does anybody really know what time it is?

Does time travel mess with your hair, and do you need passport?

So I just finished reading the latest work from one of my favorite authors, Katie MacAlister, A Tale of Two Vampires.  It is another sequel, if one could call it that, to her Ben & Fran series. (Two of my all-time favorite characters, EVER.)

Although KM is primarily an adult romance writer, she had written some Young Adult (YA) work through the POV of Francesca (Fran) Ghetti and her Dark One, Benedict Czerny in Got Fangs? and Circus of the Darned.  For her adult readers she created a third novel featuring these two characters with In the Company of Vampires.

If you’re reading this, Katie MacAlister, I signed up to join the Moravian Society over a month ago. I’m a super-fan, and I know you’re busy with (hopefully) the next Light Dragons or Dark Ones series, but… I like stuff and am waiting for my free stuff.  <sheepish smile.>

Now, although A Tale of Two Vampires, is separate from Fran & Ben’s story, it is a continuation of that plotline. Focusing on the POVs of Iolanthe Tennyson (Io) as the Beloved and of Benedikt’s father, also a Dark One, Nikola Czerny.  It’s one of the first of KM’s works that features both POVs of the heroine and hero.  Typically her Dark Ones series focuses only on the heroine’s POV.

It was quite refreshing to having both POV’s. As a reader, and in my personal life, I’m quite nosy and prefer to understand exactly what the characters are thinking, whether it is a female or male perspective. I’ll admit, it’s been a little frustrating reading KM’s works from only a female POV.

We’ll get to which POV I prefer to write from at a later time.

Also new to her Dark Ones series is a new turn of events, or rather a sidestep of events by using time travel through ‘portals.’  The idea of portals themselves are not new. Portals have been a longtime part of several of her more recent Dark Ones series; however, the use of portals for time travel is new.

I have yet to watch the old and new series of Dr. Who and focusing on time travel, but it’s on my list of to-do’s.  One of my all time favorite film series is Back to the Future with Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox, and a non-favorite Just Visiting, a failed attempt at campy humor by a typical-favorite-but-disappointed-in-this-film with Christina Applegate.

The protagonist, Io is unknowingly a “Weaver,” a person with the ability to open and close portals through time. She falls through one of these portals back to the eighteenth century, not only to literally crash into Nikola, but she’s actually met his children and has knowledge of his impending doom.

So this brings up a question to you, Precious Readers. If you had knowledge of something horrible happening to someone in the future, and had the ability to stop it, would you? Even if it meant seriously screwing with the space-time continuum or time thread, or plane, or whatever you want to call it?  I’m sure in my youth when I was very easily able to view the world in black and white, my answer would have been “Heck No! Don’t mess with time! It always screws things up!”  Events such as KM describes it, creating a future run by lizards instead of humans.

Yeah, I’d definitely want to avoid that!

But now?  Hmm… I don’t know. There are some things I wish I could erase or fix that hopefully wouldn’t have a large impact in our future world.  The thing that I never understand about time travel plot lines is we only know what is happening to the current environment. Perhaps changing the past doesn’t do anything to our future, but what if it had a direct impact to some other nation?

For an extreme example: What if someone prevented Hitler from being born?  This would greatly affect the whole world’s history, let alone just his family or Germany’s history.  Entire nations may have been shaped completely differently!  And even if those events hadn’t been caused by Hitler, would that mean an event as similar would have happened later, like the USA would have had a brief stint of the KKK ruling for a while or something?

Ew, can’t believe I went there, but… Do you know what I mean?

Speaking of time travel, can we address the spaceship in the room?  What do you think of the new Star Trek film directed by J.J. Abrams? (Yes, I went with J.J., again.)  By creating a time-loop, similar to what KM was using as a plot device, he was able to open a completely new can of “wormholes” to develop an entirely new, (dare I say, cooler), version to kickoff all new plotlines.

Portals, wormholes, linen closet (for you Sabrina the Teenage Witch 90’s fans).

I was delighted (and frustrated) that the end of A Tale of Two Vampires left a lot of open-ended questions for me, as a reader. With the delight of knowing there would be more to come for these wonderful characters, but a frustration that her next novel featuring Io and Nikola may not necessarily be a standalone novel.

While KM is amazing at creating this paranormal world rich with wit, sass and good humor, she’s not the greatest at leaving a new reader who is introduced in the middle of a 3+ novel story arch with all of their questions about who characters are or environments easy to figure out.  The only reason I’m able to keep up is due to reading her Dark Ones series in order.

I recently finished KM’s work on her Light Dragons series, which I was slightly upset that there was an abundance of characters in the stories from previous Dragon series.  Although the ensemble cast was fun and entertaining, having not read her earlier works of Aisling Grey or her Silver Dragons series, it became difficult to keep everyone and their previous plotlines straight.

Keep in mind there are 4 Aisling Grey novels/novellas, and 3 Silver Dragonsnovels in the series before the 3+ Light Dragonsseries.  (At least there better be more than 3 Light Dragons novels because, again, there were waaay too many open-ended questions left in Sparks Fly, novel 3 of the Light Dragons series.)

You could go as far to say that I started at the end of a timeline and now have to work my way back to the beginning to figure out what the fuck is going on with these dragons of hers.

BTW, KM does address the ‘messed up hair’ issue with the idea that dragons do not like portal travel and it messes them up physically and mentally.

As much as I enjoy reading about time travel, I do not personally prefer to force myself to go through it. Especially with plot lines.

What do you think? Do you think time travel is a fun plot device used by writers? Do you prefer everyone just stick with the time space continuum they’re a part of and let that sleeping dog lie? What about the idea of interacting with someone from the future or past? Which are some of your favorite time travel books and films?  (Also, do you recommend the recent Dr. Who, series?  Is it good?)