Official Review: Time Shot by R.K. Johnson

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teacherjh
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Official Review: Time Shot by R.K. Johnson

Post by teacherjh » 02 Jan 2019, 01:09

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Time Shot" by R.K. Johnson.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Time travel and science fiction have always appealed to me, but I have never read a book quite like Time Shot by R. K. Johnson. A top-secret government research facility has developed the technology to send a bullet through time. The gun shoots into a wormhole, and the bullet appears up to a week later or in the past.

The book begins with a forward written by the “agent who saved future reality”. In other words, the premise is that the book is actually real and we will soon be involved in this battle for the future. I thought this was a compelling way to start the book. It really pulled me into the story.

Chapter 1 takes place on April 14th, 2025 and includes the destruction of Ghost Mountain, the research facility, by an antimatter explosion. The second chapter jumps back to April 7th to set up the chain of events leading to the explosion. This shift was done smoothly and reminded me of a movie. In fact, the whole book would translate well onto the big screen with lots of action and intrigue.

The reader soon meets one of the main characters, Sasha Valintinovich Mishkov, a Russian agent sent to infiltrate the secret base. He is ruthless and thorough. He sets up a man who looks like him to get a job at the base. Then he kills the man and his family and replaces him on day one of the job. He manages to keep up the ruse and gain access to this heavily guarded base. Posing as a maintenance worker, he gains knowledge of the time shot device and plans to steal it. What follows is a great sequence chase scenes, shooting, scheming, and explosions.

The characterization, which is sometimes missing in action novels, was well done in this book. The military colonel, Joseph Perez, who chases Sasha is not just professional and intelligent, but he also mourns for the dead and has a playful sense of humor. Sasha is cruel but does not believe in senseless killing. He also shows some remorse over the events around him. These are well-rounded characters. My only criticism is the way the Russian characters speak in broken English to each other. These are highly trained agents who speak clear English when undercover. It seemed like the author put the dialect there to give a certain feel to the characters, but it came off as stereotyped.

One other minor criticism for the book involves the science-fiction aspect. While I appreciate the author explaining how the time shot worked, I found it confusing. I don’t know much about chronon particles, dark energy, or antimatter, so it was a bit garbled to me. I would have been fine with just being told the gun creates a wormhole that allows you to choose a future or past target. Likewise, there was excessive cop-talk at times. All the “10-4, 4-David-11 responding” while realistic, got to be too much at times.

Overall, this was a great combination of action, sci-fi, and mystery. Despite a few small qualms, I rate it 4 out of 4 stars. It is the first book of a series, and there is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end. However, the main plot is resolved well enough to be a satisfying read on its own. There were very few errors, so it seems to be professionally edited. Because of the violence scenes, I would not recommend this book to younger readers, but anyone looking for a fast-paced spy story will love it.

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Post by kandscreeley » 03 Jan 2019, 13:24

Time travel can be a bit tricky. Most of the time it ends up giving me a headache, but I still usually enjoy it. So, I'll probably still have to look into this one, even though you did mention some confusion. I like the premise, though. Thanks.
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Post by teacherjh » 03 Jan 2019, 13:48

kandscreeley wrote:
03 Jan 2019, 13:24
Time travel can be a bit tricky. Most of the time it ends up giving me a headache, but I still usually enjoy it. So, I'll probably still have to look into this one, even though you did mention some confusion. I like the premise, though. Thanks.
The premise is really scary. It's a great book and well worth overlooking the extended tech. talk.

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Post by gen_g » 03 Jan 2019, 22:18

I agree that the explanation behind time travel in books are important, and can be confusing at times. However, it seems like the jargon might be a bit too much. Still, I'm really fascinated by the book, and I will put this on my to-read list. Thanks for the review!

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Post by Itskai88 » 04 Jan 2019, 15:01

My problem with time travel premises sometimes is the end. They are in most cases not properly concluded and they tend to carry a lot of unanswered questions in the end leaving the reader wanting more. Your review seems to explain a lot about this book and it pleasant. Sasha’s character is really intriguing and I will like to find out more. Nice review.

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Post by kdstrack » 04 Jan 2019, 22:12

This sounds like a compelling and unique story line. I agree with your analysis that the technical terms and explanations can detract from the interest level. Despite the negatives have mentioned, your rating speaks volumes. Thanks for an excellent review. I think I'll give this one a try.

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Post by Bianka Walter » 05 Jan 2019, 03:51

This is a very cool premise! As far as time travel is concerned, it's not always easy to find something unique. This seems to have nailed it.
Great review :)
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Post by Vscholz » 06 Jan 2019, 21:52

I enjoy when science is explained in easy-to-understand terms (I'm no scientist), but when it is overly technical, I tend to skip the parts. The excessive cop-talk would also get a bit repetitive, but perhaps cops that enjoy science will enjoy it. Personally, I will pass. Thanks for the review!
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Post by teacherjh » 07 Jan 2019, 01:12

gen_g wrote:
03 Jan 2019, 22:18
I agree that the explanation behind time travel in books are important, and can be confusing at times. However, it seems like the jargon might be a bit too much. Still, I'm really fascinated by the book, and I will put this on my to-read list. Thanks for the review!
I think you will really like it. The concept is scary.

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Post by teacherjh » 07 Jan 2019, 11:48

Itskai88 wrote:
04 Jan 2019, 15:01
My problem with time travel premises sometimes is the end. They are in most cases not properly concluded and they tend to carry a lot of unanswered questions in the end leaving the reader wanting more. Your review seems to explain a lot about this book and it pleasant. Sasha’s character is really intriguing and I will like to find out more. Nice review.
I will say that the idea of time travel was crucial to the end of this book and to the set up for the sequel.

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Post by Sushan » 07 Jan 2019, 12:18

I am sci-fi lover and I am pretty sure that I will love this book. Thanks for sharing 👍👍
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Post by Al Chakauya » 07 Jan 2019, 12:24

This is not my kind of read but I am sure a book with good charactrisation is a pleasure to read. From your discription I will definitely enjoy this on the big screen. Thanks for a great review.

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Post by Kelyn » 07 Jan 2019, 15:39

Although I enjoy sci-fi, throw in excessive technical explanations and garbled "cop jargon" and my interest rapidly disappears. I'm sure there are those out there who would thoroughly enjoy this book but as for me, I'll give it a pass. Thanks for the review!
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Post by Miriam Molina » 07 Jan 2019, 15:52

A bullet that travels through time is a novel idea. Police jargon and Russian talk are part of the thrill, I guess. Though the Russian names can be a mouthful, I am interested in this book and like to give it a shot.

Thanks for the intense review. It seems Russia is regaining its former place in history. Good or bad is anyone's guess.

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Post by teacherjh » 08 Jan 2019, 11:43

Miriam Molina wrote:
07 Jan 2019, 15:52
A bullet that travels through time is a novel idea. Police jargon and Russian talk are part of the thrill, I guess. Though the Russian names can be a mouthful, I am interested in this book and like to give it a shot.

Thanks for the intense review. It seems Russia is regaining its former place in history. Good or bad is anyone's guess.
"Give it a shot", huh? You are funny.

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