3 out of 4 stars
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Altering Events is the first science fiction novel written by Dennis N. Del Prince.
The story, told in the third person perspective, is about Randy Cunningham, an American physicist, who, after attending the International Conference on Physics in London, leaves his work at the Connecticut Institute of Technology to join Hugo Wassermann in the scientist’s research on time travel and parallel universe. He also leaves behind the love of his life, Alice Swain, who eventually joins them and becomes the third member of the team.
Using Hugo’s inheritance to finance the research, the team works to develop a time machine. The members begin modifying the ‘cube’ that Hugo invented and take turns testing it. They try moving forward and backward in time. They also try traveling in space. They soon learn what they can and cannot do with the time-space machine. They, then, start altering events for various reasons like saving people’s lives or avoiding catastrophic events. The greatest challenge the researchers have to face, however, is keeping the time-space machine a secret from those who want to use it for personal gain and acquire power.
This book seems to be the perfect time travel story. As the characters perfected time-space travel, problems were solved by going back in time and altering events in history. Not only were they able to avoid or stop catastrophic events from happening, they also found a way to continue their mission when it became physically impossible for them to do so. In addition, the characters were a set of intelligent and altruistic people whose goals were to spend their lives watching over and helping out not only the people on Earth but also other species in the universe. On one hand, this was a good thing in that the reader anticipates the brilliant idea that the characters would come up with for a solution. On the other hand, however, this made the story kind of predictable.
Moreover, it seems like the author focused more on the plot and less on character development. There were originally three members of the team, Hugo, Randy and Alice. They eventually recruited three more members, Faith, Kent and Harvey. With six members, it would be natural to have disagreements about anything, from the most critical to the least significant, simply due to individual differences. In this case, however, there were no clear distinctions between each character’s personality that the reader could not differentiate Alice from Faith or Randy from Kent. Furthermore, descriptions of the settings were too general. Considering that some of the scenes were outside the planet, it would have been easier to visualize the scenes if they were more vividly described. Finally, in addition to some missing quotation marks, there were instances that the perspective changed from third person to first person (We hoped that it was not ready to lay eggs) which was not only distracting but also confusing.
I, therefore, give this book the rate of 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to science fiction fans especially those who enjoy time travel stories.
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