While there's plenty of action - time travel tends to make things very complicated and fast moving - this book is more about Spider's personal journey and what he learns about himself. He has a lot to resolve in both his personal life and his work situation and his experiences at the End of Time have left deep scars. This means there's introspection as well as action and the author has succeeded in maintaining what can be a tricky balance with the introspective sections often a welcome relief. Before the end Spider has had to question many of his beliefs and make some very hard decisions.

Along with those like Iris and Molly from the first book, Spider finds himself enmeshed with a number of new, equally well-rounded, characters who have their own stories. Even the bad guys tend to be more flawed than outright evil, with their motivations making them human and so believable. Spider is not the only one who has to come to terms with his future and past. Others have their own lessons to learn too.

The unexplained science may not appeal to those who like hard science fiction but, set as it is in a future world with inevitable and believable advances in technology, Paradox Resolution, like Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait, is a suspenseful story, full of twists and with an unexpected and satisfying conclusion to Spider's story.

Paradox Resolution is available as an e-book as well as in print.

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