3 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever stopped to think about time travel? Can you go back and change the past? Or will everything only happen as it is supposed to happen because it has already happened? Also, have you ever noticed that in time travel, sometimes the effect comes before the cause?
O'Connor is a caretaker on a space station. He and his crew have the task of dismantling the station for salvage. The lone scientist left, Ryburn, thinks he is about to make a breakthrough with a new ore from Mercury, but the caretakers keep getting in his way. O'Connor thinks Ryburn is crazy, but things start happening that are beyond his (or anyone's) control. After a series of unfortunate events, the salvage timeline must be pushed up; however, are three lone caretakers and one disgraced scientist worth rescuing?
Doyle's Law by Sam Roberts is a science fiction novel with almost 500 pages. While there are plenty of scenarios that will make your head spin, there is no graphic content. Thus, I would say that the book would be appropriate for teenagers up to adults, as the science is not overly difficult either.
While focused on time travel, this book is a bit different from many other similar novels. I appreciated the beauty and simplicity in the author's view of what happens when we travel through time. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that there weren't any paradoxes or parallel universes like you see happening in other science fiction. Honestly, it was a breath of fresh air.
There are only a few characters that make up the whole of this novel. For the most part, they are well-fleshed out. I did get a bit frustrated with O'Connor as it seems like it takes him longer than would be normal to catch on and to realize how unreasonable he's being. However, I think this just showed his character's flaws, making him a more realistic character. Ryburn is the typical brilliant scientist, but he has his own vice. I wish we had a bit more background on some of the secondary characters because they didn't seem quite as three-dimensional. Still, it didn't really take away from the nature of the story.
The plot is fast moving in some ways; it does push you forward to continue reading. However, the book really only focuses on about three days. In that way, it could be construed as somewhat repetitive. It just has that "special something" that keeps you coming back for more. You want to be able to piece the whole puzzle of what is happening together. That won't happen until the very last page of the book.
Sadly, I must mention that the novel was not professionally edited. "He" is used for "his" in several occasions, and the author doesn't like to use the possessive form of the characters' names (e.g. "Ryburn" instead of "Ryburn's"). There were also instances of missing punctuation, often in the form of periods, commas, or quotation marks after a character speaks. They were frequent enough for me to take notice (even if I was not counting for this review), but they still didn't hamper my enjoyment of the story.
I rate Doyle's Law 3 out of 4 stars. Due to the editing, I'm unable to give it a perfect score. I would recommend it for anyone that enjoys science fiction, more specifically time travel. However, if you enjoy the typical paradoxes and viewing multiple timelines and don't want to break out of that mold, you might not want to read this one.
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